Continual development drives successful growth for Inspectorate

This year Inspectorate, a Bureau Veritas company, has continued to build on its success and invest in the future. It has committed significant capital expenditure to reinforce its services to the dry cargo market, developing new laboratory facilities and innovative services, throughout its global network.

Richard Downs,Vice-President of Metals & Minerals Trade said “We are firmly committed to the continuous development and improvement of our business. Our global network and the nature of our client base gives us great confidence in making these investments.”

Nowhere is this clearer than in the dry cargo market where Inspectorate has increased its capacity and geographic spread. An example of this is testing for Transportable Moisture Limit (TML). Inspectorate has developed its own internal accreditation system for TML testing and now offers the service in Indonesia, Spain, India, Peru, Estonia, the United States and Taiwan.

Recent developments in TML testing have included New Orleans offering the penetration test while Estonia has also added the Proctor Fagerberg test to its capabilities.

In other global developments Inspectorate is providing inspection and testing services to non-ferrous concentrate blending operations world-wide. Much of this work is based in Asia, where feed is tailor-made for the regional markets. This activity is expanding and Inspectorate is ideally placed to offer testing and inspection services throughout the mining to end- user supply chain.

In addition to expanding its port facilities Inspectorate Metals & Minerals is also making a significant investment in a new hub laboratory in Shanghai for the Asian region.

Due to come on line during Q3 2013, and based in the Baoshan district of Shanghai, the new 1,500m2, state-of-the-art laboratory, will offer clients international standard assaying services.

The focus will be on high precision, commercial settlement assaying of iron, chrome, manganese and nickel ores, ferroalloys, non-ferrous concentrates and PGM bearing catalysts. Procedures will include ‘wet classical’ methods, aligned to national and international standards, complemented by instrumental procedures including Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) and X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF). There will also be a fully functional fire assay capability.

Davy Yuan the Inspectorate’s manager in China said: “Inspectorate operates out of our main office in Shanghai, with regional offices in Tianjin and Guangzhou. From these bases (and our local branches) we cover all the coastal and inland ports throughoutChina. Wehaveanabsolutecommitmenttothe Chinese metals and minerals industry to provide a comprehensive inspection service and we are very pleased to add a world class analytical laboratory to our offering.”

Emphasizing the breadth of its commitment to developing new services for industry Inspectorate has been active in new fields such as electronic scrap testing. This is a rapidly growing market, as environmental legislation and metal prices drive the increase in collection and processing of secondary materials. Inspectorate has recently expanded its purpose built facility at its UK laboratory to cope with the increase in demand for this service.

Inspectorate’s laboratory network has grown rapidly over recent years and maintained its reputation for integrity, quality, service and reliability. Continual improvement principles have provided the foundation for this success and will continue to drive the growth of its services in the future. 
A new era of control with Ronin 

Dry bulk commodities are notoriously difficult to quantify and then balance to book values on a weekly basis. It is a seemingly impossible task on a daily basis. With commodity prices continually on the rise, this level of control is no longer optional, especially so with high-value bulks such as minerals. Ronin has been designing, developing and manufacturing bulk inventory and risk management solutions for the past decade and it is uniquely positioned to provide solutions that will literally place that level of control over hard and soft bulk commodities right at its clients’ fingertips.

Ronin provides bulk commodity inventory management solutions in Southern Africa, South America and the Middle East via subsidiary companies and appointed distributors. Currently the company has four subsidiary companies and approximately 40 appointed distributors. Ronin is experienced in all of the major mineral, metals and grain types as well as sugar and fertilizer. Additionally Ronin provides systems and services for silo bins, both flat and vertical stores as well as domes and open air stockpiles. The company’s head office is in Johannesburg, where it maintains a 1,000m2 facility inclusive of a machine shop and laboratory. Additionally it maintains offices in Buenos Aires, Cape Town and Richards Bay.

Ronin’s proprietary ART software lies at the heart of its bulk inventory management solutions. It is this versatile software platform that provides the functionality required to assist with finance, collateral management, logistics, marketing and production. ART collects data from various inputs and then reflects site summaries, occupied and available tonnages, communication statuses, grades, 3D graphic representations and histories. A dedicated ART computer integrated into a network also further enables the remote sourcing of up-to-date knowledge of stock locations, quantities, grades, sizing and histories at all times. Collected data is also readily available on excel spread sheets or via any other CSV files. Further integration of Ronin’s analytical solutions enables the ART software to also attribute weighted averages of bulk densities, moistures, sizing, calorific values or any other grading the client would like to utilize, to be applied every stockpile, dome, bunker or silo on the network. This enables current and weighted averaged grading/sampling data to be utilized and applied, providing greater accuracies of tonnages and grading figures. Ronin can provide the effective integration of systems that will enable daily reconciliations to be done between the book value and actual physical stock. Ronin also offers a moment-in-time solution with its AIMS survey service which is currently effectively utilized for stock verification purposes.

