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Explosives News

Emulsion delivery system a ‘game changer’

14th May 2021 In an expansion project at its Chambishi mine in Zambia, metal company Non-Ferrous China Africa (NFCA) opted to install explosives company AECI Mining Explosives’ emulsion vertical delivery system (EVDS) to further its aim of developing a cost-effective mining operation. Both the emulsion and... 

Aspasa launches online explosives audit, encourages members to register qualified engineers

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd May 2021 Surface mining industry association the Aggregate and Sand Producers Association of Southern Africa (Aspasa) has launched an innovative and nonintrusive online explosives audit in its ongoing attempts to increase the safety and effectiveness of blasting operations at mines. Over the past three... 

Group introduces new blasting brand

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     30th April 2021 Blasting technology is moving mining towards a more sustainable future, a trend spurred by the recent launch of blast services provider BME’s Blast Alliance brand on April 1, says BME MD Joe Keenan. Member of the JSE-listed Omnia group, BME announced during the launch that the Blast Alliance... 

Group introduces new blasting brand
BIGGER AND BETTER The drive for larger blasts where the mine’s scale and geology allow for them - has several benefits for an operation

Chilean mining city of Calama rocked by blast at explosives factory

By: Reuters     19th April 2021 A large blast rocked the northern Chilean mining city of Calama on Friday afternoon following an explosion in a storage warehouse belonging to Enaex , which produces explosives for the mining industry. The explosion shook buildings and set off car alarms up to 25 km from the plant and generated... 

Canadian underground mining likely to take hydrogen ventilation lead – HySA 

By: Martin Creamer     6th April 2021 Canadian and Australian mines are big on wanting hydrogen ventilation in underground mining operations, and Canada will likely lead in the use of hydrogen underground. This is the view of Professor Dmitri Bessarabov, the director of the Department of Science and Innovation's National Centre of... 

Canadian underground mining likely to take hydrogen ventilation lead – HySA
Hydrogen South Africa hydrogen ventilation research site in North West.

Company releases drill, blast knowledge base

2nd April 2021 Underground drill and blast planning software company iRing has introduced an extensive, searchable and comprehensive Knowledge Base that provides answers to questions concerning the use of commercial explosives in mining and construction applications. This includes the physics of the detonation... 

Company releases drill, blast knowledge base
COVERING EXPLOSIVE DEVELOPMENT The Knowledge Base provides analysis and descriptions of the use of commercial explosives many topics, including applications and use of explosives in mining and construction

AECI sets 2025 sustainability targets 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th March 2021 Chemicals group AECI has set itself six group-specific sustainability targets for 2025, as shared in the company’s first-ever sustainability report published on March 26. The sustainability report includes a sustainability framework with ten overarching goals for “a better world” in the areas... 

AECI sets 2025 sustainability targets
AECI CEO Mark Dytor

New blasting system to be launched in 2021

By: Theresa Bhowan     12th March 2021 Explosives and blasting systems provider Orica will launch the next generation of the wireless blasting system solution, WebGen 200. The WebGen 200 is set for commercial release in late 2021; with availability subject to the regulatory approvals. Orica initiating systems VP Adam Mooney describes... 

New blasting system  to be launched in 2021
BLAST OFF Since the launch of WebGen in 2017, Orica has executed more than 1 550 blasts that have been detonated using the wireless technology

AECI’s diversification strategy helped to deliver solid 2020 performance amid challenging year

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th February 2021 JSE-listed chemicals group AECI has declared a final cash dividend of 470c apiece for the year ended December 31, 2020, despite a 55% year-on-year decrease in profit from operations to R917-million. The total ordinary dividend for 2020 was 570c apiece, unchanged from the total dividend for 2019.  

AECI’s diversification strategy helped to deliver solid 2020 performance amid challenging year
Photo by Creamer Media
AECI CEO Mark Dytor

Conducive environs offer lucrative prospects despite difficulties

By: Mamaili Mamaila     29th January 2021 Many of Africa’s mineral deposits can deliver good yields to investors, even after the additional costs that are often incurred when operating in regions without sufficient infrastructure. 

