DRA wins its first phosphate project ever – Elandsfontein

first_imgSouth Africa based engineering and project delivery specialist DRA has been awarded the implementation phase of the Elandsfontein phosphate project, located on the west coast of South Africa, by Elandsfontein Exploration and Mining.  The EPCM contract was awarded to DRA, and follows the recent completion of the definitive feasibility study of the project also carried out by DRA. A major component of the scope of the project will be the processing facility and its associated infrastructure, designed to produce approximately 1.35 Mt/y of phosphate concentrate.  It will produce a saleable phosphate concentrate above  32% P2O5. Included in the process plant will be screening, classification, milling, reverse flotation, dewatering and product handling.  Tailings will be dewatered by belt filter prior to dry stacking.DRA’s in-house mining division carried out the design and production scheduling of the open-pit mining operation, which will be contracted out by Elandsfontein.Paul Thomson, CEO of the DRA Group, comments:  “We are especially pleased and proud to be awarded the Elandsfontein phosphate project.  The award follows more than 15 months of working closely with the Elandsfontein team on the study of the project, during which a wide range of testwork and trials were carried out to develop the optimum flowsheet.”Thomson continues:  “This is a unique project for South Africa, as the first sedimentary type phosphate project carried out in the country as opposed to igneous phosphate.  In addition, it’s the first phosphate project awarded to DRA in our 30 year history, demonstrating our versatility in minerals processing and successful project delivery.  Its award is also a testament to the ability of our study teams in jointly solving technical challenges in close cooperation with our clients”.The project will be managed from the Cape Town office of DRA, with commissioning due in August 2016.Elandsfontein is the second largest known phosphate deposit in South Africa after the Phalaborwa deposit. Samancor, which operated a phosphate mine near Langebaan, identified and drilled the Elandsfontein deposit during 1985, but chose not to develop the project.The phosphate mineralisation is contained in the Varswater Formation, with the phosphate occurring in two forms, namely phosphatised shell fragments and phosphorite pellets. The remainder of the deposit consists of silica sand and calcium oxide.The sandy nature of the Elandsfontein deposit means that the phosphate can be upgraded without large crushing and milling requirements, often associated with rock processing. The ore is free from the heavy metals and radioactive elements often associated with sedimentary phosphates.Being so well positioned in terms of proximity to Saldanha, one of South Africa’s major bulk handling ports, the Elandsfontein deposit is in a very favourable position to earn foreign revenue for South Africa.last_img read more