Nyanza appoints Intertek for quality control on Richard's Bay titanium dioxide plant

8th February 2021 By: Schalk Burger - Creamer Media Senior Contributing Editor

Manufacturing company Nyanza Light Metals has appointed LSE-listed quality assurance provider Intertek as its quality control and assurance partner for its titanium beneficiation project, which is under construction at the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ).

Nyanza is building the R4.5-billion titanium beneficiation plant, which will beneficiate ilmenite and titanium slag to produce titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigment, which an important ingredient in the manufacturing of paint and industrial coatings. The appointment is in pursuit of Nyanza’s mission to produce world-class quality TiO2 pigments, says Nyanza CE Donovan Chimhandamba.

The partnership will see Intertek manage Nyanza’s laboratories and deliver process and product quality control and assurance across the entire operations and the appointment marks another critical milestone in the company’s mission to support the country’s beneficiation agenda, he adds.

“Quality control and assurance are of paramount importance. The project is a true African mineral beneficiation story, as South Africa moves from exporting unprocessed mineral ores to building value addition industries,” says Chimhandamba.

In 2017, Nyanza appointed Grinaker-LTA to build the first phase of the plant which, according to Chimhandamba, is expected to be commissioned by the last quarter of this year. The rest of the plant will be completed by 2023, he adds.

South Africa imports up to 35 000 t/y of TiO2 valued at over R1.5-billion, while Africa imports more than 150 000 t/y, which is valued at close to R7-billion. With the projected production of 80 000 t/y of TiO2, Nyanza will become Africa’s first titanium mineral beneficiation plant in Africa, support the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement to promote trade on the continent and provide paint manufacturers a secure supply.

Nyanza will create 1 200 jobs during the construction phase and 550 direct permanent jobs, once the plant is fully commissioned. Intertek will take over the quality control and assurance processes when the first phase of the plant is commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2021.

"Intertek is proud and honoured to collaborate with Nyanza on this exciting ground-breaking project, which will positively impact the South African economy, as well as the local communities," says Intertek sub-Saharan Africa MD Jérémy Gaspard.