The extraction and processing of minerals, situated within the wider mining industry, is a fast-evolving sector in South Africa. At the forefront of such mining expertise is Johannesburg-based Appropriate Process Technologies (APT). We spoke to the company about the significance of mineral processing and the highly advanced capabilities of the mining giants, as they diligently handle fluctuations in the mining industry.
APT is proud to be an A to Z provider of mineral processing services to the mining industry, encompassing both small and medium-to-large scale mineral processing equipment. Their extensive repertoire of projects facilitates highly coherent solutions for alluvial, eluvial, hard rock, tailings and a combination of feed types. Consequently, APT work hard to recover a range of different minerals and metals. Although their operations stem across international borders, they have recently been focusing on African exploration and restoration. Most pointedly, their equipment and services have been utilised in environments and mining conditions that would prove difficult for most. And yet, due to the advanced efficiency and durability of their equipment, the company rises to the challenge.
When speaking to Lisa Peacocke, the founder of APT, it is interesting to hear the inner details of their mineral processing solutions, demonstrating a certain attentiveness in their method:
“We work with our associate laboratory, Peacocke and Simpson, to establish the best method to extract the desired mineral, such as tin or gold etc. Subsequently, APT’s engineers design the flowsheet to achieve the desired result. Next comes the building of the components and the plant, mostly in our own 5000 square metre factory. Finally, the plant is installed on site and commissioned, all by APT. This service is offered for virtually any mineral and the plants come in a variety of sizes from artisanal size at 3 tph through to 100 tph.”
APT has obtained a diverse set of clients over the years, ranging from small-scale individual artisanals, to middle-size operators and large-scale listed companies. This demonstrates flexibility in their services, as well as a willingness to deliver any requirements to the utmost efficiency. A spectrum of processes is covered by APT, including but not limited to, gravity concentration, flotation, and cyanidation.
It is widely understood that mining is in a constant state of fluctuation, especially for strategic energy minerals like lithium and graphite. Particularly in the smallest sectors, gold is a particular target, as they are witnessing an increase in demand. Despite the buoyancy of the industry, APT are “first and foremost, professional minerals processing engineers who understand all of the technical aspects. We design our products to be at the leading edge and through our associate testwork laboratory, we constantly improve our offerings and incorporate the latest technologies as appropriate. Our A to Z approach means that we can offer a solution with confidence.”
APT’s committed team comprises approximately 40 people, including professionally degreed engineers. As part of their wide range of services, all the training of their employees is conducted in-house, with some cadets attending university programs or specialised training which is fully funded by APT. Furthermore, APT make a conscious effort to promote from within to ensure the growth of their team. APT is also giving back to its local community, going so far as to assist some of their employees in housing and wider facilities for the community.
Additionally, APT also have many CSR projects which they work hard to deliver on. Namely, they have developed mercury-free processing equipment that is being rolled out worldwide. It is great to witness these changes being implemented, particularly since mercury is a major issue primarily in the artisanal sector, therefore having the ability to offer an effective alternative is a huge step forward. When speaking to Kevin, he emphasised the success of the APT GoldKacha Concentrator in particular, as it “allows operators to recover gold without the use of mercury and goes a step further in that it also remediates mercury contaminated areas, usually recovering significant quantities of gold in the process.”
APT has a lot of ambitious projects in the pipeline as they continue to strive for growth and excellence. Most significantly, APT looks forward to the installation of a large gold plant in West Africa, as well as the installation and commissioning of a zero-emissions gold plant in Ethiopia, and further expansion into Zimbabwe. In regard to projects, APT is expanding its portfolio with the small-scale crushers JC25 and the JC50, alongside a new Gold Grader concentrates upgrader that further advances their high-quality capability in mineral solutions.
Overall, it was a delight to talk to APT as it pioneers the South African mining industry, through the delivery of state-of-the-art mineral solutions, from small-scale to large-mineral projects. We look forward to hearing how the company continues to accelerate in both locations and projects.