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Drilling and Tunnelling News

Automation software improves ease of work

     24th March 2017 Sustainable productivity solutions provider Atlas Copco has introduced the Dynamic tunnelling package, a new automation software for face drilling rigs, such as its Boomer range, which is built for blast hole drilling in underground mining and tunnelling. The package is offered by Atlas Copco’s... 

Digitalising underground drilling

     24th March 2017 Digitalisation will improve drilling accuracy and cycle times, and reduce operation costs by improving the efficiency of the drilling and bolting phase, says global engineering group Sandvik. “Drilling as planned, with accurate visual information, leads to continuous improvement across the whole... 

Digitalising underground drilling
DIGITAL DRILLING Sandvik AutoMine compatible underground offering allows customers to significantly upgrade their operations’ productivity and safety

Drilling operations achieve impressive safety records

     24th March 2017 Two underground diamond drilling sites operated by mining industry services provider Rosond have achieved five years of ‘zero harm’. Platinum producer Anglo American Platinum’s (Amplat’s) Dishaba mine, previously known as Amandelbult before being split into Dishaba and Tumela, near Thabazimbi, in... 

Drilling operations achieve impressive safety records
RISKY BUSINESS Underground diamond drilling has many hazards and the possibility for a serious accident is high

First Bougouni drilling assays ‘highly encouraging’

     24th March 2017 West-Africa-focused mineral exploration and development company Kodal Minerals has a busy exploration programme planned for the months ahead, with a focus on its lithium projects at Bougouni, in Mali.  CEO Bernard Aylward said in February that the company would return to drill its Ngoualana... 

First Bougouni drilling  assays ‘highly encouraging’
Photo by Bloomberg
DRILLING DEVELOPMENTS As of February, a total of 328 samples had been received, with regard to the first drilling assays at the Bougouni lithium project, in Mali, with a further 400 samples pending

Mine mechanisation and automation accelerating in South Africa and globally, says Sandvik

By: Ilan Solomons     24th March 2017 The mechanisation and automation of mines in South Africa and globally is accelerating, with ancillary support services, such as information technology (IT), information transfer and data analysis, among others, taking on greater importance, says mining equipment and services provider Sandvik... 

Mine mechanisation and automation accelerating  in South Africa and globally, says Sandvik
SIMON ANDREWS Mining companies have realised that it is no longer good enough just to have high-tech equipment in operation at their projects

Raise drill tackles first African project

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th March 2017 The Redbore 100, “the crown jewel” of Redpath Mining’s series of raise drills, is undertaking its inaugural African project, in Zambia, extolls Redpath Mining Africa raiseboring manager Johan Davel. “One of the most powerful, largest-capacity, proven raise drills ever manufactured” is in... 

Raise drill tackles first African project
AFRICAN DEBUT The Redbore 100 has met the Synclinorium vent shaft project’s target rates, with Redpath on track to meet the projected completion date in July

Master Drilling boasts strong order book 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd March 2017 The launch of new projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone and Tanzania, paired with increased investment in human resources, has resulted in a 12.1% drop in JSE-listed Master Drilling’s gross profit to $23.5-million for the 2016 financial year. However, the company noted that... 

Master Drilling boasts strong order book
Master Drilling CEO Danie Pretorius speaks on the company's prospects. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd. 22/03/2017

Ravene drilling programme completed at Mutamba

     17th March 2017 Aim-listed diversified miner Savannah Resources has completed drilling to more precisely define the high-grade zones of total heavy minerals (THM) at its “relatively under-evaluated” Ravene deposit, in Mozambique. The deposit is part of its Mutamba mineral sands project, which it is developing... 

Sonic drilling represents untapped potential for mining

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     17th March 2017 There is huge scope in the future for the adoption of sonic drilling by mining companies in South Africa, which heavy minerals mining companies can capitalise on, says exploration drilling industry training course provider Colin Rice Exploration & Training founder Colin Rice. Local use of sonic... 

Sonic drilling represents untapped potential for mining
Photo by Bloomberg
ENHANCED EXPLORATION The high penetration rates of sonic drilling produce high-quality, accurate core samples

A catalyst for innovation, Goldcorp pushes the envelope on technological advances

By: Henry Lazenby     11th March 2017 Canadian gold major Goldcorp is acting as a catalyst to bring innovation into the mining industry, an industry traditionally loathe to adopt new technologies that could ultimately improve the bottom line. As exemplified in its leading role in sponsoring the #DisruptMining competition during the... 