Conducive environs offer lucrative prospects despite difficulties
ALBIE VISSER The state of the global economy has been an important external factor, leading to weak commodity prices that weighed on mining pre-Covid. However, several commodities have recovered well in recent months.

High demand for TES in blasting sector

By: Tracy Hancock     16th October 2020 The use of temporary employment services (TES) is common among South African blasting companies, and demand for this service is high, says TES provider Workforce Staffing area manager Hendri Poolman. The scarcity of skills in the field presents a challenge for blasting companies. 

High demand for TES  in blasting sector
FINDING FLEXIBILITY Temporary staffing services can address the fluctuating staffing requirements of blasting companies

Explosives manufacturer helps fight illicit explosives

16th October 2020 To promote the fight against the illegal use of explosives, commercial explosives supplier AECI Mining Explosives has partnered with private-sector canine programme Vapor Wake K9 South Africa (VWK9SA) by providing explosives samples to assist in the training of its dogs.     Criminal activities... 

Explosives manufacturer helps fight illicit explosives
CRITICAL COLLABORATION AECI Mining Explosives’ Michelle Le Roux and Christo Peltz with South African Civil Aviation Authority-certified dogs and handlers from Vapor Wake K9 South Africa

FRAGTrack wins international Good Design award

16th October 2020 Explosives and blasting systems provider Orica announced last month that its innovative fragmentation measurement technology FRAGTrack was awarded a Good Design accolade in the engineering category, for outstanding design and innovation.  The yearly Good Design Awards recognise and celebrate... 

FRAGTrack wins international Good Design award
AWARD WINNING FRAGTrack is an automated fragmentation measurement device that accurately and reliably measures rock size and fragmentation after the blasting stage in mining and quarrying

Company sets detonator new record

16th October 2020 The Enaex Africa team set another record for the highest number of detonators (3 876 units) fired in a single blast in South Africa, using DaveyTronic detonators at United Manganese of Kalahari (UMK). The average hole depth of the 1 938 holes was 14 m, with two detonators per hole. 

Company sets detonator new record
PRIORITISING SAFETY Record-breaking feats can only be celebrated when all involved are safe

Sustaining security of supply, efficiency amid state of disaster

By: Tracy Hancock     16th October 2020 Adapting to the ‘new normal’ bought on by the Covid-19 outbreak will require companies to listen to and meet the changing needs of customers by adopting new working methods and complying with evolving lockdown regulations, says explosives and blasting services provider BME technology and... 

Sustaining security of supply, efficiency amid state of disaster
SOLID SUPPLY Omnia Group’s Sasolburg nitric acid plant enhances supply security in the group and ensured that BME had no stockouts during the hard lockdown

New rig offers autonomous capabilities on smaller blast holes

By: Halima Frost     18th September 2020 Construction engineering company Basil Read Mining has launched a new autonomous drill that could offer an increase of about 30% in productivity, compared to manual drilling, contracts director Nqobile Khumalo tells Mining Weekly. The first C650 drill is to be delivered to a mine in Botswana... 

New rig offers autonomous capabilities on smaller blast holes
NQOBILE KHUMALO the automated C650 offers two distinct benefits when drilling coal deposits

Omnia's mining division celebrates record-breaking achievements

By: Simone Liedtke     14th September 2020 Diversified chemicals group Omnia Holdings is celebrating several record-breaking achievements across Protea Mining Chemicals and BME, which together form the group’s mining division. Protea Mining Chemicals became the first in its field, globally, to develop a solution that helps copper and... 

BME achieves another blasting record

By: Simone Liedtke     24th August 2020 Explosives, related accessories and blasting services provider BME has broken the South African record for the largest electronic detonator blast by initiating 3 780 detonators in a single blast at a manganese mine in the Northern Cape. BME Northern Cape area manager Kobus Boonzaaier says the... 

BME achieves another blasting record

Electra Mining Africa 2020 going digital with Connect – and it’s free of charge 

By: Martin Creamer     20th August 2020 The Electra Mining Africa Connect week will enable exhibitors to promote their products and services free of charge alongside industry-related informative webinars, media activations and product showcase opportunities from September 7 to 11. For the first time in 48 years, Electra Mining Africa... 

