Sub-Sahara Mining & Industrial Journal
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CDE virtual symposium highlights how to unlock potential in MEA

The forecast of the silica sand market in KSA, the potential available through use of wash plants and unlocking the value of C&D waste were the focus of the seminars specifically targeted at the MEA region at a recent virtual symposium, held by wet processing technology manufacturers CDE.

“The last decade showed a fluctuation in silica sand consumptions in several industries and reached the lowest level in 2009 due to the global recession. Due to the variety of products and the new or future developments in applications, the long-term forecast of silica sand requires nonconventional methods of production,” commented Hatem Ibrahim, Managing Director at Mineral Processing Engineering & Consulting (MPEC).

On the topic of transforming recycled products, CDE’s Eunan Kelly said, “Todays customers have high expectations of the technology, they want recycled products that are comparable to Virgin materials and that expectation, helps drive that technology forward”.

Engineering Insights

These were standout sessions at CDE’s recent Engineering Insights virtual symposium, which was held online from 18-20th May. The event followed a hugely successful 2020 inaugural conference, responding to a desire for industry professionals to engage in global learning and networking in the absence of international tradeshows and in-person conventions.

To support the continued sharing of insights and facilitating pertinent discussions regarding the global market, CDE once again brought together industry leaders and programmed a series of dynamic and beneficial panel discussions and presentations that covered sectors including sand and aggregates, construction and demolition waste recycling, industrial sands, mining, and wastewater.

Across three days, CDE experts led on the seminars that catered to the company’s global audience.

CDE in Middle East & Africa

At the lead seminar for the MEA region, CDE’s Regional Manager for MEA, Ruchin Garg, and Hatem Ibrahim, Managing Director at Mineral Processing Engineering & Consulting (MPEC), discussed the challenges and opportunities in Saudi Arabia regarding maximizing the silica sand market potential.

Strategically located at the crossroads of three continents – Asia, Africa and Europe – the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s most important commercial and trading hubs and is the largest market in Middle East-North Africa.

During the seminar, they discussed how silica sand is a low-priced product but a primary ingredient for a diversity of products. On the whole, the consumption of silica sand can be measured as indicator to the global economy’s trends and circumstances. As mentioned, it is predicted that demand will in future require alternative methods of production than those currently being utilised.

Ruchin Garg commented, “Most of silica sand deposit are of good quality starting from 80% and above. However, for producers to add value, a beneficiation and processing plant is recommended as to reach high purity Silica sand that can be used in different applications.”

CDE is currently supporting many companies across the Middle East & Africa to realise the hidden value in their operations.

In a panel discussion between Doğan Ozel, Business Development Manager for MEA at CDE, Ruchin Garg and customer Scott Watson, CEO of Kunooz Oman Holding, Watson detailed his experience of venturing into wet processing and the impact CDE products have had in transforming unused waste streams into valuable sand and aggregates.

Watson commented that when working for a previous employer, “Commitment from the CDE Owner Mr Tony Convery and the professionalism of the management team were key in the decision to purchase a wash plant from CDE. Being modular, the plant was easy to install and produced a high-quality sand for inhouse use in Block Manufacture and RMC, thus reducing our dependence on dredged sand. When we moved to another quarry within the group, being modular meant that our plant made that transition also and it is still in operation 22 years after purchase.”

Watson moved to Oman in 2016 to take up position as General Manager of Kunooz Gypsum, followed by becoming Kunooz Oman Group COO in May 2018 and CEO in December 2019.

Here, crushed 0-5 mm sand accounted for 45% of production, and high powder content was limiting sales, resulting in excessive stocks. The company needed to act and offer its customer base the full range and therefore decided to invest in a wash plant. Once again, having reviewed all options, the company made the decision to purchase a CDE plant (Evowash 102 and Thickener) that is producing high quality Wash Sand and Plaster Sand, while the Thickener recovers 90% of water used – hugely important as the use of borehole water is prohibited.

The final session for the MEA market day of the virtual event involved an engaging panel discussion that explored the global, regional and local viewpoint of unlocking the value of C&D waste in MEA. Led by Ruchin Garg of CDE, the panel consisted of Eunan Kelly, CDE Head of Business Development for Northern Europe, Nisrine El Hougeiri, Director of Environment Division at Laceco and Ahmed Taher, General Manager of AL Dhafra Recycling Industries.

The panel discussed the challenges and successes of C&D waste recycling in MEA, as well as what the future looks like and how technology providers, consultants and contractors can help further drive and raise greater awareness within the region C&D waste recycling in the MEA region.

“The construction industry is one of the world’s largest consumers of energy and raw materials using almost 40% of resources and 17% of freshwater reserves,” commented El Hougeiri, adding that there are 120million tonnes per year of C&D waste, approximately 55% of the total waste stream generated in the gulf region alone.

El Hougeiri stated that the public perception of recycled materials needs to change, and people need to accept recycled materials are indeed an equivalent to virgin materials in order to affect true change.

Virtual global learning

The packed three-day programme featured 16 expert discussions involving almost 50 speakers.

CDE’s CEO, Marc Jennings, says: “In 2020, despite the global circumstances, CDE utilized its network to bring together industry leaders and professionals virtually to discuss the prevalent issues of the day. We are proud that in 2021, we were able to build upon this and host our second Engineering Insights virtual symposium.

“We have continued to facilitate global learning and our conference was once again a huge success, as 600 industry professionals registered, engaging with our event from around the world.

“Challenges in our industry such as water management, sand depletion and sustainable mining continue to dominate important conversations, and we believe it is of great importance that industry experts sustain these virtual discussions in order to aid progression, indeed as the world progresses out of the global pandemic.”

The full Engineering Insights programme is now available to view on-demand for registered attendees. For more information, please visit


Media contact

Alana Hughes, JComms


DD: +44 (0) 28 9076 0066

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