A catalyst for innovation, Goldcorp pushes the envelope on technological advances
Photo by Goldcorp
Goldcorp’s existing policies promote diversity in the work place

Partnership benefits miner, Ghanaians

By: Robyn Wilkinson     10th March 2017 Canadian gold explorer Asante Gold has offered Ghanaian communities employment opportunities and the restoration of agricultural land in exchange for their support of its Keyhole gold project’s drilling programme, aimed at identifying a high-grade underground mineable gold deposit. The first... 

Partnership benefits miner, Ghanaians
DOUGLAS MACQUARRIE Mining and agriculture can be mutually sustainable if there is a will and a plan

Sierra Leone gold sector ‘open for business’

By: Robyn Wilkinson     10th March 2017 The moderate rise in the average gold price to $1 248/oz in 2016 increased investor appetite for gold exploration and triggered some merger and acquisition activity in the sector, providing a positive environment for miner Sula Iron & Gold to advance its planned drilling programme at its... 

Sierra Leone gold sector ‘open for business’
STRATEGIC LOCATION Ferensola is located just 80 km from Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone and a major port city on the Atlantic Ocean

Drilling services provider declares Indaba ‘great success’

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd March 2017 The 2017 Investing in African Mining Indaba was a “great success” for drilling services and equipment, including for performance tooling provider Boart Longyear, as it secured deals and has several prospective projects to follow up on, says general sales manager Andre van Heerden. 

Drilling services  provider declares  Indaba ‘great success’
TRUCORE The core-orienation tool is easy-to-use, highly accurate and features wireless communication, a corrosion-resistant steel body and a field-replaceable battery

More contracts out to tender with commodity price upswing

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd March 2017 With commodities, such as gold and copper, showing positive growth, mining contracting and engineering company Redpath Mining Africa has noted an upswing in contracting work in the African mining sector. Redpath Mining Africa MD Ockert Douglas says this was also the sentiment held by others at... 

More contracts out to tender with commodity price upswing
ONE OF A KIND The Ghaghoo diamond mine incline sand tunnel project involved tunnelling a decline at a -8° inclination through 80-m-thick desert sand over 21 months

Group to split to improve customer focus

     17th February 2017 Swedish sustainable productivity solutions provider Atlas Copco will create a new company focused on mining and civil engineering, should it receive backing at its annual general meeting in April. 

Group to split to improve customer focus
STREGTHENING FOCUS Mining and Rock Excavation Technique and Construction Tools are expected to benefit from a more focused management responsibility

Master Drilling readies for international roll-out of new horizontal raiseboring technology

By: Ilan Solomons     7th February 2017 JSE-listed drilling services provider Master Drilling announced at the Investing in African Mining Indaba on Tuesday that its horizontal raiseboring (HRB) technology is ready for international roll-out after a successful pilot test at the Cullinan diamond mine, in Gauteng. Master Drilling CEO... 

Master Drilling readies for international roll-out of new horizontal raiseboring technology

Milestone for Two Rivers as PGM production surpasses 400 000 oz/y

By: David Oliveira     3rd February 2017 Mpumalanga-based Two Rivers, a joint venture between diversified miner African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) and platinum producer Impala Platinum (Implats), reached an important milestone last year, producing more than 400 000 oz of platinum-group metals (PGMs) for the first time since the mine started... 

Milestone for Two Rivers as PGM production surpasses 400 000 oz/y

African company one of biggest underground mining contractors

By: Martin Creamer     2nd February 2017 The predominantly Africa-based Murray & Roberts Cementation has served the mining industry for more than a century. Along with Cementation Canada, Cementation USA and RUC Cementation Australia, the Murray & Roberts Underground Mining Platform ranks among the biggest underground mining contracting... 

African company one of biggest underground mining contractors
Photo by Duane Daws
VENETIA MODEL What the Venetia underground diamond mine will look like when complete

Completion of Mindola shaft expected in 2019

By: Nadine James     27th January 2017 The Mindola Deeps shaft sinking project in Kitwe, Zambia, should be completed by June 2018, marking the first time that a 2 000 m shaft will be raise drilled, says mining contractor Redpath Mining. The project, which is owned by diversified mining and marketing company Glencore’s Zambian copper... 

Completion of Mindola shaft expected in 2019
DAVLIN RICHARDSON The Mining Indaba is the best platform to market our business to a global audience while connecting with companies on a local level

Gubhani Exploration

     27th January 2017 Black female-owned, cutting-edge surface exploration drilling company Gubhani Exploration was established in 2008. With projects led by a geologist with 13 years of experience in working with drilling contractors and mining companies, Gubhani is a well-rounded service provider that understands... 

