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BME launches narrow-reef emulsion site at Amplats’ Tumela mine

4th March 2015

By: Ilan Solomons

Creamer Media Staff Writer

  

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THABAZIMBI (miningweekly.com) – Explosives company BME officially opened its first narrow-reef emulsion site and training centre at platinum miner Anglo American Platinum’s (Amplats’) Tumela underground mine in Thabazimbi, Limpopo on Wednesday.

Tumela mine production manager Pierre Prinsloo said the bulk emulsions system was currently being trialled at the mine's 16 West shaft and had, to date, been well received by mineworkers.

He added that the benefits of the emulsions system included that fewer holes needed to be drilled on the rock face and, because the emulsions only became explosive when sensitisers were added immediately before blasting was undertaken, the mine's non-explosive legal controls were significantly reduced.

"The system also reduces costs for drill steel and the amount of drill accessories as [fewer] holes are required," said Prinsloo.

BME senior operations manager Selwyn Pearton noted that other advantages of the system included reduced 
levels of nitrate contamination in groundwater and increased energy transmission to the rock mass, as well as numerous financial benefits, including improved explosives efficiencies and a reduction in the overordering of explosives.

Prinsloo said Amplats would continue to test the system on a trial basis for the next four months, with a final decision on whether to continue using the technology to be made in the next six months.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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