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Deep Level Mining

Innovative technology leading to increased deep-level mining

By: Bruce Montiea Deep-level mining is becoming more common as a result of innovative technology, says design and consulting professional services company Stantec. Stantec US and international mining VP Sandy Watson says deep-drilling technology has continually advanced for greenfield projects, enabling mining... 

Mechanised installation of mesh promotes underground safety

By: Bruce Montiea The mechanised installation of high tensile steel mesh in deep-level mines promotes safety, as it  reduces the risk of people being harmed while performing the same task, says engineering company Geobrugg Africa protection systems GM Bart Schoevaerts. “In a lot of mines, undeground support is... 

Mechanised installation of mesh promotes underground safety
UNDERGROUND SUPPORT Geobrugg's high-tensile steel mesh is is three times stronger than mild steel and lighter than classical mild steel products

Mining-induced earthquake research in final stages

By: Bruce Montiea Research institutions, led by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Japan’s Ritsumeikan University, are in the final stages of a research project aimed at gaining a better understanding of mining-induced earthquakes.  Once the study is completed, it will assist the mining... 

Mining-induced earthquake research  in final stages
Photo by Bloomberg
SAFETY UNDERGROUND Once the research project is completed it will assist the mining industry in being better equipped to deal with the ongoing challenge of keeping their workers safe underground

Research results in fewer incidents at SA deep-level mines

By: Bruce Montiea There have been major improvements in safety at South Africa’s deep-level mines over the past 19 years because of focused industry initiatives, as well as government-funded research and the implementation thereof, says SiM Mining Consultants director Friedemann Essrich. “From 1990 to 1996, on... 

Research results in  fewer incidents at  SA deep-level mines
GREATER CONTROL While deep-level mines are still exposed to significant seismic risk levels, these are increasingly being controlled through research and its implementation

SA deep-level mining industry to remain in doldrums

By: Bruce Montiea South Africa’s current outlook regarding the deep-level mining industry will remain negative, as the sector’s downward production trend is expected to continue, advisory firm Wood Mackenzie (Woodmac) gold costs senior analyst Brian Ziswa tells Mining Weekly. “There have been numerous closures of... 

SA deep-level mining  industry to remain  in doldrums
Photo by Duane Daws
MITIGATION STRATEGY South African mining companies are attempting to introduce technology that aids deep-level mining, which is generally challenging

SA mines benefit from sophisticated cooling methods

By: Bruce Montiea Major mining companies, such as platinum producer Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) and gold miner AngloGold Ashanti, are benefiting from ventilation and cooling technology provided by cooling tower manufacturer Tektower, a subsidiary of industrial cooling tower systems company Industrial Water... 

SA mines benefit from sophisticated cooling methods
COOLING TOWER Mines require sophisticated cooling methods and equipment to reduce temperatures to safe levels for workers

South African mining industry committed to mechanisation

By: Bruce Montiea The South African mining industry is committed to mechanisation in its deep-level mining operations, with major gold and platinum producers having announced their intent to modernise their operations, says Centre for Mechanised Mining Systems (CMMS) director Dr Declan Vogt. He says many platinum... 

South African mining  industry committed  to mechanisation
Photo by Bloomberg
DOUBLE CONCERN Using people in deep-level operations is a challenge for mining companies because not only does making the underground environment suitable for workers become more costly but the risk to mineworkers also increases


Established in 1993, mining equipment manufacturer Tecman is the largest manufacturer of custom-made rock breaker boom systems globally. For the past four years, Tecman has manufactured more than 100 custom-designed breaker boom systems every year, which are exported through its global dealer... 


Deep-level mineworkers need education to flourish

By: Pimani Baloyi Deep-level mining companies have to consider underground mineworkers’ desire to advance their careers and flourish in the industry, but should recognise that modern South African mineworkers’ life expectations for themselves and their families are not always realistic, says professional services... 

Fracturing and automation a solution for deep-level mining challenges

By: Pimani Baloyi The deep-level mining sector is researching and piloting fracturing methods that could help mitigate the three main challenges facing deep-level operations – rock stability, ventilation and time wasted while travelling to mining areas – says research organisation the Council for Scientific and... 

Fracturing and automation a solution for deep-level mining challenges
Photo by Duane Daws
JEANNETTE MCGILL The deep-level mining sector is faced with the challenges of rock instability, the difficulty of installing ventilation systems and time wasted while travelling to the mining area

Local underground ventilation solutions provider prioritises client relations

By: Pimani Baloyi Providing ventilation systems for mining companies with deep-level operations necessitates the understanding of every client’s specific needs, which can be attained through ongoing communication, says South African-founded and South Africa-based underground ventilation systems provider Terramin.... 

Local underground ventilation solutions provider prioritises client relations
TERRAJET AIRMOVER An efficient ventilation system is critical to the effective management of occupational health and safety in all underground mining activities

Underground comms system launched

By: Pimani Baloyi An Ethernet-capable underground communication system, which can ensure improved and dependable underground communication for deep-level mining operations, was introduced to the local mining industry in January, says mining equipment supplier Becker Mining South Africa. Becker Mining South Africa... 