Gubhani Exploration

Propellant-based rock breaking system mooted as alternative to traditional explosives

By: Ilan Solomons     27th January 2017 It is generally acknowledged that South Africa’s narrow-reef mining sector is in a precarious state as its viability is challenged by declining global commodity prices, labour instability, uncertain government policy, overregulation and declining productivity. Adding to the problem is mine... 

Propellant-based rock breaking system mooted as alternative to traditional explosives
Photo by Master Blaster
IMPROVING SAFETY The 1.4S initiation system propellant powders produce no shock energy, which ensures improved hanging wall conditions, and therefore a safer working environment

Raubex

     27th January 2017 With more than four decades of experience in the Southern African construction and mining industry, infrastructure development and materials handling specialist Raubex Group is a leading player on the sub-continent. Listed on the JSE since 2007, Bloemfontein-headquartered Raubex specialises in... 

Bulk of Cullinan C-Cut Phase 1 nears completion

By: Robyn Wilkinson     16th December 2016 Mining services company Murray & Roberts Cementation will complete its contract at diamond miner Petra Diamonds’ Gauteng-based Cullinan mine this month, concluding the largest portion of the R4-billion Phase 1 expansion project that will initially extend the diamond mine’s life span by about 15 year 

Bulk of Cullinan C-Cut Phase 1 nears completion
DELICATE OPERATION Detailed planning was undertaken to deepen the shafts at the Cullinan C-Cut project without disrupting the existing infrastructure and operations

Difficult drilling proves rewarding at Koffiefontein

By: Robyn Wilkinson     16th December 2016 Diamond producer Petra Diamonds’ geological team has gained access to the kimberlite deposit between the 60 m level and 72 m level at its Koffiefontein project, in the Free State, owing to diamond drilling services provider Lesedi Drilling and Mining Contracting Company’s assistance in... 

Difficult drilling proves  rewarding at Koffiefontein
PRODUCTIVITY LIFTED Production at Petra Diamonds’ Koffiefontein project increased by 37% this year, as the result of more run-of-mine tonnage being treate

Work on Booysendal South Central access decline to start in April

By: David Oliveira     16th December 2016 Platinum producer Northam Platinum earlier this month awarded JSE-listed Murray & Roberts Cementation the Phase 1 contract for the Mpumalanga-based Booysendal South Central complex, a new mine that will be established on the same mining lease as Booysendal platinum mine. Murray & Roberts... 

‘Exciting prospect’ awaits decision

By: Robyn Wilkinson     16th December 2016 Diamond explorer and project developer Botswana Diamonds is in discussions with its joint venture (JV) partner, Botswana State-owned copper and nickel producer BCL, to undertake essential verification drilling on a cluster of diamond-bearing kimberlite pipes at the Maibwe exploration project in... 

‘Exciting prospect’  awaits decision
JOHN TEELING There are currently powerful fundamentals driving the international diamond market, with analysts predicting a diamond supply deficit in future

Murray & Roberts secures Phase 1 Booysendal South Central complex contract

By: David Oliveira     9th December 2016 JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Platinum producer Northam Platinum this week awarded JSE-listed Murray & Roberts Cementation the Phase 1 contract for the Mpumalanga-based Booysendal South Central complex, a new mine that will be established on the same mining lease as Booysendal platinum mine.... 

Sibanye testing alternative to explosives-based rock breaking

By: Ilan Solomons     9th December 2016 The South African mining industry requires a paradigm shift in its fundamental approach to mining processes to ensure that it can move away from the use of explosives, says diversified miner Sibanye Resources safe technology and innovation project engineer Alex Fenn. He argues that explosives are... 

Sibanye testing alternative to explosives-based rock breaking
Photo by CMTI
NONEXPLOSIVE MINING ENABLER The Multi-Track1000 is 930 mm in height and has four independent track assemblies, which are capable of three different degrees of motion

Mobile technology helps eliminate blasting obstacles

By: Kimberley Smuts     18th November 2016 Explosives firm BME explored how mobile technology and centralised data could provide mine managers with an edge to comprehensively eliminate potential blast problems, through among others management of blast inputs, thereby improving blast results, at its annual Drilling and Blasting Conference.... 

