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Brand identity change aligns Delkor with Tenova's mining business model.

Delkor, an industry specialist in solid/liquid separation and mineral processing applications, has changed its brand identity to Tenova Delkor. Delkor was acquired in April 2012 by Italian company Tenova SPA., thereby becoming part of Tenova Mining & Minerals.

Delkor has, for more than three decades, been an industry specialist in solid/liquid separation and mineral processing applications for the minerals, chemical and industrial markets. Offering comminution, flotation, sedimentation, filtration, screening and gravity separation systems, Delkor's services range from testwork, process trade-offs and flowsheet design, to installation, commissioning and aftermarket support.

Tenova Mining & Minerals is an integrated solutions provider to the global mining, bulk materials handling and minerals beneficiation and processing sectors, offering innovative technological solutions and full process and commodity knowledge across the mining industry value chain. Tenova is a worldwide supplier of advanced technologies, products and engineering services for the iron and steel and mining industries.

The brand identity change to Tenova Delkor, which does not affect the current Delkor market offering, management or people, aligns Delkor with Tenova Mining & Minerals' stated strategic goals of providing innovative technological solutions and full process and commodity knowledge to clients across the mining and minerals value chain. The alignment of the brand, according to the company, further reinforces the ability of Tenova Delkor to provide its clients with innovation-driven advanced technology solutions.

E&MJ spoke to Paolo Argenta, CEO of Tenova Minerals, and David Minson, group managing director of Tenova Delkor, about the brand change and the future for both Tenova Delkor and its parent company, Tenova Mining & Minerals.

* In the current economic environment, with large mining projects being deferred or encountering formidable technical, social and governmental problems, do you feel that the Tenova Mining & Minerals Group is now well-positioned to survive and prosper in the cyclic, up-and-down metals and mining marketplace?

We believe that we are well equipped to ride out the current cycle, and future up- and downturns, and, despite the poor market conditions, we have a healthy order book, which is well diversified geographically and by sector.

Our robustness in the face of these cycles, we believe is in a large part due to our unique set-up, with no equal competitors, when it comes to our combined group offering and capability. Our equipment supply businesses (Tenova TAKRAF, Tenova Bateman Technologies, Tenova Pyromet and Tenova Delkor), have competitors across the globe, as does our EPCM Projects arm (Tenova Bateman). However, Tenova Mining & Minerals cuts across the boundaries as the equipment supply can draw selectively, for our clients, on our inhouse EPCM services to provide solutions across the complete mining and minerals value chain. This, we believe, positions us well for the future, making us better equipped, as Tenova Mining & Minerals, than we would have been, had the group's constituent companies remained operating independently of each other.

In addition, as a niche-player in the mining and minerals industry, we believe that we are increasingly more in demand, as the mining industry is tending to move away from the historical approach of large mining projects that tended to run significantly over budget.

We therefore see a move toward a more "segmented element" structure for major projects, where key elements are sub-contracted under a lump sum, turnkey (LSTK) basis. Large or mega projects are divided into discrete elements, which are subcontracted out on an LSTK basis to individual companies, under the overall management of a main EPCM contractor. For example, this could include separate companies, each working individually on prestripping, infrastructure, process plant, etc., operating on an LSTK basis, with total responsibility to deliver the complete package for a particular "segmented element."

Whereas large EPCM contractors were having to manage literally hundreds of interfaces with sub-contractors and suppliers, with the "segmented element" approach a contractor only needs to work with some 20 to 30 interfaces, making complex projects much more manageable. This approach is very suited to Tenova Mining & Minerals' capabilities. Our aggregation of companies, proven experts in their specific fields, and our unique source of knowledge, enables us to deliver any of the key elements on an LSTK basis.

Another advantage of Tenova Mining & Minerals that enables us to successfully weather economic downturns is our worldwide network of platforms and resources (22 offices across the globe) that the individual companies did not have access to before. This has resulted in us building on our strengths and internal group synergies of the acquired companies. For example, Tenova TAKRAF previously had access to some 150 people in its Indian office but, with Tenova Bateman and Tenova Delkor now part of the group, the combined Tenova Mining & Minerals presence in India has grown to more than 450.

In South Africa and Russia, key strengths of the former separate companies have also been brought together. Examples of this are Tenova Bateman's track record in the African mining sector and the Russian diamond and nickel industry; Tenova TAKRAF's bulk handling successes in CIS; and Tenova TAKRAF and Tenova Delkor's strength in South America.

We are therefore well positioned to take advantage of opportunities throughout the world.

