Africa still focus of explosives company

The AXXIS digital initiation system allocates precise firing times to the electronic detonators, allowing engineers to design complex firing sequences in a blast

BLASTING PRECISION The AXXIS digital initiation system allocates precise firing times to the electronic detonators, allowing engineers to design complex firing sequences in a blast

22nd January 2016


Font size: - +

JSE-listed Omnia Group’s mining explosives division, BME, continues to invest in its growing African footprint despite the depressed mining climate, as the continent remains a strategic focus area for opportunities in the mining industry.

“BME is developing the business in various parts of Africa to ensure the high-quality service and solid supply lines that customers expect,” says BME marketing manager Hayley Wayland.
She, therefore, underlines the company’s core focus of helping customers improve their productivity through its value-added services and blasting technology.

BME has invested heavily in quality improve-ment and the enhancement of its manufacturing capacity. This includes the development of a fully automated assembly plant, which will be commissioned early this year, in response to the growing popularity of BME’s electronic detonators.

Established in South Africa more than 30 years ago, Wayland notes, BME pioneered the use of cold emulsions in Africa, developing a range of blast-related products and services since then. BME has a presence in 17 African countries, including Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Namibia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

To reaffirm its long-term market presence in Africa, the company will once again exhibit at the Investing in African Mining Indaba, in Cape Town, which runs from February 8 to 11 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

Wayland highlights that, in recent months, BME has been involved in several new product innovations and industry trials, having launched the second generation of its popular AXXIS digital initiation system, which is already opening new markets and has been employed in ongoing projects in Singapore and Australia.

Mining Weekly reported in May that the system had been noted to improve safety and promote ease of use, robustness and accuracy. Further, the system allocates precise firing times to the electronic detonators, allowing engineers to design complex firing sequences in a blast to achieve predictable and repeatable blast results.

“In a recent record, the AXXIS system initiated a blast of 4 978 detonators in Australia, with each detonation timed to the millisecond to improve blast quality,” Wayland explains.

The AXXIS system allows for the programming of detonators to fire at one millisecond intervals, while up to 600 detonators can be fired from each box, or 500 detonators for every multiple linked box, according to BME’s website.

The latest version of the system, also known as AXXIS GII, has re-engineered electronics that will further improve safety by making the unit more resistant to electrostatic discharge, Wayland adds.

An integral part of the AXXIS system includes the blast design computer software programme BlastMap III, which allows for complex timing designs and the analysis of the result of each blast.

In addition, BME has launched a suite of emulsion delivery equipment, designed specifically for underground operations, to access previously inaccessible, confined underground environments at lower capital and operating costs.

“Mines can now experience the benefits of UN-class 5.1 – or nonexplosive – emulsion in development ends as well as in narrow-reef stopes,” says Wayland.

BME is also working with a South African gold mine to pump emulsion vertically from surface to underground workings, facilitating valuable operational efficiencies and cost savings.

“This will be the deepest level to which emulsion has been vertically pumped – testament to the stability of our double-salt emulsions,” Wayland points out.

Edited by Tracy Hancock
Creamer Media Contributing Editor




From batteries for boats and jet skis, to batteries for cars and quad bikes, SABAT Batteries has positioned itself as the lifestyle battery of...

Stewarts & Lloyds
Stewarts & Lloyds

Stewarts & Lloyds today supplies steel and tube, pipe and fittings, valves, pumps, irrigation, fencing, profiling and roofing products. The cash...


Latest Multimedia

sponsored by

Photo of Martin Creamer
On-The-Air (01/12/2023)
1st December 2023

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?







sq:0.398 0.438s - 170pq - 2rq
Subscribe Now