South Africa’s Nkomati Nickel Mine gets new pipeline

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TDS Projects Construction Company has just completed the construction of a 13km pipeline at Nkomati Nickel mine, 300 km east of Johannesburg, for the purpose of pumping slurry. The construction contract  for the pipeline was awarded towards the end of 2017.

The constructed pipeline will connect to the cross valley tailings storage facility at Nkomati’s Onverwacht site. The Nkomati Nickel mine, situated 300km east of Johannesburg, has one of the largest nickel reserves in South Africa, with estimated reserves of approximately 408.6 Mt of ore grading containing an approximate 1.35 Mt of nickel metal.

TDS Projects Construction was contracted by Robor Pipe Systems. According to TDS operations director, Willie Pieters, the two firms frequently collaborate on pipeline projects. He further added that the firm chose to work with TDS owing to the competitive nature of the project as well as past working experience.

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The pipeline will consist of a 13 km-long 400 mm pipe column, with the highest and lowest points reaching 1468 m and 1200 m above sea level respectively. Moreover, the pipe column design was drawn up to be suitable for pumping slurry at a pressure of 64 bar.

According to Pieters, pipeline installations of this magnitude are common in the industry. He was also quick to add that this particular project clearly exhibited Robor’s unique hallmarks as they have supplied several of these pipe columns before.

Pieters further added that TDS Projects Construction is confident in its capability to complete the project on time and to the highest levels of quality. The completion of the installation, he said, just goes to prove the firm’s level of expertise since only a few contractors are able to take up an installation of similar magnitude.  As such, their track record goes on unquestioned with their competitiveness in the market unraveled.