December 15, 2017

Chambishi CuSEP Project

Chambishi Metals PLC, a primary producer of cathode copper and cobalt, is situated near Kitwe a well-known Copperbelt Region in Zambia.

The mining house finished the construction of a R16.5 million (US$1.6million) Chambishi CuSEP project in September 2012 which now enables it to produce 50, 000 tons per annum of LME grade-A copper.

The project upgrade works entailed installing copper solvent-extraction circuits to treat the solution arising from various sources within the complex. The existing copper electro-winning circuit was modified to accommodate the solvent-extraction strip circuit solution.

In addition, the solvent-extraction step was installed to remove as much copper as possible from the solution that is fed to the cobalt refining plant and the new plant has been built as a combination of a brownfield installation integrated into to the existing facilities and a greenfield installation adjacent to the roast/ leach circuit. 

RARE Holdings, a fully integrated provider of complete fluid conveyance products and services, was appointed by the client to work on the project. The scope of the work entailed the supply, fabrication and erection of HDPE piping and the steel supports. The fabrication of HDPE piping was done using butt fusion and socket fusion welding.

The Rare Group is a well-known supplier and installer of pipes and fittings in South Africa and having years of experience in chemical plant installations in Africa, made Rare the company of choice to undertake the task. Since Rare has a registered office in Zambia, key personnel based in Zambia,and a proven track record of finishing projects on time,it was an obvious choice utilising these capabilities.

 Rare provides cost effective and efficient fluid conveying systems and solutions and has extensive experience in the design, development and installation of plastic fluid conveyance systems, covering the entire fluid conveyance cycle.

Minor challenges were encountered during the construction phase, they included South African personnel being on a 10 week 2 week rotation; Transportation of Zambian employees from various locations to ensure that they were at work on time; coordinating the shipment of material to ensure optimisation of space on site, and completion of the project before the rainy season started. It was achieved through proper hands on project management.

Rare was able to complete and handover the project within 105 days, a laudable achievement.

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