Celebrating 100 Years of Service

Key equipment supplier, Takraf Africa, enters 2019 celebrating a century of service to the African market.

As it marks 100 years since the founder of the Takraf Africa heritage, Edward L. Bateman, assumed control of the Allis-Chalmers agency in South Africa, Takraf Africa attributes its continuing success to a comprehensive and evolving product and service offering that is ideally suited to the harsh African conditions and the operational realities that local mining operations face.

“Our in-house expertise covering the entire process chain is supported by tried and tested business processes tailored to the needs of small to mega projects,” says Takraf Africa General Manager –

Technologies, Richard Späth. “Our commitment to innovation has meant that, while we offer the best of global technologies, we have tailored them to operate efficiently in local conditions, as well as having developed products specifically for the African market. This has enabled us to continuously advance our technology offering and remain ahead of the curve.”

Pit to Port

With a century of innovation and technology acquisition behind it, Takraf Africa is one of the few materials handling specialists that services the natural resources industry over the entire process chain, literally from pit to port.

“Takraf systems range from heavy duty feeders to technology to convey, stack and reclaim, all of which are designed with state-of-the art materials and flow technology to optimise mass flow behaviour and eliminate blockages,” explains Richard.

“For outloading at rail and port terminals, the company has supplied the largest number of rapid train loading systems in South Africa, while the global Takraf’s port handling equipment, including ship loaders and unloaders, is to be found at terminals all over the world. In Africa, for example, a 10 000 tph shiploader has been installed at the Port of Nouadhibou in Mauritania.

“With increasing pressure to reduce environmental impact, Takraf Africa also supplies a comprehensive range of pollution control technology for its materials handling systems, including dust suppression systems, dynamic scrubbers and reverse jet bag filters, cleaning the air over the entire process chain.”

Flagship projects

Takraf Africa’s materials handling reference list has, over the decades, consistently featured many of sub-Saharan Africa’s flagship projects, and has meant that it has worked with almost every coal producer in Southern Africa.

“Projects over the past century include Sasol II in the 1970s, one of the biggest coal handling systems in the world at the time, and Zimbabwe’s Zisco project of the 1990s, featuring the longest single flight conveyor system at the time,” says Richard. More recently, over the past decade, projects have included Sasol Mining’s Tweedraai expansion, in which Takraf Africa incorporated optimised steel structures and designs utilising advanced technologies developed in-house, and the Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) Phase V Expansion, where the conveyor scope included provision of a new and the extension of existing conveyors to a total of 36 km long. The then BHP Billiton’s Douglas Middelburg Optimization (DMO) project, now DMO South32, involved a total of 27 conveyors being provided, of which five were overland, with the longest being 7 km.

Ahead of schedule

Currently, Takraf Africa is well advanced on the supply of a tippler for a major iron ore project in South Africa. The Dual Wagon tippler offers unloading rates in excess of 100 wagons per hour and has the ability to tip two wagons simultaneously.

The company is also making good progress on a fast track conveyor project for a coal-fired power station’s tippler extraction system, while the Eskom Kusile project is progressing ahead of schedule.

The combined project scope of the Kusile packages covers the stockyard and limestone and terrace handling systems, as well as the coal truck offloading system.

“While Takraf Africa has long been established as a leading materials handling specialist in sub-Saharan Africa, the company is now working increasingly across the African continent,” adds Richard. “For example, a recent project involved the supply of conveyors for a gold project in the Republic of Guinea, where the global Takraf group is also currently involved in a major tippler project.”


Takraf Africa’s commitment to innovation has resulted in a number of technological breakthroughs from extended carryside and return idler spacing, which are now standard to its conveyor designs, to the first fully enclosed stockpile designed for Skorpion Zinc in Namibia.

The first rapid rail load-out station in Africa was supplied by Takraf Africa in the 1970s, and, since then, Takraf Africa’s track record includes load-out stations for the manganese, iron ore and coal sectors.

A second rapid rail load out station has recently been supplied to a coal project in Mozambique, while Takraf load-out station technology is currently being applied in a clinker loading contract.

“Since joining the Takraf group, we have access to technology developments of the global group. In

Chile for example, Takraf’s innovative belt conveyor technology is being applied in a 10 000 tph ore transportation system at a massive underground mining complex in order to overcome a number of technical challenges, such as significant elevation change from the underground mine to the surface.

The conveyor system features advanced gearless drive technology, with the uphill tunnel conveyors boasting the highest drive power ever to be installed on a belt conveyor.”

Total product lifecycle support

With references stretching back well into the last century, much of the company’s order book is repeat business from clients such as Sasol, Eskom and RBCT.

“Such longevity means that we will be around to support our clients’ installations over their complete product lifecycle, whether they’re just around the corner in Mpumalanga or far to the north of Africa,” says Richard. “For example, we recently supplied a top and bottom shell for a 60/109 primary gyratory crusher supplied to a mine in the Northern Cape over 40 years ago.”

Takraf Africa’s strategy over the past century has been to bring support as close to its customers as possible, providing services from spares supply to refurbishments of machines to restore or upgrade their original capability at a fraction of the cost of a new unit.

“For example, refurbishment of a Takraf Bucket Wheel Reclaimer installed some years ago on an iron mine in the Northern Cape required change out of the old bucket wheel and shaft with a new design bucket wheel. Other recent major projects have included the refurbishment of an Apron Feeder at one of the larger mines in the Mpumalanga area and the refurbishment of a rapid train load-out system for a Mpumalanga coal producer,” Richard concludes.

Takraf Africa

Richard Späth

Tel: (011) 201-2300

Email: richard.spath@tenova.com