Drilling contractor plans to evolve grouting services

25th March 2022 By: Claire O'Reilly

Drilling technology solutions provider Rosond’s grouting services are one of the foundations on which the company has built its reputation in the mining industry and, as such, it is a critical part of its complete service offering.

Rosond states that it has been at the forefront of innovative interventions and designs in the grouting industry.

Using original-equipment-manufacturer plant equipment, such as grout pumps and mixers, it has developed a grouting system that is cost effective and efficient, says Rosond mining director Carlos da Silva.

Constant improvements are being made, including the addition of telematics, he adds.

Referring to the Diamond Drilling Handbook by W.F Heinz, Da Silva explains that cover grouting and drilling is the local term for creating an ‘umbrella’, a ‘shield’ or tunnel by means of drilling and grouting before the start of excavations to safely mine, develop or sink under or through a rock formation.

According to Da Silva, Heinz says cover grouting and drilling are done as a matter of routine in the South African mining industry, varying only in the intensity of the treatment, which depends on in situ conditions such as the quality of rock and permeability.

“Grouting is more an art than an engineering science,” states Heinz in his book.

Grouting is a routine procedure when mining in virgin ground. Various grouting materials are used, such as cement and chemicals, which are injected based on the type of rock intersected, as well as whether there is water or various types of gases underground.

In recent years, advancements in cement and chemical grouting have been driven by a better understanding of the grouting process and the behaviour of grouting materials.

In addition, new grouting materials, such as micro-fine cements, and techniques, such as chemical grouting, have been developed. Other factors, such as environmental concerns and digitisation, have also contributed to advances in grouting, says Da Silva.

Rosond is actively supplying pack grouting services to two major underground platinum mines in South Africa.

“We have five active grout plants in service at these mines. The plants provide grout packs underground as a means of primary support,” says Da Silva.

Rosond has more than 200 employees providing this service for the mining complex. Over the years, the company has developed an in-house training solution for all its employees working with grouting.

Da Silva comments that the biggest opportunity for expanding Rosond’s grouting services lies in mining operations becoming deeper, as grouting provides a solution that is safer than traditional “stick support systems”.

Rosond will strive to maintain a “safe, fast and quality service” for clients.

“We have achieved zero harm at many operations, and we wish to keep building towards our goal of ensuring that this incorporates sustainability as well,” he concludes.