From the Editor

As this edition of Engineering & Mining Journal (E&MJ) was going to press, many mining companies were filing midyear financial reports or end of year financials depending on where they are...
More inFrom The Editor  

Process Solutions

By Paulo Correa All organizations need to protect their assets, but doing so is particularly difficult for industries with equipment installed in harsh environments. At Samarco’s iron ore...

Mining Equipment Gallery

Cap lamps, work lights and other handheld devices have slimmed down, toughened up and produce higher-quality illumination
B&J Rocket has been providing tools to various industries for many years, serving customers who regularly have to grind nonmetallic surfaces as a routine work task. In addition to tire retreading...

This Month in Coal Mining

Justices at the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 June 29 against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) landmark Mercury and Air Toxic Standards (MATS) outlines, ruling that the Obama...

Mining Operations & Strategies

Suppliers Report

ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions has received a contract from Apatit, a subsidiary of Russian fertilizer producer PhosAgro, to supply a complete in-pit crushing and conveying (IPCC) system for an...
More inSuppliers Report  

Mining Markets

Following the recent announcement by the Chinese central bank of a seemingly underwhelming 57% increase in gold reserves, the gold price plunged to below $1,100/oz amid a broader commodities...
More inMarkets  

CSR Watch


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.

Let's stay in touch!

All of the latest mining news and our digital edition sent to your inbox once a week.

We'll never share your email address, and you can opt out at any time, we promise.