UK plc around the world

Materials World magazine
12 Jun 2014

Academic, financial and technical expertise are all highlighted in UKTI’s recent report, Delivering Global Mining Solutions, which reviews the role played by UK companies in the global mining sector. Rhiannon Garth Jones takes a look at some of the most exciting projects.  


Al Jalamid, Saudi Arabia

Kier Construction is a partner in the company operating the Al Jalamid phosphate deposit for Ma’aden, the Saudi Arabian state-owned mining and mineral holding company. It is the first major opencast mining project in Saudi Arabia and has reserves in excess of 300Mt, with a production output of 12Mt of phosphate per year. The mine covers 33km2 and is located 1,500km from the nearest industrial centres.


Wardell Armstrong International conducted a sectoral environmental and social assessment of the solid minerals sector in Nigeria, for the World Bank. The institutional capacity and capabilities of the ministry were evaluated, as well as the impacts of increasing the solid minerals sector. Strategic priorities for the future studies, mitigation works, and possible definitions of environmental and social management plans were among the recommendations made.


Seeking a diversified export portfolio, the Chilean Government asked BHP Billiton Plc to develop a cluster programme that would build a sustainable economic model for its mining legacy. So far, 60 participants have signed up to learn specialised technology and knowledge intensive mining services, supplying multinational natural resource companies on a global basis. The final target is 250 participants.  

Kwale Mineral Sands, Kenya
Law firm Mayer Brown advised Australianbased mining company Base Resources on financing its Kenyan titanium mining project, Kwale Mineral Sands, negotiating with the Kenyan Government in doing so. The project will be Kenya’s first large-scale mine and its output is expected to include 330,000t of ilmenite, representing around 10% of the world’s supply, as well as 80,000t of rutile, nearly 14% of global output.  

Red Rock Resources converted a greenfield exploration project to a resource within two years, conducting exploration-scale mapping and sampling in an area only accessible to field activities during a three-month window in the summer. An accompanying airborne geophysical survey and post-season geochemical analysis identified targets for future drill seasons, which then became the subject of a maiden drill programme in 2011.

Black Fox Mill, Canada

GBM Minerals Engineering Consultants designed, constructed and managed the expansion of capacity at the Black Fox Mill Complex gold processing plant to 2,000t per day, with minimal downtime. The plant’s crushing, milling and classification stages were upgraded, as were the leaching, carbon-in-pulp/carbon-in-leach and elution processes, as well as the plant’s utilities, reagents supply and tailings processing system.  

Estima Coal Mine, Mozambique
Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation is developing the Estima Coal Mine, one of the licenses at the Zambezi River coal reserves. So far, the development has required geological interpretation and resource assessment, geotechnical and hydrogeological appraisal, mine design and scheduling, analysis for coal preparation and handling, environmental assessments, infrastructure designs and financial studies. A custom geological model used as a basis for mine design, planning and scheduling estimated that the mine could produce 5Mt per annum by Q3 2015 and 25Mt by 2020.  


Mayer Brown has been retained by the Government of Afghanistan to increase international investment in the country’s minerals sector. A transparent process that relies on internationally recognised business practices must be designed and implemented, in addition to the development of a legislative and regulatory framework.  

Atkins – UAE Holistic Plan To 2030

The Ministry of Public Works for the UAE has commissioned Atkins to create a holistic plan, identifying the region’s development requirements to 2030. The plan will need to integrate urban, rural and natural resource extraction, alongside the aspirations of each of the seven Emirates. It will also need to identify necessary public services and transport links.