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Drilling and Tunnelling News

Blasting and drilling increasingly automated

By: Robyn Wilkinson     Updated 7 hours ago Ongoing developments to underground mining solutions provider iRing’s mine planning software suite are increasingly automating blasting and drilling operations, providing increased accuracy and safety in hazardous mining environments. 

Canada’s First Cobalt hoping to seal DRC exploration deal by next month

By: Mia Breytenbach     21st July 2017 Cobalt asset group First Cobalt aims to close the transaction of a strategic alliance for a 70% interest in seven prospective copper/cobalt exploration properties in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) by next month and progress exploration in one of the world’s “high-reward cobalt... 

Canada’s First Cobalt hoping to seal DRC  exploration deal by next month
PROPERTY PROSPECTS The seven properties cover 190 km2 on the Central African Copperbelt, in Katanga, all with known surface mineralisation

Hydropower – what the industry needs now

By: Marleny Arnoldi     21st July 2017 The contraction in the South African mining industry has resulted in many projects and expansions stalling in recent years, with mines having closed or scaled back on capital and operational expenditure.  

Hydropower – what the  industry needs now
HOLY WATER Existing hydropower technology can deliver significant increases in productivity, reduced operational and maintenance costs, and up to 80% less energy consumption than pneumatic drills

Golden prospects following exploration in Mali and Senegal

By: Nica Schreuder     14th July 2017 Privately owned UK-based gold exploration company Cora Gold believes there is strong potential to ultimately  increase the scale of the discovery at the Sanankoro project to a size suitable for consideration as a standalone gold mine hence the project being the primary focus of the company’s... 

Golden prospects following exploration in Mali and Senegal
SANANKORO ARTISINAL MINING Cora Gold’s Sanankoro project is currently its primary focus, and it anticipate further discovery to yield over one-million ounces of in-situ gold

Largest-diameter hole reamed in Africa – contractor

     14th July 2017 The reaming phase of a 7.3-m-diameter hole at South African integrated energy and chemicals company Sasol’s Impumelelo coal mine, in Mpumulanga, has been completed, setting an African record for the largest-diameter hole reamed to date, says South African mining company Redpath Mining. Mining... 

Largest-diameter  hole reamed in  Africa – contractor
DRILLING WORK Redpath Mining's Redbore 90EX is being to raisebore the shafts at energy and chemicals company Sasol’s Impumelelo coal mine

Laguna Verde surveys yield encouraging results

     7th July 2017 Mineral resource company Wealth Minerals has completed transient electromagnetic and gravity geophysical surveys at the Laguna Verde lithium project, in northern Chile, with its geophysical contractor reporting that the data quality is good to excellent for both surveys. The resulting gravity... 

Laguna Verde  surveys yield encouraging results
CHANGE-UP Laguna Verde was originally targeted for its surface brines; however, exploration results over the past six months have switched Wealth Minerals' focus to a conventional lithium brine model

Mining Indaba offering new junior zone, boosting interface opportunities 

By: Martin Creamer     4th July 2017 Strong new thrusts are planned for next year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba, which is scheduled to take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from February 5 to 8, once again to support investment in mining companies operating in Africa and to provide an effective platform... 

Mining Indaba offering new junior zone, boosting interface opportunities
Investing in African Mining Indaba MD Alex Grose outlines to Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer the major new focus on junior miner involvement. Video and Video Editing: Lionel da Silva.

Association applying changes to expand representation

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd June 2017 Owing to it being approached by various other opencast mining and quarrying companies and bodies, private-sector producers’ association Aggregate and Sand Producers Association of Southern Africa (Aspasa) will from now on only be known as Aspasa as it has dropped the ‘aggregate and sand’ from its... 

Association applying changes to expand representation
SEVERE NEED There is a severe need for services to be delivered from a central and well-organised body to the opencast mining sector

Method leads to increased productivity

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd June 2017 Mining industry drilling services provider Rosond has adopted an approach to drilling equipment maintenance which entails identifying trends to assist it in applying engineering fixes, altering maintenance periods and educating operational staff accordingly. “We follow a productive approach, with... 