Ventilation event highlights energy optimisation at deep-level mines

By: Pimani Baloyi The energy efficiency of ventilation and cooling systems installed at deep-level mining operations will be a central theme of the tenth International Mine Ventilation Congress (IMVC), reports local organising committee (LOC) chairperson Frank von Glehn. The theme of this year's conference, which... 

Afrox receives R70m order for safety product

By: Zandile Mavuso Gases and welding products manufacturer Afrox Self-Rescue Division has secured an order to deliver 26 500 units of AfroxPac 35i self-contained self-rescuers and accessories in a deal valued at R70-million, which will be supplied over the next five months. 

CAT to supply longwall systems to four Consol mines

Largest producer of coal from underground mines in North America Consol Energy has placed orders for Caterpillar (CAT) longwall equipment, including more than 1 100 roof supports, worth $300-million. Delivery of the equipment started at the end of 2012 and will be completed in mid-2013. 

Deep-level mining safety important – contractor

By: Zandile Mavuso Global mining contractor and engineering firm Redpath Mining tells Mining Weekly that safety is a pivotal factor in deep-level mining and it becomes even more significant amid the ongoing challenges that exist as a result of mines having to dig deeper for minerals. 

High-tensile mesh systems provide safer working environment underground

By: Zandile Mavuso The increasing depth of ore extraction in the South African mining industry leads to new challenges in hard-rock underground mines, with conventional ground-support systems, which can often not withstand rock-bursting ground caused by seismicity, becoming ineffective in highly stressed... 

Underground bulk system enhances safety in mining

By: Zandile Mavuso In its efforts to improve safety, commercial explosives manufacturer AEL Mining Services reports that it is at full implementation stage of its underground bulk systems (UBS) developed specifically for the challenging deep-level gold mining sector. 

Vertical-drop system mitigates underground mining challenges

By: Zandile Mavuso Explosives and initiating systems supplier AEL Mining Services says the company aims to target the African market with its vertical-drop emulsion delivery system this year. 

Centralised blasting promotes safety in mining

By: Sashnee Moodley Blasting solutions company AEL Mining Services has significantly reduced the amount of time deep-level mining crews are exposed to possible fall-of-ground (FoG) conditions, with its proven centralised blasting system (CBS). 

Cooling towers integral to energy efficiency

By: Sashnee Moodley Inefficient cooling towers contribute to a high level of wasted energy, which accounts for a significant portion of a deep-level mines’ production costs, says South Africa-based Industrial Cooling Towers (ICT) GM Henk Oosthuizen. 

Cultural change and systems redesign for gold producer

By: Sashnee Moodley Future successes in deep-level mining will depend on the ability of miners to complete safe, predictable and productive shifts, says JSE-listed Village Main Reef COO Dalubuhle Ncube. 

Importance of safety recognised at South Deep

By: Sashnee Moodley Metals producer Gold Field’s South Deep mining project achieved its two-millionth fatality-free shift in February, with the miner targeting the three-million mark.  

Shortage of rock engineers a problem

By: Sashnee Moodley South African mine seismology specialist SiM Mining Consultants is increasing awareness of the risks associated with rockbursts in deep-level mines by compiling the mine seismology section for the Chamber of Mines’ (CoM’s) rock engineering certificate (REC) training material. 

Closing the skills gap for deep-level mining

By: Idéle Esterhuizen The severe shortage of qualified rock engineers is placing immense pressure on mining operations, deep level mining operations in particular, SRK Consulting partner and principal mining geotechnical engineer William Joughin tells Mining Weekly. 

Collective approach key to health, safety – MHSC 

By: Idéle Esterhuizen A collective approach is required from all stakeholders within the South African Mining sector including industry, government, labour and research organisations, to improve efficiency in finding health and safety solutions for the mining industry in South Africa, which has some of the deepest... 

Greater improvement in meeting seismic related deaths challenge – Chamber

By: Idéle Esterhuizen South Africa’s seismic network coverage remains a challenge. However greater improvement has been recorded in meeting the challenge of seismic-related deaths than any other safety challenge experienced by the mining industry, Chamber of Mines (CoM) safety and sustainability advisor Sietse van der... 

Japan, SA research project to mitigate seismic risks in local mining industry

By: Idéle Esterhuizen A new collaborative research project between South Africa and Japan will yield valuable information on tectonic earthquake-generation mechanisms, which will assist in the mitigation of seismic risks in deep and highly stressed mines, says Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and... 

New centralised blasting system

By: Idéle Esterhuizen Mining services company AEL Mining Services’ new Quickshot centralised blasting system will assist in improving health and safety in underground mining operations, says AEL product manager Carlos Goncalves. 

Shortage of cooling and ventilation specialists weighs heavy

By: Idéle Esterhuizen The shortage of refrigeration and ventilation personnel, as well as a lack of training in this field, is a challenge for South Africa’s deep level mining sector, says University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and ventilation expert Professor John Sheer of the School of Mechanical, Industrial and... 

Celebrating 100 years underground

By: Mary-Anne O’Donnell This year, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research's (CSIR's) Centre for Mining Innovation and the University of the Witwatersrand celebrate 100 years of mining research. 

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