The Trekkopje Uranium Mine is located in Western Namibia, approximately 65 kilometres northeast of Swakopmund. Trekkopje has one of the largest resources of Uranium in Namibia, and the Trekkopje Mine is the tenth largest mine in the world.
Heavy equipment is commonplace in the mine, which uses conventional methods such as scraping, drilling, blasting, loading and hauling of the ore to the treatment plant. Wheel loaders, haul trucks and large hydraulic excavators and shovels with the capacity to move 60,000 tonnes per day are used to carry out mining activities.
The mine was envisioned as a composite of numerous structures including a crushing plant, a screening plant, an agglomeration plant, concrete silos, and associated buildings.
The engineering firm associated with the project, Bateman Engineering, specified Hard-Cem as the mine’s concrete hardening technology for the Primary Feed Silo and the Agglomeration Feed Silo. Hard-Cem was also specified in the concrete mix for the large uranium ore storage silos which are 30 metres high and 17 metres wide, with walls 0.3 metres thick.
Having proven its worth in demanding environments where durability is key, Hard-Cem was the ideal, no-risk concrete hardening solution for this project. Moreover, Hard-Cem’s integral quality uniquely qualifies it to be incorporated into vertical applications where traditional hardeners cannot work.
Since Hard-Cem is engineered to extend the service life of concrete up to 6x, it will have a significant positive impact on the lifespan of the silos. The durability of Hard-Cem will allow the mine to stay in operation longer and this will significanly delay inevitable repair that could take storage structures out of service for prolonged periods. By improving its abrasion resistance, Hard-Cem will also help improve the structural safety of the mine.