Newly-appointed plant manager William Lilly tells Engineering News that the company was founded by Consol to supply sand to its glass factory in Bellville.
Today it mines more than 100 000 t of sand a year and has 50 employees.
CIM supplies about 75% of its pro-duct to Consol Glass but the market has grown beyond internal supply and CIM also produces special-appli- cation silica sands for five other types of external markets.
Its latest product is horticultural sand that conforms to the USGA specification for green sand.
“This sand is used as an under-layer for the construction of golf course greens and has been used most recently at Pearl Valley, the Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course estate in Franschhoek,” says Lilly.
CIM also produces a range of foundry sands; coarse sandblasting sands for decorative glass, metal components, engineering surfaces, ship maintenance and road marking; sand for adhesives and coatings; and filtration sand for pool filters, industrial filters, water purification plants and agricultural filtration for irrigation systems.
CIM is an SABS ISO 9001:2000-listed company and its on-site laboratory provides a quality-control service by doing in-process grading analysis and finished-goods analyses.
It also checks the clay and iron levels in the silica sand.
The 96 ha mine was initially a surface-mining operation but now the sand, which has been mined to the groundwater table, is being recovered using a dredging process.
Lilly explains that the dredger has a cutter which agitates the sand before it is pumped to the plant, where it is screened to remove the vegetation from the water, and washed then sized hydraulically using a jet-size process. Once dried, the sand is stored in the finished-product silos until it is packaged for bulk delivery to Consol Glass Bellville and the external markets.
Lilly says the plant, which consists mainly of conveyors and pumps, operates in a highly-corrosive envir-onment and most maintenance entails the replacement of parts rather than the repair of parts, explaining why a great deal of the more corrosive-resistant 3CR12 is used in its construction.
New developments at the mine over the last couple of years included new monitoring equipment, which has been installed to screen fuel usage and production rates.
The company has also initiated mini-business teams.
Each team is allocated a budget and a meeting room where they can share information and solve problems and where a record of each team member’s monthly performance, overtime and attendance is kept.