November 21, 2017

CESA Aon Awards 2015

Impumelelo Shaft Project commended at CESA Aon Awards 2015

The Impumelelo Shaft Project at Sasol Mining’s Brandspruit Mine received a commendation at the CESA Aon Engineering Excellence Awards 2015 for the RSV ENCO Hatch Goba Coal Joint Venture.

Sasol Mining appointed the RSV ENCO Hatch Goba Coal Joint Venture as Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management (EPCM) consultant in August 2009. This comprised Hatch Goba and RSV ENCO, a linked enterprise of RSV. The 62-month, R4.6 billion multi-disciplinary Greenfield project had an integrated management team at its helm.

“The constructed project demonstrates our commitment to sustainable engineering solutions,” Kevin Seyfried, director mining AEM, associate at Hatch Goba comments. Specialised package managers were responsible for the total delivery within their areas of responsibility.

The basic engineering design packages ensured suitability, functionality, constructability, operability and maintainability of the new mining infrastructure and associated materials handling system. All the systems were designed to be energy efficient and optimised within strict coal degradation and spillage tolerances.

Multi-disciplinary team

The joint venture’s multi-disciplinary team had to interface between the Sasol project team, the Sasol Mining team and the Sasol Coal Supply team, which would ultimately run the entire operation and therefore had to be brought up to speed with the project’s technical scope.

A techno-economic review of the project’s feasibility was completed by the joint venture in June 2009, followed by a detailed engineering design phase from July 2009 to December 2010. Construction began in earnest in June 2011. Phase 1 construction was completed in June 2015, with Phase 2 scheduled for completion in June 2019. Upon completion, Impumelelo Mine will have 13 production seams, with a total shaft depth of 235 m.

Impumelelo is a new 8.5 mtpa replacement tonnage coal mine complex for Brandspruit in the Secunda area of Mpumalanga. The project scope entailed the design and development of the complete Greenfield mine complex. Therefore special consideration had to be paid to the build-up of the new operation, in conjunction with the phasing out of the existing coal-mining operation.

Shaft system

It included the entire shaft system of two vertical shafts, a decline shaft and associated underground development. In addition, the scope of works comprised all supporting infrastructure, from offices to a change-house and workshops, as well as fibre-optics, roads and power and water supply and sewage treatment.

The materials handling system comprised underground conveyors, surface bunkers and a 2 400 tph, 27-km-long single-flight surface overland conveying system, the longest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere to date.

The geographical area of the project extended over 27 km. A 4 000 tonne coal bunker was constructed at one end (km 27), with the overland conveyor infrastructure at mid-station (km 18). A 15 000 tonne coal bunker was constructed at the other end (km 0), together with the various ancillary buildings, dams and the actual shaft-sinking itself.

Sasol Synfuels Complex

The current reserves at Brandspruit Mine are nearing depletion, and hence the new Impumelelo Mine, which is ultimately expandable to 10.5 mtpa, is essential to guarantee coal supply to the Sasol Synfuels Complex.

The project created significant opportunities for local community involvement in that local contractors and labour were used wherever possible. There were about 1 300 workers on-site during the construction period up to April 2015, with a peak of 2 122 in November 2013. The project clocked over 13 million man hours.

The Impumelelo Shaft Project at Brandspruit Mine was one of two commendations received by Hatch Goba in the category of ‘Projects with a value in excess of R250 million’ at the CESA Aon Awards at the Vodafone Arena on the evening of Wednesday 12 August. Present at the awards banquet were Kobus Louw, Johan Duvenhage and Willem van den Heever, all from Sasol Mining, Conrad Stark from Hatch Goba and Alan Wingrove from RSV ENCO.


“There were nine vastly different contenders in this prestigious category, and to have received not one, but two, of the three commendations awarded over and above the winning project is an indication of the difficulty in selecting a clean-cut winner,” Hatch Goba chairman Trueman Goba comments. Hatch Goba’s second commendation in the category of ‘Projects with a value in excess of R250 million’ was the Umgeni Road Interchange upgrade for SANRAL.

Impumelelo forms part of a larger replacement project that will transform the Secunda area in Mpumalanga into one of the largest underground coal complexes in the world, with total extractable run-of-mine reserves estimated at 1.3 billion tons. In terms of the overall project, Thubelisha will replace Twistdraai and Impumelelo will replace Brandspruit, while Middelbult will be expanded by Shondoni.

Hatch Goba’s mining capability ranges from dewatering to infrastructure, shaft sinking, materials handling systems, hoisting headgear design and dynamic simulation or operational modelling across all of these areas.

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