The company is also quite proud of the latest development at Ronin; the roll-out of its Artemis Enhanced Multi-Axis Architecture.Artemis is a 3D surface scanner that is able to source highly accurate 3D scans of large surface areas. By integrating the Jenoptic LDM-302 into this architecture the scanner can now source data points over much longer distances (up to but not limited to 300m) meaning that fewer units are required. The speed at which the LDM-302 laser accomplishes this task results in significantly shorter scanning cycles. Another benefit offered by the LDM-302 is that the Artemis Enhanced is capable of scanning during daylight hours. This is no small feat for a non-reflective, non-contact laser scanner.

A further tier of control is also available in the guise of Ronin’s on-board weighing solutions. These further assist with stock handling and management on the logistics side of bulk commodity handling. These systems measure hydraulic pressure and converts the result into tonnages. Ronin’s Loadmaster 9000i is trade approved in all EU countries and many other countries worldwide. Effectively eliminate unnecessary trips back and forth from the weighbridge and avoid overloading. Most of the units come with functionalities such as an internal databases for product and/or customer information, batch weighing capabilities, target weights, overload logging as well as tracking and telemetry. Ronin offers on-board weighing solutions for forklifts, tele-handlers, on- and off-road trucks and front-end loaders. 

Real-time measurement of conveyed bulk materials for advanced process control 

How does your operating strategy change when competition increases and commodity prices come under pressure?

How do you extract extra value from your process plant without major investment?

Did you know you could save millions of dollars per year with an ROI measured in weeks?

Measuring conveyed flows continuously, and using minute-by- minute results to make real time changes can improve many aspects of your plant’s operation. Any processing operation using ore or concentrates as a feedstock needs to measure in order to control. Improved process control can provide major benefits such as: processing less waste, producing more consistent quality product, maximizing metal recoveries, generating less tailings and improving productivity. Each of these benefits individually can amount to millions of dollars per year in savings, and more representative reconciliations and metal accounting are other valuable and time saving advantages.

Process plant performance in the coal, cement and minerals sectors has been significantly improved through the application of Scantech’s real time, full stream, non contact, multi-element analysers. Particle size and belt speed don’t affect the analysis. Grade control need not stop at the haul truck. Analysers on conveyors at the mine (after the crusher) are used to divert increments of undesirable material, be it waste, low grade ore, or high deleterious content so it does not enter the process plant. Think of the savings in grinding costs, power, reagents, etc. Benefits really add up when that waste is replaced by good ore and the plant production increases for the same throughput. Ore of product quality, eg. in iron ore plants, is diverted to bypass the beneficiation plant. One customer consistently achieves over US$6 million per year in beneficiation cost savings alone by doing this and also maximizes plant capacity by only processing what needs to be upgraded.

Analyzers help plants blend ores to ensure consistent feed grade. Reducing ore quality variability can increase metal recoveries by up to 15% in copper operations.Another customer blends copper ores to maximize leach circuit capacity and achieved a payback of less than two months, reducing plant feed variability. They now use elements that weren’t initially of interest (Fe and S) to control the mineralogy blend as well as copper content to further benefit their process.

Analysers can be used on conveyors throughout the plant. Beneficiation circuit feed and product streams, eg on jigs, ensure optimal recovery. Analysers help optimize additive control in cement plants and adjust metal concentrate chemistry pre- smelting or sinter basicity.

Measurement of product flows to stockpiles and load out flows to the train or ship are used to determine real time stock levels (tonnes and grade) and indicate shipment quality compliance with product specification requirements. Where necessary, products can be blended or bulk sorted to improve shipment quality for each customer.

The combination of accurate, continuous microwave moisture measurements with elemental data allows dry weight percent of each element to be reported in real time. Real time analysis allows mines to optimize processing operations. Detailed studies continue to be undertaken to help processing operations identify further improvement opportunities, eg. ore hardness through silica measurement to control grinding circuit feed rate and ore blend.

Scantech’s core business is the development, supply and support of on-belt analyzers for the resources sector, world- wide. Scantech first supplied this technology to the coal sector in the early 1980s and has now developed analysers for the cement, minerals, power and steel sectors. More than 1,000 analysers designed and built in Australia have been sold in 55 countries. Customer service and product support is enhanced through remote access capabilities for all current models and experienced staff located in major regional locations. As a specialized supplier Scantech is able to customize analyser solutions, including application specific calibrations and support programs including site training and radiation services.

Scantech is a world leader in on-belt analysers for conveyed bulk materials, particularly in the minerals sector with applications and years of proven operational performance in a wide range of commodities such as iron ore, manganese, copper, zinc-lead and phosphate rock. Use Scantech’s experience to your advantage.


New metals & minerals laboratory for Alex Stewart International Corporation

Celebrating its 35th Anniversary in 2013, Alex Stewart International announced the expansion of its new metal and mineral laboratory facilities at Sefton Business Park, Liverpool

“We have trebled our capacity and improved performance potential by investing in modern infrastructure, state of the art instrumentation and by recruiting additional experienced chemists.” said Mr Alex Stewart, Chief Executive Officer, Alex Stewart International Corporation.

“We will continue to improve on all service aspects and are committed to offer all customers a first class, quality inspection and analytical service.”