Electra Mining Africa 2020 going digital with Connect – and it’s free of charge
Specialised Exhibitions MD Gary Corin outlines Electra Mining Africa 2020 Connect plans to Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

New blasting record set at Northern Cape mine

By: Simone Liedtke     13th August 2020 Blasting services company Enaex Africa has set a new record for the highest number of detonators fired in a single blast in South Africa, by blasting 3 618 units at United Manganese of Kalahari's Russik mine, in the Northern Cape. Enaex´s subsidiary in Africa is a joint venture with... 

Women representation in mining ‘getting there’

By: Mamaili Mamaila     7th August 2020 Women have definitely been taking up more opportunities in the mining sector, and this is even evident when visiting underground operations, says explosives and blasting company BME. 

Women representation in mining ‘getting there’
ONWARDS AND UPWARDS BME has a promising representation of women in its ranks, from operator level to mining engineers, including the company’s logistics and central services

AECI still turns healthy profit, dividend owing to a robust response plan   

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th July 2020 JSE-listed chemicals group AECI has declared a gross interim cash dividend of 100c apiece for the six months ended June 30, owing to its well managed cash resources and despite the negative effects of Covid-19. The negative impact of Covid-19 on the company, in the six months under review, was... 

AECI still turns healthy profit, dividend owing to a robust response plan
AECI CEO Mark Dytor discusses the Covid-19 impact on the company and its business drivers going forward

Webinar discusses heavy-duty-mining-vehicle fire risk

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     24th July 2020 Vehicle fire suppression system solutions provider Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection hosted a webinar last month to discuss the most common fire risk trends for heavy duty mining vehicles, as well as present recommendations and best practices to ensure that these risks are minimised or eliminated. The... 

Webinar discusses heavy-duty-mining-vehicle fire risk
MINIMISING DOWN TIME A well-integrated fire suppression system minimises the risks of costly downtime that a fire can entail

Active barriers part of guidelines on preventing explosions

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     24th July 2020 Following the update on the prevention of flammable gas and coal dust explosions in collieries published in April this year by the Mine Health and Safety Council (MHSC), active roadway barriers are now part of the MHSC guideline on preventing flammable gas explosions at South African coal mines.... 

Active barriers part of guidelines on preventing explosions
FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM Active roadway barriers are automatic explosion-suppression systems designed specifically to stop and suppress methane gas and coal dust explosions at the point of ignition

Sacred site destruction demonstrates industry's need to improve corporate citizenship

By: Mamaili Mamaila     24th July 2020 Diversified miner Rio Tinto's destruction of a 46 000-year-old sacred Aboriginal site in the Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara – which occurred in last month following a misunderstanding during the extension of the Brockman 4 iron-ore mine – demonstrates the adverse environmental and cultural impact... 

Sacred site destruction demonstrates industry's need to improve corporate citizenship
Photo by Reuters
IN THE SPOTLIGHT Devastation left in the wake of a tailings dam burst owned by Vale and BHP Billiton in Mariana, Brazil

BME highlights efforts to secure mining supply chains under lockdown

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st July 2020 Covid-19 lockdown restrictions around Southern Africa have put the spotlight on mines’ supply chain security, especially with regard to key inputs like explosives and specialised blasting services. According to blasting specialist BME GM Albie Visser, mines have relied heavily on the flexibility... 

Company facilitates efficient furnace shutdown projects

By: Halima Frost     29th May 2020 Demolition solutions provider Jet Demolition offers specialised demolition services and machines that are easily adapted to the challenging conditions of furnace-related shutdown projects. “Furnaces have a finite lifetime before requiring significant maintenance and repair work,” says Jet... 

Mining may resume at 50% capacity – Minister 

By: Martin Creamer     16th April 2020 All mining operations, excluding collieries supplying Eskom which have been permitted to operate at full capacity throughout national lockdown, may now resume at 50% capacity during the remaining lockdown days, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe said on Thursday. Thereafter,... 

Mining may resume at 50% capacity – Minister
Photo by Veronica Creamer
Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Matashe during virtual media conference.

