Established in 1969 as Saldanha Plant Hire for general plant hire and exploration drilling and later to mine limestone for Anglo Alpha near Saldanha in the Western Cape, SPH Kundalila has continued to expand its service offering and geographic base until it employs about 1 300 people today. The top 12 management members boast in excess of a collective 200 years’ service, giving it access to some of the best skills and expertise available locally.
SPH Kundalila specialises in materials handling, crushing and screening, loading and hauling, rehabilitation and other turnkey solutions. It has over 320 items of earthmoving equipment in its fleet and is the largest owner of Cat 950H front end loaders in the Southern Hemisphere. Its fleet is maintained to the highest standards by means of on-site workshops staffed by highly skilled technical personnel. SPH also enjoys priority support from major OEMs such as Bell Equipment and Caterpillar.
“You would be hard pressed to find another mining services supplier with such a large capacity to take on critical outsourced work. We take pride in our ability to process and produce large volumes with our precise screening capabilities,” Jeremy Petter-Bowyer, SPH Kundalila Managing Director, says. It has the capacity to screen in excess of a million tons a month with screen apertures ranging from less than 35 mm. It has also screened low diameter material of 0.8 mm through its dry screening operations. An example of its innovation in this regard is the application of an air separator at a client’s site in Thabazimbi that effectively removes unwanted fines from aggregate products and sifts material that would otherwise be rejected, reducing it to the required specification.
SPH Kundalila also operates various crushers throughout the country, ranging from jaw to cone and Vertical Shaft Impact (VSI) crushers. For example, it crushes up to 350 000 tons of ore a month for Pilanesburg Platinum by means of a 57 t Metso L120 crusher and a 106 ton Sandvik Crawlmaster with a capacity of 750 tph. It can crush rocks from just under a 1 m while the L120 can crush rocks about 800 mm. In addition, SPH has also partnered with sister companies and dedicated suppliers to design, construct and operate fixed crushing and screening plants.
Another focus area is loading, hauling and materials handling as the backbone for SPH Kundalila’s mobile crushing and screening operations. “We transport high grade materials from open cast pits or stockpiles from underground shafts to the respective processing plants,” Petter-Bowyer says. SPH Kundalila processes about a million tons of raw materials a month.
“We prioritise and ensure the safety of our clients’ reefs by fitting tracking devices to the majority of our vehicles so they can be monitored constantly from a centralised control room. At West Driefontein Gold Mine in Carletonville we have specifically modified a Cat 980H wheel loader with a control master tele-remote unit. This remote loader is able to retrieve valuable raw material from a dangerous site not humanly accessible due to a risk of sinkholes. This is believed to be the first remotely controlled wheel loader ever to be deployed on a surface application in Africa,” Petter-Bowyer says.
“SPH Kundalila’s capacity to be innovative has been pivotal in its quest to meet its clients’ needs.” For example at Thabazimbi it transported 17 000 tons of run-of-mine iron ore material down a 17° slope for a continuous 2 km without incident. SPH Kundalila achieved this feat by collaborating with Bell Equipment engineers to alter transmission settings to allow the engines to limit the speed of the load haul dumpers in order to prevent the brakes from overheating.
Another value added service offered is site rehabilitation, which is currently in high demand in the South African mining industry. “We recognise the ever increasing importance of minimising the impact on all aspects of the environment and are committed to complying with the latest legislation in this regard. Our achievements include the successful rehabilitation of part of GoldFields’ South Deep Gold Mine as well as some of Driefontein’s rock dumps,” Petter-Bowyer says.
Looking to the future, Petter-Bowyer says conducting business in the rest of Africa “is one of our dreams. However, we do not want to rush in there and stand to lose money.” In terms of future growth opportunities, SPH is looking to provide turnkey solutions. “We want to do quite a lot more mineral processing and try and get into more ‘smart’ work. Turnkey solutions provide a unique opportunity in this regard as it is less volume work but with higher margins.”
SPH KUNDALILA TURNS 45 PIC 01: SPH has evolved into a significant player in the crushing and screening and materials handling sectors.
SPH KUNDALILA TURNS 45 PIC 02: SPH has over 320 items of earthmoving equipment in its fleet.