Method leads to increased productivity
OPTIMAL DRILLING Rosond ensures productivity during maintenance procedures through its machine swap offering when drilling equipment is best serviced above ground

Multidisciplinary mining company says market is challenging

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd June 2017 With the general depletion of natural sand reserves around South Africa, especially within large cities, multidisciplinary materials openpit mining company Afrimat has invested in sand producing plants – especially in Gauteng – to produce high-quality concrete sands to ensure higher concrete... 

Multidisciplinary mining company says market  is challenging
CHALLENGING CONDITIONS Overall, the construction materials sector remains relatively flat

Process-focused solution ups output

     23rd June 2017 North West sand and aggregate supplier CNC Crushers raised throughput by 45% at its Roadstone Shaft 5 crushing plant while simultaneously cutting back on maintenance, after implementing a full process-focused solution from industrial equipment supplier Weir Minerals Africa. 

Process-focused solution ups output
NEW TECHNOLOGY PAYS The installation of the Cavex hydrocyclone at CNC Crushers’ Stilfontein operation has resulted in increased production and reduced slimes to the tailings dam

Stator introduced for reduced energy and maintenance costs

     16th June 2017 Solutions provider for difficult pumping applications Netzsch Pumps North America has introduced the iFD-Stator 2.0, which it says combines efficiency, economy and environmental safety in one system. Featuring a two-part, reusable stator housing and replaceable stator, the iFD-Stator 2.0 is... 

Stator introduced for reduced energy and maintenance costs
NEXT GENERATION The new housing concept of the iFD-Stator 2.0 is easier to handle than the previous generation and delivers a longer service life

Modern exploration tech to revive local diamond mining

By: Robyn Wilkinson     9th June 2017 With the application of third-generation exploration technologies, South Africa may prove to be the next diamond exploration frontier, says diamond explorer Botswana Diamonds MD James Campbell. 

Modern exploration tech to revive local diamond mining
REVISITING KEY LOCATIONS The first phase of drilling at Frischgewaagt, an eastward extension of the mined-out Marsfontein kimberlite pipe in Limpopo, was completed in April

Mining Resilience Research Centre launch to help sector survive Industrial Revolution 4.0

By: David Oliveira     26th May 2017 The University of Pretoria’s (UP’s) Department of Mining Engineering has launched its Mining Resilience Research Centre (MRRC) at the Hatfield, Pretoria, campus. The centre will take a multidisciplinary and holistic research approach to address the challenges facing the South African mining... 

Geologists, mineralogists exploring new Botswana licences

By: Simone Liedtke     26th May 2017 A second fieldwork programme at the six new prospecting licences (PLs) in Botswana awarded to the Sunland Minerals joint venture (JV), including initial sampling and geophysics, is planned for September 2017.  

Mineral scanner to facilitate identification of reactive ground

     26th May 2017 In another step towards safer blasting practice, Johannesburg-headquartered explosives and services supplier BME is adapting its XRF Delta Pro mineral scanner to quickly identify reactive-ground conditions that could lead to blast site incidents. “This can give us real-time information that... 

New company aims to be ‘unrivalled’ service provider

     26th May 2017 With a focus on safety and supporting its customers, the process of integrating diversified industrial-use products and services provider Komatsu and high-productivity mining solutions provider Joy Global has begun, following the conclusion of a $3.7-billion deal in April. On May 8, executive... 

New company aims to be ‘unrivalled’ service provider
RETAINING FOCUS Newly renamed Komatsu Mining will continue to promote and invest in the Joy Global P&H, Joy and Montabert brands

Training academy deriving ‘incredible’ value from simulators

     26th May 2017 Simulation has resulted in a definite, dramatic reduction in training cycle times, says Bedfordview-headquartered mining contractor Murray & Roberts’ Murray and Roberts Training Academy (MRTA) education and training development (ETD) executive Tony Pretorius. With five, high-fidelity Cybermine... 

Training academy deriving ‘incredible’ value from simulators
SIMULATED LEARNING The Murray and Roberts Training Academy provides training for an exceptionally diverse client base, including gold producer AngloGold Ashanti

Equipment, automotive divisions boost Barloworld’s performance in difficult interim period 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th May 2017 Fleet management and logistics solutions company Barloworld on Monday posted a 5% increase in its operating profit for the six months ended March 31, to R1.84-billion, as its automotive division achieved record results and its overall equipment division boasted strong growth amid challenging... 

