Complex Ulco quarry relocation paves AfriSam’s cement future

Published 19 March 2024

To guarantee its future, AfriSam has relocated the quarry of its Ulco plant in Northern Cape, South Africa. However, the project proved demanding on several fronts with technical and infrastructural issues requiring innovative design that respected pre-existing site conditions and integrated well with the requirements of nearby communities. By Hannes Meyer and Gavin Venter, AfriSam, South Africa.

Located in South Africa’s Northern Cape province, AfriSam’s Ulco plant has a capacity of 4000tpd (© AfriSam)

AfriSam’s integrated Ulco cement factory is located approximately 80km northwest of Kimberley, the capital and largest city of the Northern Cape province. The mining of high-grade secondary limestone reserves began in 1936, when Union Lime produced lime primarily for use by the mining sector. In 1949 the decision was taken to mine the lower-grade limestone reserves for cement and the company built two wet-process kilns and associated cement mills for the cement manufacturing process. Two further kilns were added in 1964 to increase capacity. In 1985 the modern precalciner line 5 was commissioned and the old wet kilns were demolished. Today, the plant has a clinker capacity of over 4000tpd.

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