Global technology company MAXAM – specialising in the design, development, manufacture and application of energetic materials – will exhibit its blasting solutions product range for mining, quarries and infrastructure works at this year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba.
MAXAM has an extensive product portfolio and is the continent’s largest supplier of cartridge explosives products, based on its RIOGEL technology. The RIOGEL product is complementary to the company’s range of bulk products supplied on the continent, which include the RIOMEX emulsion-based explosive products and RIOFLEX watergel-based explosive products.
RIOFLEX is one of MAXAM’s differential technologies. It is a highly energetic, robust and a flexible density bulk hydrogel suspension-based explosive, representing the latest development in bulk explosives technology. It is delivered into blast holes with smart delivery systems over a wide range of energies and densities. The density of the product can be adjusted from 0.6 g/cm3 to 1.35 g/cm3. RIOFLEX can also be customised to deliver previously unavailable variations between shock and heave energies to fragment and move the rock mass as needed, creating the muck pile required for efficient excavation.
This increased flexibility gives a better energy distribution in the blast hole, reducing subdrilling requirements and resulting in improved floor conditions. RIOFLEX crosslinks in the blast hole, reducing product migration through cracks and fissures in the rock and also limits stemming dilution. This high-level control mitigates uncontrolled blasts, reduces fly-rock incidents and reduces post-blast fumes.
The company states that its RIOFLEX product plays a key role in achieving MAXAM’s Energy Optimisation Approach. The approach consists of viewing a mining operation as a process where a large portion of the costs are linked to the consumption of some sort of energy. Drilling and blast represents a small percentage of energy consumption, but if these elements are well-designed and executed, these activities have the potential to considerably reduce energy consumption downstream in the mining operations.
RIOFLEX superior energy offers the opportunity for expanded drill patterns and improved fragmentation reducing the energy consumed and the costs associated with drilling, blasting, secondary breaking, loading, hauling, crushing and milling.
Additionally, by reducing energy consumption, its environmental impact is also limited.
MAXAM states that it has been investing on the African continent for over 40 years. It believes its track record and global leadership, combined with strong local capabilities, have allowed the company to position itself as a leader within its segment in Africa.
The company has grown its African business to a substantial part of its global portfolio, operating manufacturing plants in nine countries and managing projects in 20 African countries. Its staff on the continent exceeds 800 members and is growing in line with its business expansion.
MAXAM states that its success is based on its global experience, a deep understanding of local markets, strong local capabilities and a set of unique technologies and technical knowledge that enables it to unlock large cost reduction opportunities.
One of MAXAM’s key competitive advantages is its vertical integration, securing and producing most of the key raw materials that it uses, namely ammonium nitrate, nitric acid and nitrocellulose. The company benefits from a security of supply and cost stability for strategic raw materials while it maintains flexibility to adapt to changing market conditions.
MAXAM has multiple manufacturing facilities on the continent as well as targeted distribution centres to support customers. MAXAM has operated in a wide variety of projects. The company concludes that, as a result of its vast experience, it can develop tailored cost saving and continuous improvement programmes and track the evolution throughout a project’s life cycle, ensuring that the total cost of the operation is kept to the minimum.