Constructing a Concentrator Plant in the DRC
Leading diversified natural resources company, Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC), which owns Boss Mining, has recently constructed a concentrator plant 200km north-west of Lumbumbashi in the Katanga province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
An ICU tender, the project called for a contractor not only with the ability to provide and operate the necessary construction equipment, but also with the relevant skills to comply with the ICU construction methodology.
All of which was required to come together in the delivery of the following: a 126m long by 23m high reinforced earth to be constructed at the site of the new crusher; approximately 130 000m³ of bulk fill behind the earth wall; approximately 300 000m³ of bulk earth works and layer works for the project’s plant terrace, sewer and water reticulation for the plant terrace; security fencing around the plant terrace; bulk earth works and layer works for the 900m conveyor line; storm water culverts and drainage; a road over conveyor cast-in situ box culvert; platforms and terraces for the site camp; sewer and reticulation for the site camp; bulk water storage tanks; concrete slabs for support buildings; a mobile batching plant; as well as all requisite construction material such as water and sewer piping, concrete storm water pipes, reinforcing steel and shuttering, and consumables.
The location of the plant presented a number of considerable challenges, predominantly in the form of sourcing both skills and resources. As there is a shortage of qualified specialists within the local communities, it was necessary to employ foreign expatriates for the deployment of the project. Further to this, the majority of the project’s labour force had never before been exposed to construction work, meaning that it was essential to invest additional time in their training.
The quality of local materials, cement, bricks and consumables created additional cause for concern, requiring the outsourcing of materials to Zambia and South Africa. This in itself created complications of its own as obligatory security and custom checks caused considerable delays in the delivery of construction materials which lasted up to six weeks.
While numerous logistical problems were also experienced at the start of the project, these were largely addressed by the presence of a Logistics Officer. Solutions to the delay in deliver of supplies included the sourcing of around 900 pockets of cement from Boss Mining’s stores. These were then replaced on arrival of the contactor’s supplies.
In spite of significant challenges, the project was completed in November 2012, just 18 months after the contractor was initially granted access to the site, and was by all estimations a considerable achievement.
|EPCM Contractor||DRA Mineral Projects (Pty) ltd|
|Consulting Engineers||UWP Consulting (Pty) ltd|
|Straps and Terra Trel Retaining Wall Specialist||RESA|
|Water Header Tanks||Abeco Tanks|
|Liners for Storm Water and Process Water Dams||Aquatan|
|Prefabricated Housing||E4 Construction|