“You only have to do a few things right in your life, so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.” – Warren Buffett
TAM Alloys (Pty) Ltd is a subsidiary of TAM HOLDINGS Limited and was incorporated to beneficiate the more than 21 Million Tons of FeTiV (Iron, Titanium, Vanadium) Tailings in eMalahleni (Witbank) South Africa. With a mineral composition of 54% Fe, 12,5% TiO2, 0,46% V2O5 TAM Alloys has the potential to beneficiate and liberate a substantial annual value of the following quality products:
- Iron Oxide
- Titanium Dioxide
- Vanadium Pentoxide
TAM Alloys has done extensive research on the beneficiation processes and methodologies to extract the mineral elements from its resources. During these processes a number of disciplines were researched, including Pyro & Hydro Metallurgy solutions. The most attractive and cost efficient solution for mineral extraction is a combination of Bio-Leaching & Hydrometallurgy and TAM is in the process of finalising its extraction processes and pilot projects.
Aerial view of the stockpile comprising in excess of 40ha
Utilisation of resource
TAM’s laboratory tests and leaching trials have shown that of the 0,46% V2O5 content in the 21Mt Calcine resource, up to 30% of the V2O5 is soluble and we have proven this through the TAMBIO leaching process. (In other words more than 25,000 tons V2O5 can be leached successfully.
Using the TAMBIO process (patented biological leaching process, using micro-organisms) in a first phase strategy of the extraction projects, is a green process and puts a premium on the Vanadium products produced in a green environmental friendly process.
Mr. Gideo van der Merwe (Inventor & Founder) has also developed a patent called Climaworx-CC&S (Carbon Capturing & Sequestration process) and everything planned by TAM is governed by doing so in a greener more environmentally friendly manner with the least effect to our environments.
Technical Processes developed and secured by TAM:
TAM (Technology And Minerals) has developed and licensed its own chemical processes
- TAMBIO (Technology and Minerals Bio-leaching process);
- TAMVAN (Technology and Minerals Vanadium Pentoxide process);
- TAMCHEM (Technology and Minerals Chemical extraction process);
- TAMGIT (Technology and Minerals Green Iron Technology licensed).
The processes have been custom developed to extract the minerals in the stockpiles with bio-leaching and hydrometallurgical processes, with a number of specialist engineers employed and contracted by TAM.
TAM is in process of finalising its Front End Engineering Designs (FEED) for its first pilot projects for construction and implementation – September to November 2020. These pilot projects are being launched under the auspices of research and development, to not trigger EIA permutation processes.
The pilot projects will not only prove commercial viability and proof of concept, but also has the environmental benefit of disposing of the mineral resources (stockpiles) at Highveld.
- The TAMBIO process is a bioleaching process developed and patented by Mr. Gideo van der Merwe. The TAMBIO process uses special microbial leaching technology & solutions in a wash plant process to extract the soluble Vanadium in the resources and is a cheap extraction process, while
- The TAMVAN process will start by utilising the Vanadium enriched water located on the resource in extent of 2,000,000 m3
- The pilot projects will be phased and implemented to demonstrate the commercial viability of extracting minerals from the resources and support the strategic funding processes.
Table 1: 21Mt resource statement
Metal Content (t)
7 187 555
18 710 919
1 122 922
2 905 384
8 310 477
21 616 303
Table 2: Chemical composition of this stockpile
2 426 806
2 803 634
14 441 087
2 242 375
16 683 463
10 100 541
1 568 386
11 668 927
18 710 919
2 905 384
21 648 727
Perfectly located in the heart of South Africa's mining belt
TAM’s operations and resources are located at the world famous HIGHVELD Steel & Vanadium facility in South Africa. Once the largest producer of Vanadium in the world, this facility (recently converted to an industrial park) offers excellent infrastructure and services hard to replicate.
Vanadium - a strategic resource
Wattjoule (TAM Strategic Partner) is a registered manufacturer with Vanitec
Location, productivity and efficiency
The decision to base TAM at the Highveld Industrial Park (Old Highveld Steel & Vanadium) is a logic decision for a host of reasons, not to mention the abundant infrastructure already in place and available. Highveld Steel (as part of its business rescue & restructuring) has converted its business model into that of a landlord offering industrial companies, such as TAM the opportunity to rent quality infrastructure which alternatively would cost the company millions of rand to replicate elsewhere. Hence, TAM opted to make use of the mega infrastructure available at Highveld which not only saves us a great deal of time and capital, however, also assists Highveld in recovering capital for its beneficiaries.
As electricity supply remains an important aspect of any industrial business, it was important to select the best available location for our business with access to sufficient electricity supply. Once again the Highveld choice was a logic choice as it has abundant electricity supply on site due to all the historical uses Highveld had in its hey day. The Highveld Team has also negotiated favourable rates from Eskom for the Park and its users as this was fundamental to converting the park into a successful industrial node.
As the historic giant steel mill and furnaces needed a lot of water supply, the Park has ample water supply and its own dedicated water pipeline direct from the Witbank dam, offering tenants sufficient water supply for their needs.
There is also a direct gas pipeline from SASOL to Highveld, which is a significant benefit as one can opt for new technology solutions in furnaces, where gas and carbon can be used as the primary energy source instead of electricity.
Highveld further hosts both Afrox and Air Liquide as tenants which manufacture “oxygen”. Approximately 500 tons of oxygen per day is available on premises.
Highveld Steel used to employ a workforce in excess of 1600 trained people, most of which have lost their jobs, due to Highveld going into business rescue. This provides companies such as TAM a unique opportunity to find trained staff as their isn’t much other industrial businesses of this size in eMalahleni, who can employ these people. Once again TAM’s decision to invest in this node is considered important as we can make a substantial difference in the area as employers.
To start any mining or even mineral beneficiation business from a new site, requires extensive EIA’s before any business can even be conducted. The choice of Highveld as a locations, makes strategic sense, saves time and money as Highveld has a significant EIA Scope already in place and TAM will position its operations within the framework of the existing permits where possible, even though certain processes may require additional permitting.