From the Editor

By Steve Fiscor, Editor-in-Chief Annually, the October edition of E&MJ covers Nordic Mining & Technology. This year, the subject has been divided into two feature articles. The first covers mining...
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This Month in Coal Mining

Officials at BHP Billiton have announced the layoff of 700 workers at its central Queensland coal operations, amid a slackening market; the BHP Billiton-Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) runs seven mines in the...

Process Solutions

Stillwater Mining Co. mines, smelts, refines, and markets palladium, platinum and byproduct metals contained in ore from a geological formation in southwestern Montana, USA, known as the J-M Reef....

Mining Equipment Gallery

Emerson Process Management’s new CSI9360 vibration/position transmitter isintended to provide an economical solution for extending basic protection to compressor, pump and fan assets. Developed...
Caterpillar said its new 824K wheel dozer builds on the performance of predecessor models with engineering refinements in its power train, operator station and structures, and in features that...
ARI-HETRA has introduced the WSBL2000 heavy-duty brake drum and disclathe, designed specifically for truck andtrailer wheels. According to the company, the WS-BL2000 brake lathe produces an evenly...
AFEX fire suppression systems are designed and purpose-built to protect heavy off-road equipment from the threat of fire. At the heart of these systems is the AFEX Control Unit, which employs the...
Gates' new iLok coupling addresses issues frequently encountered in underground longwall coal mines, where traditional staple-lock couplings often become corroded and can fuse together, making them...

CSR Watch

Suppliers Report

ABB has won a $103 million contract from Vale to install electrical and automation systems at the Brazilian mining company's S11D iron ore mine in the Carajás region of northern Brazil, as part of a...
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Mining Markets

By Steve Fiscor, Editor-in-Chief Market fundamentals are working against miners. Investor confidence, especially with the U.S. equities market, and an improving sentiment toward the U.S. economy are...
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Mining Operations & Strategies

Chile is known worldwide for copper mining and wine production. In several areas of the country, these two activities coexist. For example, a concentrator facility owned by Chilean-Romanian mining...

With explosive sales potential for Africa’s greenfield mine projects estimated at $500 million over the next five years, mining services companies need to provide quality solutions that yield greater results and ensure sustainability, according to Wayne du Chenne, executive director of global business services, AEL Mining Services.

Speaking at a mining conference held earlier this year, du Chenne said, “Gone are the days of being a commodity provider with a one-size fits all promise. Mining solution providers need to proactively play an important and creative role in assisting with solving production, environmental and socio-economic challenges in partnership with their customers, which is pivotal to contributing to future economic growth and sustainability in Africa.

“Our R&D department plays a vital role in keeping our global operations relevant. Tasked with the delivery of two ground-breaking innovations per year, the R&D team is actively involved in assisting AEL engineers and our mining optimization team develop solutions for specific mining applications,” said du Chenne, who pointed out that AEL’s recent list of innovations, developed in partnership with customers, includes a recently unveiled third-generation (3G) Shock Tube Uni-delay assembly aimed at demanding narrow-reef mining applications to improve environmental performance.

“These specific applications consume large amounts of shock tube detonators, resulting in large amounts of plastic waste which has environmental impact. AEL’s new 3G Shock Tube Uni-delay assembly addresses this challenge.

“This product is designed and manufactured at AEL’s Initiating Systems Automated Plant (ISAP) in Modderfontein—a completely automated production environment—and has less plastic components. Further enhancements are under way to develop this into a completely lead-free product that is even more environmentally friendly. The removal of lead solids from delay detonator assemblies could lead to a reduction in negative environmental impact,” he said.

Stuart Wade, executive director–AEL Africa, said a “holistic approach” is AEL’s preferred method for in providing mining solutions. “For instance, we understood that extracting platinum at one of our customer’s underground operations requires an outside-the box solution, and in terms of rock fragmentation, uniformity is not always what the mine requires as there are plant processing issues.”

In this instance, said Wade, the customer required both large and small rock fragmentation to ensure compatibility and a smooth output from their plant. “With this understanding, our mining optimization team assisted us to develop an explosive solution that ensured that blast results met the mine’s expectations.

“Sometimes we find that a small modification to the explosives’ solution makes a huge difference to blasting productivity, which exponentially affects the bottom line,” said Wade, who remarked that “operational agility” in providing custom-made solutions is a key factor in delivering successful solutions to the mining industry.

As Wade explained, “Our African experience was invaluable when we decided to globalize and expand into select international markets over six years ago. We met the demands of an Indonesian customer in South East Asia for 10 million shock tube initiating systems per year from a site that was set up for production in less than three months. Our R&D department also developed a tailor-made solution deploying used oil in its formula to ensure cost-savings and less impact on the environment.”

More recently, AEL has invested in plants in the DRC, as well as Burkina Faso, and has secured long-term contracts with mining customers in Egypt, Ghana, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

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