* In Tenova Delkor's industry sector--mineral processing and solid/liquid separation technology--what are some of the immediate and longerterm technological challenges and issues facing suppliers and EPCM planners?

The challenges faced by our clients are many and diverse; apart from the obvious ones related to mineralogy and falling grades, other challenges could be summarized as site accessibility, water and power supply. Our challenge is to develop and supply equipment that treats more (tons per hour), gives better recovery (water or mineral) with less power draw, that can be pre-built and quickly assembled in remote locations with the minimum of skilled labor, and is easier to maintain.

* What are Tenova Delkor's customers demanding in the framework of evolving products, service and support, and how can Delkor maximize its affiliation with the other Tenova Mining & Minerals groups to meet those client expectations?

Customers today are looking to get the most efficient return on their capital investment. Tenova Mining & Mineral's capability to offer our customers technology solutions across the complete mining and minerals value chain means that we can produce a package where we manage the interfaces inside the plant, providing the client with a cost-effective way of executing their projects. Tenova Delkor's product line is focused on the mineral processing part of the value chain, offering mills, flotation, solid/liquid separation and gravity separation equipment,

As Tenova Delkor is an integral part of a major organization, we have access to its worldwide network of engineering resources and technologies, which can only add value to the services we provide our clients. For example, in South Africa, Tenova TAKRAF's has a very strong aftermarket support team in this region and Tenova Delkor utilizes this infrastructure to bolster our aftermarket service.

* Can you provide an example of an active or pending mineral processing project that will draw intensively on the synergies of the mining group?

In a major project, Tenova TAKRAF and Tenova Bateman Technologies are designing and delivering a copper ore handling/processing system and a solvent extraction (SX)--electro-winning (EW) plant, to produce 80,000 t/y of fine copper cathodes for Minera Antucoya in Chile, part of Antofagasta plc. Tenova TAKRAF is providing an agglomeration plant, an on-off leach pad and a spent-ore handling system, while Tenova Bateman Technologies is supplying the SX plant based on Bateman Settler[TM] technology. Tenova Delkor is providing electrolyte polishing equipment. The combination of biddings for the Minera Antucoya project reflected Tenova Mining & Minerals' strategy looking forward, offering a full range of technologies and engineering services to provide clients with a unique one-stop total solution source across the full mining value chain.

Another example is the mills product line, for which Delkor is acting as the worldwide distributor. These were originally the Bateman mills developed in South Africa. Right now Tenova TAKRAF is completing an order for the supply of a 5.5 m x 2.75 m, hydraulically driven semiautogenous grinding (SAG) mill to Ontario Graphite, operators of the Kearney mine located in Kearney, Ontario, Canada. The Kearney mine is due to begin production in 2013 and will be supported by Tenova Delkor Canada for aftermarket services.

There are also a number of mining studies under way that are sharing expertise and resources from the different parts of Tenova Mining & Minerals. These include a Tenova Delkor copper study in Chile for tailings dewatering, which is a combined effort between the Tenova Delkor team and Tenova TAKRAF, and a second tailings dewatering study, under way in the United States at another copper operation.

However, while we seek to leverage and combine our equipment supply capabilities and our projects expertise in the best interest of our clients, we are acutely sensitive to the need for strict governance in awarding equipment supply contracts when carrying out EPCM work for our clients. Our equipment supply companies are treated on an "arms-length" basis, and with strict governance, on an equal footing with their competitors.

* How did your customers respond to the recent North American client symposium held in Denver? What did you learn from them? Are more of these symposiums being planned, worldwide?

There was very positive feedback to the recent North American client symposium, attended by some 140 participants representing 50 companies, which confirmed the value that the symposium added to our current and potential business relationships.

With the theme of Ground Breaking Developments and Technological Highlights in Ore Mining, Bulk Materials Handling & Processing, the symposium afforded us the opportunity to present and share fresh technologies and to provide new and innovative solutions to current and potential clients. This covered industry leading technologies specific to preparing tailings for dry stacking, conveyors, leach pads and IX&SX-EW solutions, innovative bulk materials handling, tailings reclaiming and processing, and information on our unique strength and ability to successfully execute projects in remote and difficult to access terrains and locations.

Attendees/clients expressed particular interest in pushing conventional design limits as well as anticipated breakthrough innovations.

Similar symposiums are being planned worldwide by Tenova Mining & Minerals, with one in Johannesburg, South Africa, in an advanced stage of planning for later this year.
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Publication:E&MJ - Engineering & Mining Journal
Article Type:Company overview
Geographic Code:4EUIT
Date:Jun 1, 2013
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