Equipment, automotive divisions boost Barloworld’s performance in difficult interim period
Barloworld CEO Dominic Sewela speaks on the company's results. Video: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva 15/05/2017

Dust regulations hinder productivity

By: Simone Liedtke     12th May 2017 Regulations implemented by governmental authorities, including municipalities, and environmental bodies, are impacting significantly on productivity in the global mining industry at a time when opencast operations are running tight margins, says Johannesburg-based mining equipment manufacturer... 

Dust regulations  hinder productivity
IDEAL SOLUTION The T1255III Terrain Leveler surface excavation machine is ideal for use in surface mine applications with drill-and-blast restrictions

Dust-suppression specialist geared for growth in Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     12th May 2017 Environmental management company I-CAT Environmental Solutions continues to grow its market share in dust-suppression management and solutions, and intends to increase its market share in Africa this year. 

Dust-suppression specialist geared for growth in Africa
OPENCAST OBSTACLE Visibility on opencast mine roads is severely impaired by excessive road dust and is a major cause of on-site vehicle accidents

Opencast mine equipment relocation method saves costs, time

By: Simone Liedtke     12th May 2017 By loading, transporting and offloading draglines for opencast mining clients in one piece, global engineered heavy lifting and transportation specialist Mammoet is driving project feasibility by saving its clients time and money. 

Opencast mine equipment relocation method saves costs, time
ADDITIONAL SERVICES Mammoet is also capable of moving rock trucks and hydraulic shovels

Start-up solution offered by crushing specialist

     12th May 2017 With most major mining firms already on its customer list, blasting and excavation company B&E International – based in Kempton Park, South Africa - has developed a solution for start-up miners that likely need to conserve their cash flow in the early days of operation. 

Start-up solution offered by  crushing specialist
EARLY PAY-OFF OPTION Customers can decide to pay off the residual value of the plant at an earlier stage

Geodrill reports ‘most promising start to any fiscal year ever’ – CEO

By: Henry Lazenby     9th May 2017 A 20% jump in first-quarter revenues bears witness to strong demand for drilling services provided by Canada-based Geodrill, prompting president and CEO Dave Harper to bill the three months ended March as “the most promising start to any fiscal year ever”. The Toronto-based company recorded... 

Geodrill reports ‘most promising start to any fiscal year ever’ – CEO

Drilling specialist to receive training accreditation

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th May 2017 Mining industry drilling services provider Rosond is in the process of becoming an accredited Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (Merseta) training provider.  

Drilling specialist to receive training accreditation
UPSKILLING YEARLY Rosond enables ten interns yearly to gain practical experience

Ex-prof says new rock mechanics book will deal with ‘incompleteness’ of existing texts

By: Ilan Solomons     5th May 2017 The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) has published a new rock mechanics textbook, which is entitled ‘Theoretical Rock Mechanics for Professional Practice’. Speaking at an event hosted by the SAIMM’s Johannesburg branch last month, author Matthew Handley elaborated that... 

Ex-prof says new rock mechanics book will deal with ‘incompleteness’ of existing texts
Photo by Duane Daws
NEW VIEWS REQUIRED The practice of rock mechanics has stagnated for the past 30 to 40 years within a reduced 2D view of what is very much ‘at the least’ a 3D problem

Platinum sector water management improves considerably

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th May 2017 The platinum mining sector in South Africa has made “considerable” progress over the past ten years in its endeavours to recycle and reuse water, with 50% to 60% of water pumped into tailings dams being returned to the plant for reuse, indicates SRK Consulting, a firm of consulting engineers and... 

Platinum sector  water management improves considerably
ESCAPING EVAPORATION To mitigate the amount of water lost to evaporation, it is important to reduce the area of a tailings dam exposed to sunlight

Blanket’s Central shaft sinking on schedule

     21st April 2017 The Central shaft at the Blanket gold mine, in Zimbabwe, remains on track to reach a target depth of 1 080 m by 2018 and is the key enabler of mining company Caledonia Mining’s longer-term life-of-mine plan at Blanket, says CEO Steve Curtis. 

