Diversified mining giant, Anglo American, has placed an order on Progradex for a PGX1350T Trailer Mounted Sampler and a rig mounted TD1200 Dust Collector for total rig dust emission control at Kumba Iron Ore’s flagship Sishen Mine in the Northern Cape of South Africa.
With a selection process that included a site visit to Barrick’s Pueblo Viejo gold mine in the Dominican Republic to see the results of a Progradex Sampler in operation, the order from Anglo American marks a first for them, a first for the iron ore industry and a first for Africa.
Progradex Managing Director, Toby Day, commented, “This is a significant step for Progradex. To be in partnership with another major mining company is reason enough to be excited about this project but as it is also the first order for the Progradex Sampling System in Africa and in iron ore, we are very pleased. Africa has traditionally been the continent with the highest level of sales activity for the various sampling systems I have been involved with over the years and our strategy to open a UK office was in part to support this region going forward with the complimentary timezone that Africa shares with the UK.”
It is widely understood that iron itself is generally in abundance within an iron ore deposit but the role of sampling at the drilling stage is less understood. Correct drill sampling is critical to identify, not only the purity of iron within the ore but, the impurities that often exist within iron ore. These impurities (alumina, silica, phosporus, etc) are in small percentage but have a highly damaging effect in steel making and, as such, need to be identified.
“This makes representative sampling of iron ore as critical at the drilling stage as it is in, say, gold. As we are trying to find tiny traces of gold in an ore-block, we are doing exactly the same thing in iron ore, except it is alimina or silica or whatever”, Day explains. “There is an argument to say that it is more critical in iron ore simply because of the scale of iron ore operations. Moving dirt does not make money, only moving the right dirt does and, considering the massive volumes mined in iron ore operations, incorrect sampling can directly account for equally massive missed opportunity – processing of waste material and dumping of saleable grade ore on waste piles – and, on this scale, will have a devestating impact on efficiency and, ultimately, profit.”
Anglo American has chosen a PGX1350T trailer mounted system at this stage because it provides them with the flexibility to share the sampler between various rigs, be it for RC grade control or RC exploration activities within the Sishen operations, until it is a proven asset that can be rolled out across other RC drilling programmes as standard rig mounted equipment.
Updates on the progress of the system at Sishen will follow on the Progradex website www.progradex.com