Specialised milling and base minerals processor African Pegmatite uses its 50 years of experience in milling and grinding to meet customer requirements while mitigating various industry challenges using creative solutions and its honed milling knowledge.
The company prepares minerals that cannot be used in raw form to meet industrial requirements, processing them into smaller sizes, and can mill minerals as fine as 98% passing 45 μm. The minerals can then be used in the ceramic, pigment, glass, water, agriculture, refractory, and foundry industries, or others requiring mineral processing and finer products for its process.
African Pegmatite identified the need for specialised milling, owing to the difficulty miners, specifically juniors, and industries experience when processing the milling of minerals in large tonnages.
Specialised milling requires heavy machinery, specialised knowledge, the correct equipment and years of experience to deliver the required volumes on a regular basis, says African Pegmatite CEO Andrew Wenger.
The company specialises in milling dark material, such as carbons, irons, chromes, slags and manganese, down to size.
“We process these on a monthly basis in large volumes and have specialised in-house-designed classification systems that enable us to process these materials down to fine particles,” says Wenger.
The company is producing more than 70 000 t/y at its facilities, and has the capacity to process an additional 20 000 t/y. It exports to 44 countries.
African Pegmatite has an array of mills – ranging from ball, hammer and roller mills to attritor mills – and a variety of machines such as crushers, rollers, screening decks, shakers, impact crushers and specialised classification systems, as well as drying and calcining plants.
As the industry continues to evolve and develop technologically, African Pegmatite aims to adapt while ensuring that it maintains open relationships with customers.
“We like to take a journey with our customers and build our relationships, strengthening and expanding them in time,” says Wenger.
Although the company does encounter challenges, such as foreign exchange fluctuations, commodities pricing, the global shipping crisis and Covid-related impacts, its proactive team embraces these challenges as opportunities to explore creative solutions that result in company growth, he explains.
Through its experience and creative solutions focus, African Pegmatite has a strong understanding of efficient and effective milling processes, techniques and problem mitigation.
Wenger says the specialised processing that African Pegmatite provides involves significant wear and tear on processing-equipment parts and expensive machinery, in addition to high electricity costs.
As each material is different, the equipment requirements of each machine are always refined to deliver the optimal performance and mitigate periods of downtime.
Wenger explains that a good preventive maintenance system is essential in keeping such high wearing equipment in good working order. As the milling process is heavily abrasive in nature, reliability through understanding the machinery and the product is pivotal.
African Pegmatite ensures continual refinement of its machines by implementing better technologies to deliver higher performance at its facility in Meyerton, Gauteng.
To mitigate equipment disruptions, African Pegmatite’s dedicated maintenance team constantly maintains and improves the machines to prevent them from having unplanned shutdowns. This ensures that its client base is not significantly affected.
A significant challenge in the minerals processing sector is taking steps towards securing sustainable electricity for its machinery.
In response, in pursuing more sustainable sources of electricity and reducing the impact of load-shedding, as well as its reliance on the grid, African Pegmatite has implemented two solar power projects at its plants. The company aims to install two additional solar power plants over the next two to three years.
“We are proud to be implementing these measures as one of the few mineral milling companies globally to achieve this great accomplishment,” concludes Wenger.