The Mechanised Drill & Blast programme is targeted at providing sustainable mechanised solutions to the gold and platinum mining industries by introducing disruptive technologies to facilitate zero harm and achieve financially sound underground mining operations with consistent production rates at optimal cost.
The objectives of the Mechanised Drill & Blast programme are as follows:
- To use mechanised technology to maintain specified safety standards when accessing new reserves;
- To increase the reserves within targeted operations using mechanised technologies;
- To increase the efficiency of mining operations by implementing disruptive technologies;
- To lay the foundation for the ultimate business objective of achieving 24/7 mining operations within the gold and platinum industries;
- In cases where original equipment manufacturers are unable to provide a commercial solution, the design and production of such equipment will be conducted locally;
- To assist in the development and implementation of the Technology Assessment and Readiness Atlas; and
- To pursue any prototypes developed in the programme and highlighted as feasible with a partner within the Mining Equipment Manufacturers of South Africa.
The research conducted through this programme will focus on:
- Safer mining operations through the implementation of workplace transformation;
- Efficient mining operations by improving the skill level of the workforce;
- The shift in volume to “quality volume” production e.g. less or no dilution by providing customised mechanised solutions;
- Maximising “quality volume” production by implementing innovative solutions to increase machine availability and utilisation; and
- Financially sound returns with an increase in the reserve statement.