Blasting solutions company AEL Mining Services’ R2-million skills development centre, in Modderfontein, has trained 978 people in various programmes, courses and assess- ments since its launch late last year.
The company is committed to the growth and development of its customers and employees and has noted increased safety awareness, legal compliance and increased production in its operations and production fields as a direct result of the training being undertaken, AEL training manager for mining optimisation Desmond Pannels tells Mining Weekly.
The AEL skills development centre is a Mining Qualifications Authority-accredited training facility which provides various forms of training to assist in alleviating the skills shortage in the mining industry.
It services AEL’s internal training needs, but also offers various courses to customers, says AEL group manager for mining optimisation Franky Botha.
The centre provides high-quality technical training away from the office environment in a professional training facility.
“Many mining groups have their own training facilities, however, from a technical blast perspective, AEL has a role to play since there is a significant need for specialised blasting training,” he says.
The courses on offer include blasting competence programmes (BCP) for surface mining, as well as underground and massive mining. Some of the subjects covered include explosive and rock properties, legal requirements, the significance of proper drilling, safe handling and storing of explosives. Each subject has the specific objective to improve safety and share best practice.
Delegates who have completed the BCP programme have reported a much better understanding of why they have to do certain things and noted that they had gained confidence in performing their jobs properly.
Further, Botha says AEL also offers additional rock-breaking and blasting-assistant courses, which are specific requirements from customers.
“Various courses, such as pumps training, hose handling, basic blasting and explosives handling, are offered to AEL employees based on a specific job requirement, opportunities for growth and key performance areas,” he says.
These courses include presentation skills, assertiveness courses, professional writing skills and advanced driver training courses, besides others.
Blasting has a large impact on the profitability of mining oper- ations and AEL believes that it can play a significant role in improving the entire mining and beneficiation process by optimising the blasting process, Botha concludes.