DRA Global has developed a solid understanding of mining engineering over the past 30 years and this extensive knowledge enables project teams to advise clients in all related areas; opencast mining, underground mining, surface mining, winders, backfill, mineral exploration and shaft design.
The organisation understands the value of flexibility and this ethos has seen the successful delivery of projects even in the most unforgiving of climates and through political instability. It is through the planning of many conflicting objectives and because of the expansive business and technical knowledge that DRA Global is able to share invaluable insights with our clients and deliver optimum project results.
DRA Global delivers specialist capabilities in the design of mines, for a wide range of mining methods and commodities. Mining services extend from pit to port, from the inception of brownfields and greenfields projects to the end of the mine development stage when production begins. Due to the in-house expertise in designing, constructing and operating mines – DRA Global is often requested to maintain and manage client assets.
Consulting and contracting services cover all major project milestones, from feasibility studies through to the design and construction of mines and minerals processing plants:
- Competent persons reports
- Resource estimation and valuation (JORC)
- Reserve statements to international standards (NI 43-101)
- Management of drilling programmes
- Mine design and management of contract mining
- Operations plans
- Project management and engineering in all disciplines
- Shafts and shaft steelwork
- Materials handling
- Water management
- Compressed air management
- Winders, winding systems and headgear design
- Rock engineering
- Ventilation and refrigeration
Complementing these capabilities, is the design and construction management of mining-related infrastructure for both surface and underground operations. Mining implementation consists of various customised solutions ranging from full management of mining contractors to assisting client teams in developing their own skills and procedures.
Clients have trusted DRA Global to design and implement open-cast and underground mines throughout the world. Through these partnerships the organisation has the proven capability to deliver safe, sustainable, efficient and cost-effective solutions across multiple sectors and commodities. The multi-disciplinary engineering services of DRA Global set them apart and expert capabilities provide comprehensive solutions in all phases of the mining value chain. This approach decreases interface management which results in fewer project management requirements and lower costs.
Our mining construction capabilities include:
- Surface mines
- Opencast mines
- Decline and vertical shafts
Working closely with clients DRA Global understands specific requirements and by combining this insight with exploration analytics and professional knowledge they recommend the most effective mine type with precise cost calculations.
Sector specialists design mines and develop resource reserve statements for most types of known deposits but also partner with sub-contractors or consultants, appointed by clients, to optimise solutions when required. The review process actively excludes “opinion engineering”, at DRA Global all assessments are conducted from an objective execution perspective. Furthermore, the continuous improvement cycle, achieved through the repeated design and build process, ultimately results in highly-competent teams delivering world-class projects.
Exploration geology is key to targeting a project's exploration and development goals. Similarly, the geology of any ore body should be well understood and accurately developed before proceeding with the mining project.
Through subsidiary Met-Chem, DRA Global’s strong geological team has a proud history spanning almost four decades. The expert team is proficient in analysing exploration data, and geological groups, to produce cutting-edge designs and services using the most advanced mining software. The organisation acknowledges that a tailored approach delivers the best results and as such, each project is evaluated individually and, based on the geology or client preference, the most appropriate software is assigned to the project.
Exploration management services provide an in-depth understanding of the ore body and produces structures necessary for optimal mine and extraction design. Through this approach DRA Global delivers economic mine and extraction designs that realise the full potential of ore bodies.
Safety and efficiency is a priority. Mining engineers work in collaboration with consultant rock engineers throughout the process of designing opencast or underground mines, using extraction methods such as conveyor belts, vertical shafts, decline shafts, trackless or rail-bound systems.
Exploration services include:
- Managing of exploration programmes
- Providing geological interpretation services in collaboration with specific strategic alliances
- Assistance with resource evaluation and modelling
- Developing a Competent Persons Report (CPR) in accordance with the guidelines provided by recognised institutions such as SAMREC, JORC and NI 43-101
DRA Global’s mining professionals manage and oversee outsourced exploration services to ensure that clients receive the highest quality service.
Underground mines are synonymous with expense, the deeper the mine the higher the cost. Carefully engineered and efficiently run backfill systems can significantly enhance mining operations through the underground disposal of mine tailings. DRA Global professionals reduce environmental impact and provide appropriate materials to improve ground conditions resulting in increased productivity of mining operations.
Backfill specialists have a keen understanding of the material characteristics of tailings – sizing, mineralogical composition, rheology and reactivity – which are vital to the design of reliable underground distribution pipeline systems.
Each orebody and mine is unique, requiring a tailored backfill solution based on extensive test-work and DRA Global implements all variations of backfill, including:
- Slurry fill, hydraulic fill, or cyclone classified tailings backfill
- Full plant tailings fill or paste fill
- Rock fill
As one of very few specialist winder consultants in the world, DRA Global has developed an excellent reputation for the design of mine winder and hoisting systems across the globe. The highly skilled team is able to undertake both turnkey and EPCM contracts.
DRA Global has the expert capabilities to design new winding systems and source, refurbish or upgrade existing winder equipment. The organisation develops and maintains a good working relationship with a variety of winder manufacturers to offer clients optimal, practical and safe winding solutions that are also site-specific.
Software is designed for position control, safety, automation, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, as well as man-machine interfaces. DRA Global is recognised, throughout the industry, as expert auditors and risk assessors of existing winders and winding systems, accident or failure investigations, and training courses for winder maintenance staff.
Since 1999 the organisation has provided complete solutions in:
- Designing and constructing headgear
- Shaft steelwork
- Conveyances and loading facilities, including engine rooms
- Bank and underground station layouts
- Civil work associated with winders and headgears
DRA Global has the multi-disciplinary engineering expertise required to design new or audit existing installations and products offered by the global mine winder OEMs. As one of very few specialists in the niche field of new winder design the organisation’s designs consistently meet the highest standards and the unique needs of clients. To enhance its value proposition, and where possible, DRA Global purchases, repairs and installs a previously used winder from a non-operational shaft to meet time and cost constraints of clients.
Booysendal UG2 North Mine
Client: Northam Platinum
Location: South Africa
Successfully executed the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) of the Booysendal UG2 North Mine, a greenfields platinum mine on the eastern limb of the Bushveld Complex. The project delivers 187,500 ktpm of platinum via a trackless decline shaft.
Delivered the mining operation, bulk services, surface infrastructure and a concentrator plant on schedule in 2013. In 2014, DRA Global continued with the mine’s underground development and construction – four of the ultimate 14 strike-belt stoping sections were commissioned in 2013.
Leeuwkop Shaft Project
Client: Impala Platinum (Afplats)
Location: South Africa
Following the successful completion of a feasibility study and capital budget estimate, DRA Global was contracted to undertake the multi-level mine design of the Leeuwkop Shaft Project for Impala Platinum.
Due to in-depth knowledge of the resource geology the best method of accessing the ore body to maintain optimal, sustainable production output was selected. The project will make a significant contribution to the future economic viability of the group operations of Implats and Afplats.
Client: Sasol Mining
Location: South Africa
DRA Global managed the replacement of the existing Irenedale shaft for Sasol Mining in South Africa. The project comprised the establishment of an all-inclusive main service shaft system in the Bosjesspruit Irenedale reserves and related support infrastructure to mine 8 Mtpa of coal. The organisation expertly completed the specification, design, supply of two winders, main and service including the auxiliary equipment including cages and ropes, as well as the design and detailing work for the headgear.