Two-year renewal for Zebediela nickel project prospecting rights

By: David Oliveira     11th November 2016 Aim-listed base metals and uranium exploration company URU Metals announced earlier this month that it successfully renewed the three prospecting rights encompassing its Zebediela nickel project, in Limpopo, for another two years. The prospecting rights are held by URU Metals’ wholly owned South... 

Zambian project achieves one-million lost-time injury-free work hours

By: Sascha Solomons     4th November 2016 Mining and exploration company Group R Mining & Exploration Zambia achieved one-million man hours without a lost-time injury (LTI), at its Synclinorium shaft expansion project on behalf of owner Zambian-registered copper miner Mopani Copper Mines. Group R is the operating partner of... 

Zambian project achieves one-million lost-time  injury-free work hours
SYNCLINORIUM SHAFT EXPANSION The project involves the construction of a 7-m-diameter main shaft and a 6-m-diameter ventilation shaft to depths of 1 277 m and 1 167 m respectively

Amplats targeting 80% mechanised production but timeline extended to 2027 as price slumps

By: Ilan Solomons     28th October 2016 Platinum producer Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) is developing a range of mechanised technologies and is aiming to produce 80% of its platinum using mechanised mining methods by 2027. Amplats mining services head Frik Fourie says the company started implementing this strategy in 2011 when the... 

Amplats targeting 80% mechanised production but timeline extended to 2027 as price slumps

Greater urgency needed in adopting mechanisation in South Africa

By: Aarifah Nosarka     28th October 2016 For the local mining industry to ensure its sustainability, the industry needs to accelerate the rate at which it is adopting new technology, mechanical engineering consultant CMTI Consulting MD Dr Danie Burger tells Mining Weekly. “The transitioning of mines to greater mechanisation and... 

Greater urgency needed in adopting mechanisation in South Africa
DANIE BURGER The transition of mines to include greater mechanisation and automation is way too slow

Patented mining technology to be released month-end

By: Aarifah Nosarka     28th October 2016 Local ultra-low-profile mining machinery and equipment supplier CMTI Consulting expects to release its patented MT100, MT1000 and automated brake tester technologies for mines by the end of this month. The technology, developed by CMTI Consulting, in Pretoria, comprises 70% local content and is... 

Patented mining technology to be released month-end
MECHANISED EQUIPMENT The MT1000 is equipped with a drill rig and mechanical breaker for nonexplosive mining or a multi-drill rig for conventional stoping

Horizontal raiseboring at Cullinan mine outperforms traditional methods

By: Ilan Solomons     21st October 2016 Raise boring and drilling services group Master Drilling is nearing completion of a 220 m hole with a diameter of 4.5 m horizontal raise bore (HRB) trial project at Southern Africa-focused miner Petra Diamonds’ Cullinan diamond mine, in Gauteng. During a site visit to the mine earlier this month,... 

Horizontal raiseboring at Cullinan mine  outperforms traditional methods
Photo by Duane Daws
HORIZONTAL RAISE BORING Horizontal raise boring is a developing technology with potentially faster production advances and is consistently more stable than traditional drill and blast

New body for shaft sinkers launched

By: Ilan Solomons     30th September 2016 The South African Shaft Sinking, Equipment and Services (Sasses) supply group, a subgroup within the South African Capital Equipment Export Council (Saceec) was officially launched at the Electra Mining Africa 2016 tradeshow in Johannesburg, last week. Sasses aims to assist local manufacturers... 

New body for shaft sinkers launched
NEW BEGINNINGS The South African Shaft Sinking, Equipment and Services supply group aims to assist local manufacturers that supply shaft sinking, equipment and services

Studies seek ways to prevent falls-of-ground accidents at mines

By: Ilan Solomons     30th September 2016 A series of implementation projects were carried out between 2012 and 2015 by global engineering consultancy SRK through the Safety in Mines Research Advisory Committee with funds from the Mine Health and Safety Council (MSHC) with the aim of imparting a risk-based support design methodology to... 

Studies seek ways to prevent falls-of-ground accidents at mines
ASSESSING RISK The risk-based support design method is intended to address fall-of-ground-related risks in narrow tabular underground mines

Ontario govt awards Boart Longyear C$1.37m to improve safety, reduce costs

By: Henry Lazenby     28th September 2016 Multinational drilling equipment and services provider Boart Longyear has received an award of C$1.37-million from the Ontario government to help improve safety at mineral exploration drilling sites and the efficiency of drilling systems technology. The Salt Lake City, Utah-headquartered company... 

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