Blanket’s Central shaft sinking on schedule
CONTINUED GROWTH The sinking of the Central shaft is expected to reinforce Blanket’s status as a low-cost gold mine

Digging deeper becoming more attractive, financially possible

By: Victor Moolman     21st April 2017 Developing a new shaft is regarded as a grudge purchase by mining companies and their shareholders because of the capital-intensive nature of such projects. However, 2017 Rapid Underground Mine & Civil Access Conference organising chairperson Murray Macnab avers that underground orebodies are... 

Digging deeper becoming more  attractive, financially possible
NEW SHAFT APPEAL New underground shafts can be expensive, but have larger returns on investment than opencast mines

Shaft sinking progresses at Platreef’s Shaft 1

     21st April 2017 The sinking of Shaft 1 at the Platreef platinum-palladium-gold-nickel-copper project in Limpopo, South Africa, has reached a depth of more than 283 m below surface, 697 m away from its target depth. Proceeding at an average rate of about 45 m a month, the shaft, with an internal diameter of 7.25... 

Shaft sinking progresses  at Platreef’s Shaft 1
STEADY PROGRESS The sinking of Shaft 1 is scheduled to be complete in 2018

Strategic mining alliance to clients’ benefit

     21st April 2017 Mine shaft sinking and mining services company Redpath Mining South Africa has entered into an alliance with multidisciplinary construction group Stefanutti Stocks, joining their complementary capabilities and services to enhance benefits to their clients.  

Strategic mining alliance  to clients’ benefit
SINGLE SOURCE Through the Redpath Mining and Stefanuti Stocks alliance, mining clients benefit from a single role-player taking responsibility for an entire project

Test production starts at Mowana

     21st April 2017 Africa-focused gold and copper exploration and development company Alecto Minerals has started test production at its Mowana copper project, in Botswana, after initial commissioning at the project’s process plant, says CEO Mark Jones. He notes that Alecto is moving at speed to deliver continuous... 

Test production starts at Mowana
Photo by Bloomberg
NOTABLE PRODUCE The atmosphere on site at the Mowana copper project in Botswana is buoyant, with the plant producing saleable concentrate up to 28% copper

Liberian gold miner driving near-mine satellite exploration

     14th April 2017 TSX- and Aim-listed West African gold producer Avesoro Resources points to a strong outlook for 2017, with its main aim for the year being the discovery of additional mineable satellite resources within close proximity to its New Liberty gold mine, in Liberia. With numerous high potential targets... 

Liberian gold miner driving near-mine satellite exploration
GOLD MINE New Liberty has an estimated gold reserve of 8.5-million tons containing 924 000 oz of gold, grading 3.4 g/t

Mali lithium project developments ‘great endorsement’

     14th April 2017 A potential second placing worth about £4.3-million with trading company Suay Chin International, if completed, will ensure that West Africa-focused mineral exploration and development company Kodal Minerals is well funded to produce initial mineral resource estimates at its Bougouni lithium... 

Mali lithium  project developments ‘great endorsement’
Photo by Bloomberg
LITHIUM DEMAND Suay Chin was formed to take advantage of its extensive connections to supply the Chinese lithium market

New drill logistically self-sufficient

By: Victor Moolman     31st March 2017 The new track-mounted VersaMobile KmN.8UM drill from mining equipment manufacturer VersaDrill Canada is self-sufficient to the point that it does not need mine vehicle involvement to facilitate its transportation when operating underground. 

New drill logistically self-sufficient
OPERATOR SAFETY To ensure that the operator is safe, the drill can be controlled remotely using a wired controller

Productivity at SA gold, platinum mines declined 49% from 1999 to 2014 – Chamber of Mines

By: David Oliveira     31st March 2017 Productivity in the platinum and gold mining sectors declined by 49% from 1999 to 2014, while labour costs increased by about 309% during the same period, Chamber of Mines (CoM) modernisation and safety intern Katlego Letsoalo noted earlier this month during The Southern African Institute of... 

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
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