To maintain momentum and to support the continued progression of the industry, CDE, harnessing the global reach offered by digital conferencing, recently programmed its Engineering Insights symposium to deliver the tradeshow experience virtually.

CDE’s technology on show. Credit: CDE

CDE’s technology on show. Credit: CDE

Across two days from 14-15 October, CDE experts, together with a host of guests and industry figures, facilitated a series of dynamic, educational and informative presentations and panel discussions covering multiple sectors, including sand and aggregates, construction and demolition waste recycling, industrial sands, mining, and wastewater.

Discussing the challenges and considerations for water management in the region, CDE business development manager Willem du Plooy was joined by JC Janse van Vuuren and Johan Meintjes from South African construction materials producer Ground Breakers.

In 2019, to fully achieve the sustainable and profitable vision of the company’s owners, CDE commissioned its Combo all-in-one wet processing and water management system at Ground Breakers’ quarry in Lanseria. The plant, which replaced an inefficient bucket wheel system, was designed to tackle the loss of valuable materials to ponds and excess moisture in the final products.

Commenting on the bucket wheel technology du Plooy said that dewatering of your material was not very effective meaning you had wet stockpiles of sand that you were trying to market. “With limited mining area, you had to relocate it to get it to dry and could not sell it immediately.”

The quarry was experiencing water stress, he added, however water was available. “You had it lying in your stockpiles,” he said.

In a region that is heavily regulated, Meintjies says it’s difficult to get a water permit. “Once you have received this,” he says, your usage is limited and “not sufficient to wash the sand” to industry requirements with inefficient technology.

“Your clients won’t buy it if it’s not dry enough,” he adds. Incorporated in the plant is CDE’s cutting-edge water management which ensures final products are dewatered to an average 12% moisture, making them ready for market straight from the belts. As an added benefit, the fully integrated CDE AquaCycle thickener allows for up to 90% of the process water to be recycled directly into the system for near independence from fresh water supplies.

Commenting on CDE’s AquaCycle, JC Janse van Vuuren explains how the water management solution has reduced the volumes used and saved water resources at the quarry.

“We don’t actually worry about it anymore,” he says, and adds that the biggest difference is how much cleaner the water is in the process. Meintjies says that the company aims to be as green as possible through its CDE Combo, which is powered by sustainable all-electric drives and reduces water requirements.

“We see a big push towards sustainability within the industry,” he says. Janse van Vuuren adds: “We are one of the few companies who offer the more environmentally friendly option and we have seen an increase in sales as a result.”

Outlining the commercial advantages of adopting sustainable practices, du Plooy says that sustainable materials producers are in a stronger position to become the preferred supplier.

Discussing diamond recovery technologies, CDE’s du Plooy was joined by Nico van Vuuren, process engineer at Consulmet.

Beginning the discussion, du Plooy says that if you look at the number of carats produced per year and the amount of turnover, there are two countries who own the lion share of this market: Botswana and Russia. Botswana produces fewer carats, although the value is much larger. Van Vuuren adds that South Africa and countries Lesotho produce smaller volumes but high revenue in terms of dollars per carat.

Commenting on the challenges at the BK11 project in Botswana, van Vuuren says: “One of the first problems encountered with the first stage of operation was clay balls and clay that wasn’t broken down properly. They had two crushers and the material couldn’t get processed through the crushers.” He highlights the importance of going “back to basics”.