MDM Engineering’s drive to regain its position as the premium gold processing specialists in Africa is gaining momentum as the company’s gold project portfolio grows bigger, executive director George Bennett tells Laura Cornish.

“Our rapidly growing gold portfolio may be one of the primary reasons our growth curve has and continues to climb. Coupled with our entire metallurgical and engineering project portfolio spread across multiple mineral sectors, I believe we are the most diversified engineering house on the African market, with between seven and ten projects in execution at any given stage,” says Bennett.

The AIM-listed company’s order book is about US$750 million (R6.5 billion), which only comprises projects in execution. In addition to its gold portfolio, MDM Engineering is actively working on two local manganese projects in South Africa, a first-of-its kind platinum/chromite project in the country, a local phosphate project and a major copper project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

“We have a further US$550 million in project value in the front end engineering and design project phases, specifically for gold and copper, and another US$1.5 billion in feasibility study work,” Bennett continues.

“Ever since the original MDM was established, our name has always been synonymous with gold. Many of our current team members today have delivered more than 35 gold processing plants over the decades. One only has to look at our current gold project pipeline in particular to see we are resuming our position as leading gold processing company on the continent.”

And its strategy could not have been better timed considering the positive outlook for the gold sector, which is flourishing in the face of a struggling economy. “As our headcount increases further, estimated to increase by between 100 and 120 people in 2013, so too will our head office floor space.”

The company is currently working on two major gold EPCM execution projects: African Barrick Gold’s Bulyanhulu gold tailings retreatment project in Tanzania and Canadian gold company Banro’s Namoya heap leach project in the DRC.

The Namoya property lies at the southern end of the Twangiza-Namoya gold belt in Maniema province and is scheduled to start producing gold in 2013. It is expected to deliver an average production of 124 053 ozpa of gold over a seven-year mine life. “We are also assisting Banro with a possible expansion at its first operational gold mine, Twangiza, in the DRC as well.”

MDM’s contract for African Barrick Gold includes the construction of a new 2 Mtpa carbon-in-leach circuit at Bulyanhulu’s process plant to process both historic tailings from the tailings storage facility and current tailings from the flotation circuit. The project is due to be completed in 2014.

In addition to the front end engineering work that MDM is currently underway with for a gold project in Ghana, it has a vast amount of gold study work. “Considering our conversion from study phaseto execution is more than 90%, our working project pipeline is secure well into the future,” Bennett adds.

Projects in bankable, definitive and pre-feasibility studies

  • a bankable feasibility study for a 600 000 tpa process plant at Vantage Goldfield’s Barbrook operation
  • a pre-feasibility study for a 500 000 tpa process plant at Delta Gold Zimbabwe’s Eureka gold mine
  • a scoping study for a 42.8 Mtpa gold and uranium tailings reprocessing plant at Synergy (a Gold Fields and Gold One International joint venture). The pre-feasibility study is due to commence in the first quarter of 2013
  • a bankable feasibility study for a 2.4 Mtpa process plant at Archean Gold’s Tafrent gold operation in Morocco
  • a definitive feasibility study and scoping study for a debottlenecking and expansion project for Golden Star Resources’ Wassa gold mine in Ghana
  • a pre-feasibility study for GoGold’s Parral tailings project in Mexico
  • a definitive feasibility study for Witwatersrand Consolidated Gold Resources’ Debron Merriespruit South project.

Additional Reading?

Request Free Copy