12/10/2004 - 22:00

HBH Consultants joins the push into Africa

12/10/2004 - 22:00

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HBH Consultants has been awarded its largest international contract in South Africa, adding to the amount of work Perth-based engineering consultants are winning in the African mining industry.

HBH Consultants joins the push into Africa

HBH Consultants has been awarded its largest international contract in South Africa, adding to the amount of work Perth-based engineering consultants are winning in the African mining industry.

Lycopodium and GRD Minproc are among other Perth engineering firms working on major mining projects in Africa.

The new HBH contract is for the design of a 6 million tonnes a year wet concentrator for Ticor’s Fairbreeze mineral sands project.

It will design the plant in its Perth office and support the construction and commissioning by posting staff to South Africa.

Like other consulting engineers, HBH has substantially increased staff numbers to manage the current volume of work.

It presently has 70 staff, more than double the number it had last year, with clients including Ticor subsidiary Tiwest, Iluka Resources, Alcoa and Minara Resources.

Lycopodium has also enjoyed rapid growth and presently has nearly 300 staff in WA and Africa.

Its latest big win was an engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract for Newmont’s $500 million Ahafo gold project

in Ghana.

Lycopodium was already working on two other gold projects in Ghana and a copper/gold project in the Philippines.

GRD Minproc, an arm of listed company GRD, was recently awarded a major new EPCM contract in Ghana, for Golden Star Resources’ Bogoso

gold project.

This follows its work on a major copper project in Zambia.

As well as winning work in Africa, Lycopodium and GRD Minproc recently worked together on Newcrest’s giant Telfer gold project in the Pilbara.

The contracts being won by local businesses in Africa reflect the world-class expertise in WA’s mining services industry.

HBH has previously designed the processing plant for several mineral sands projects in Australia, including the plant at Tiwest’s Cooljarloo mine north of Perth.

The planned Fairbreeze plant, like the Cooljarloo plant, will be designed so that it can be relocated after several years of operation.

HBH principal Peter Broadbent said his firm was proud to have won the project against international competition.

“Winning the Fairbreeze project indicates that HBH is now recognised internationally for its contributions to the mineral sands industry,” he told WA Business News.

Development of the Fairbreeze mine marks the latest step in the expansion of Ticor’s 40 per cent owned South African operations.

It already operates a mine and processing facility and is currently building a smelter.

The main shareholder in the South African operations is Kumba Resources, which is also the majority shareholder in Ticor.

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