Mining Mirror April 2018 | Page 36

Cradle to grave

Venetia runs on Candy

The De Beers Group started excavation work on an underground extension to its Venetia Mine in South Africa in 2013 . The new development is expected to extend the life of the mine to 2046 and deliver about 96 million carats in diamonds .

The USD2.1-billion project is the biggest investment in the South African diamond mining industry in decades and is expected to be in full production in 2025 . Around 1 500 jobs have already been created in construction . The company currently operates an opencast mine employing 3 731 staff , of whom 1 411 are DBCM employees and 2 320 are full-time contractors providing specific services and skills . The underground project will include employees who transfer from the open pit to the underground mining systems , while the future mine will use the current plant to process ore .
A project of this scope requires experienced and reliable partners , and De Beers assigned the quantity surveying and contract management to Professional Cost Consultants ( PCC ), with Murray & Roberts Cementation as the contractor . Similarly , a multi-year endeavour like this requires tight control of costs and all the equipment , parts , and labour required through the various phases of the project . To accomplish these goals , organisations need a reliable and proven project management platform able to effectively and transparently deal with every aspect of the project and provide in-depth reports . For the Venetia project , the Candy estimating and project control software from CCS Mining & Industrial ( CCSMI ) was chosen . CCSMI is a distributor of Candy to the mining industry and a part of the EOH group of companies . The software is a multi-faceted , all-inclusive project control solution , which caters for different scenarios and industries . It is also able to integrate and exchange data with a host of common business applications .
Joe de Klerk , managing director at CCSMI , explains that clients use
The underground extensions at De Beers ’ Venetia Mine close to Musina in Limpopo is expected to extend the life of mine to 2046 .
CCSMI ’ s software for the full project life cycle , from the feasibility study through to project estimates , project planning and management , right through to completion . It is a 32-bit Windows application and runs on all modern Windows operating systems , either in stand-alone or networked mode , as well as on Windows Terminal Services and Citrix .
Murray & Roberts Cementation ’ s Allan Widlake says Candy is a “ fantastic estimating tool for large and complicated projects ”, as it contains and controls all aspects of the project , saving all parties involved time and avoiding the frustrating miscommunications one often sees on large projects .
“ Candy is a norm for us ,” says Widlake . “ There is no job that goes out of this office where Candy is not used . What ’ s also nice is that Candy has a good record-keeping facility that records every change that is made . This assists us to understand changes made to estimates over time and to see who was responsible .”
Prenesh Reddy , also with Murray & Roberts Cementation , adds that Candy is a great valuation tool . “ We use it for forecasting revenues ; it is a very accurate and detailed way of getting that done .”
De Beers ’ mining engineer Mervin Smit adds that since all the contractors on the Venetia project were using
Candy , De Beers followed suit to ensure everyone was on the same standardised platform . This made project estimation control much easier . Candy can export and import data from many applications , including MS Excel .
Another benefit , attributed to Candy , is the speed of the application and the detailed data one can extract from the platform for interrogation and analysis .
Detail and transparency were the selling point for PCC , says PCC associate Kyle Kemp . As the contract manager , PCC needed a system that offered seamless integration and speedy access to relevant information to ensure everything was on track . Candy is a repository of all project-related information and the designers made it simple to access whatever information is required .
Time savings are also impressive in Candy . “ We used to spend twice as long checking information as compared to measuring it before we used Candy . Now these times are reversed , and PCC is able to spend more time servicing the client constructively rather than checking information .”
Another benefit of Candy is that it saves you time , which translates into cost savings at the end of the day . Reddy says that because the Venetia project is so complex , there are four subprojects in JD Edwards , which is Murray & Roberts ’