From the Editor

By Steve Fiscor, Editor-in-Chief This month, E&MJ publishes the 2014 Iron Ore Report. Iron ore production is one of the most important aspects of the mining business. Readers might recall January...
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This Month in Coal Mining

  A scathing official report into the Soma mining disaster in Turkey has revealed negligent practices and a complete disregard for worker safety. The comprehensive analysis shows warning sensors were...

Process Solutions

Mining Equipment Gallery

MTE Corp., which designs and manufactures high-efficiency electrical power quality solutions, announced the introduction of its new dV Sentry motor protection filter. The company said using a dV/dt...
ClearSpan Fabric Structures added three different length options to its HD Building solutions. The HD Buildings are available in both gable‐ and round‐style designs and can be mounted as a...
Bosch’s Starter Motors and Generators division, recognizing that large-displacement engines place great demands on starters, has a new addition to its 24-volt starter motor portfolio: the HEF109-L...
ContiTech has designed its new Stahlcord Barrier steel cable conveyor belt to provide longer service life in surface mining applications. With robust steel transverse reinforcement in the top cover,...
Atlas Copco has unveiled a side-dump bucket option for the Scooptram line of underground LHD machines. Available on the Scooptram ST7, ST1030 and ST14 models, the side-dump option enables the...

Suppliers Report

Exportadora del Sal S.A. (ESSA) operates huge seawater salt evaporation ponds not far from the city of Guerrero Negro in western Mexico. The salt level “grows” by about 20 cm over the course of one...
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Mining Markets

Compiling data for its 25th edition of the Corporate Exploration Strategies (CES) study, SNL Mining & Metals estimated worldwide total budget for nonferrous metals exploration dropped to $11.36...
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Mining Operations & Strategies

DuPont Protection Technologies recently announced that the inclusion of its Kevlar material in mining conveyor belts has demonstrated increased productivity and reduced annual maintenance costs. Data...


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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