Strong exploration activity in Canada serves for a bit of good news

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd April 2020 Amid a surge of bad news for businesses and societies globally, explosives manufacturer BME is nonetheless excited about the exploration landscape for mining in Canada. The company launched its BME Mining Canada last year, which is a joint venture with Consbec – the largest civils drill and... 

AECI’s Mining Solutions business boosts group profitability in 2019 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th February 2020 JSE-listed chemicals manufacturer AECI reported growth in all its operating segments in the year ended December 31, and managed to achieve 10% growth in its headline earnings per share (HEPS). The company declared a total dividend of R5.70 apiece, compared with the R5.15 apiece declared in the... 

AECI’s Mining Solutions business boosts group profitability in 2019
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
AECI CEO Mark Dytor

Commission finds in favour of Enaex, Sasol Explosives merger

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th February 2020 The Competition Commission has unconditionally approved a proposed merger whereby international explosives distributor Enaex intends to acquire JSE-listed petrochemicals company Sasol’s Explosives business. Enaex commercialises, distributes and manufactures explosives and blasting agents. It... 

No boom expected for battery metals

By: Darren Parker     24th January 2020 The battery metals market is not expected to show a significant upturn this year, says blasting solutions and explosives manufacturer BME Southern Africa operations GM Albie Visser. “We do not anticipate a massive increase. However, BME will follow the lead of the electronic vehicle (EV)... 

No boom expected for battery metals
BATTERY EMPOWERMENT In focus at this year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba is the leveraging of precious metals and battery metals to create economic stability and thriving communities

Sasol, Enaex conclude negotiations to establish explosives JV

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th November 2019 Integrated energy and chemicals company Sasol and Enaex, a subsidiary of the Sigdo Koppers Group, have concluded negotiations to establish a joint venture. The companies will file an application with the South African Competition Commission to seek approval for the merger. 

Mobile emulsion pumps technology goes global

By: Darren Parker     1st November 2019 South African explosives company BME is taking its MP2 mobile mechanised emulsion pump technology for underground blasting applications to international markets. BME product manager Neil Alberts tells Engineering News that demonstrations of the MP2 emulsion pump technology are being planned for... 

Mobile emulsion pumps technology goes global
EXPLOSIVE PUMPING The MP2 emulsion pumping system is ideal for large-scale mechanised underground operations

Industry changes impact on explosives sector

By: Mamaili Mamaila     18th October 2019 Owing to low overall business confidence, year-on-year mining production declining by more than 4% and volatility across all mineral commodities, the explosives industry has remained relatively undynamic, says explosives and blasting company BME commercial marketing GM Ralf Hennecke.  

Industry changes impact on explosives sector
MINERAL POTENTIAL South Africa’s reserves of key minerals are still high, but that it will take a long time to unlock them

Transformation in explosives sector yet to ignite

By: Cameron Mackay     18th October 2019 Economic transformation in the mining, drilling and blasting industry remains slow and requires greater engagement from critical roleplayers, such as government, who should encourage the industry to realise the benefits of transformation, says rock blasting and demolition company Master Blasters... 

Transformation in explosives sector  yet to ignite
TRANSFORMATION TROUBLES Despite legislation, emerging black-owned companies still struggle with access to larger mining projects, owing to a lack of resources, experience and support

Water-gel technology allows for customised blasting solutions

By: Cameron Mackay     18th October 2019 Global blasting solutions provider MAXAM’s premium bulk water-gel technology range of blends, referred to as RIOFLEX, has been well received by the South African market and will allow the company to build on its presence in the country for over 20 years, says MAXAM Southern Africa regional sales... 

Water-gel technology allows for customised blasting solutions
CONSTANT IMPROVEMENT MAXAM has been implementing continuous improvement programmes targeting cost reduction over the mine-to-mill process

Omnia seeks to reset course as it emerges from financial distress

By: Terence Creamer     11th October 2019 JSE-listed Omnia, best known for the production of fertilisers, explosives and specialty chemicals, expects a strategic review of the business to be completed during the first quarter of 2020. The outcome of the review could result in the sale of certain product lines or units, as well as the... 

Omnia seeks to reset course as it emerges from financial distress
Omnia CEO Seelan Gobalsamy
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