Phola Coal Mine

Client: BHP Billiton and Anglo Coal 
Location: South Africa
Value: USD$ 100 million
Scope: Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management

Phola Coal, a 50/50 joint venture between, Anglo American Coal (AAC)  and BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa (BECSA) called for the design  and construction of a 16 Mtpa coal processing plant. DRA Global was  awarded the US$100 million Phola Coal project, the largest coal washing  facility in South Africa. This followed a successful study of the engineering  design, procurement, project management, construction management and  commissioning of the project. Minopex supported the commissioning of the Phola project and has operated and maintained this facility since it was completed in 2010.

At that time, the two module 2 360 t/h plant incorporated possibly the largest  modular throughput capacity sections in the world at 1 180 t/h each. DRA Global achieved this by splitting the 50 x 0,63 mm raw coal dense-media  separator (DMS) section feed into coarse and small coal fractions, which were  processed in parallel through separate low-density sections to make a 27,5  MJ/kg export product.

The plant also used standard DMS technology incorporating the largest size  of screens and dense medium cyclones, then available in South Africa. All the  process equipment was locally manufactured.

The Phola coal beneficiation plant is situated in an environmentally sensitive  area, the presence of a slimes dam was prohibited. This meant that slimes had to be filtered, but with the benefit that they can be added directly to the  Eskom product if the filter cake quality was sufficient. This resulted in the  installation of one of the largest filter press plants in the coal preparation  world, designed to treat up to 190 t/h of raw coal slimes.