Kropz’s Elandsfontein project on track for commissioning


Kropz said significant progress continues to be made on its Ellandsfontein phosphate project in South Africa.

The project schedule, according to the company, remains tight but on track and within the initial investment budget slated for commissioning in December 2021, achievements made in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first exports of phosphate rock ore from Ellandsfontein are expected in 1Q22.

At Kropz’s Hinda phosphate project in the Republic of Congo, Hatch is currently engaged in a value engineering phase to optimize the economics of the project. The results of an updated feasibility study are expected to be published in January 2022.

The activities of the Ellandsfontein site are currently divided between the finalization of the installation of the piping and the activities of electrical installation, control and instrumentation and early commissioning.

The earthworks and civil engineering works have been completed; the fabrication and erection of the metal framework, sheet metal and piping is complete and the mechanical equipment is installed.

The pre-commissioning (C2) activities are progressing well. The C2 activities largely consist of testing signals from field instrumentation to the SCADA operating system, testing input / output signals for instruments, and testing the direction of electrical drives.

C3 (or cold) commissioning has started in areas where installation is complete. Several tanks and thickeners were filled with water to complete the leak detection process, before starting to pump water through the circuit.

Transnet provided the company with a draft port access agreement to support the long-term export of phosphate rock from Ellandsfontein through the port of Saldanha. The contract is currently being finalized between the parties. Exports via Cape Town will only be required for a maximum of 30% of Ellandsfontein’s export production of around 1 million tpa, and only if capacity via Saldanha is not available for a period of time.

The potential current and future effects of COVID-19 and the possibility of a fourth wave of infections in South Africa remain a risk to the project schedule.

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