At the summit of the global mining explosives industry

The AECI Mining Pillar is an integration of AECI Mining Explosives and AECI Mining Chemicals.

AECI Mining is strengthening its position in the global mining marketplace by integrating a new brand and increasing a focus on offering its customers more holistic solutions.

AECI Mining’s strategic global expansion drive compels the company to be increasingly cognisant of the international environment and focus its research and development (R&D) efforts to satisfy a much more diverse market.

The strategy is underpinned by the company’s unique ability to design and manufacture products and solutions, which can solve the intricate challenges faced by miners all over the world.

While these efforts are coupled with enhancing AECI Mining’s distinguished brand, the company remains steadfast in its quest to operate safely and sustainably without any harm to people or the environment.

AECI Mining continues to place a strong focus on repositioning itself as a strategic partner in the value chain of its mining customers.   

The AECI Mining Pillar was strategically devised by integrating AECI Mining Explosives (AEL Intelligent Blasting) and AECI Mining Chemicals (Senmin) as a means of bolstering the broader mining value chain.

The new brand has rejuvenated the group’s position in the mining industry. By leveraging both the strong brand and the group’s innovation drive, AECI Mining is energised by the potential this integration holds in the evolving mining market.

Excited about the company’s future opportunities, AECI Mining managing director Edwin Ludick says the new brand has been well received.

“By providing a combined solution to the market, we are optimising on opportunities with our customers and growing our footprint globally,” Ludick says.

“Through effective collaboration with all stakeholders, AECI Mining is increasing its contribution and focus on digitised mining, to ensure that we lead the market within this space.”

Global expansion

The venture is already yielding results, with the company finalising an acquisition of Brazilian explosives manufacturer, Dinacon.

The transaction includes full ownership of a bulk emulsion plant, packaged explosives manufacturing facility, licensed storage facilities and distribution networks. The agreement was settled in the first half of 2020.

It provides AECI Mining Explosives with a platform from which to grow, not only in Brazil, but across Latin America. Peru and Chile, two established mining destinations in the region, have also been flagged as key growth markets for the company alongside Brazil.

Dinacon’s Lorena facilities mainly serve the Brazilian construction and civil blasting industry, but had limited exposure to the country’s mining sector, something that AECI Mining will focus on changing.

Ludick says there are significant opportunities to grow the Dinacon business under AECI’s ownership.

The group will leverage its experience in underground and surface mining to achieve this. Ludick believes AECI Mining’s existing relationships with global mining customers will stand the company in good stead in Latin America.

AECI Mining Explosive’s industry leading range of emulsions.

 

Cutting-edge innovations

IntelliBlast underscores AECI Mining’s intelligence, experience, R&D, and offers a holistic and flexible approach to help customers on their unique journey to optimal blast outcomes. IntelliBlast demonstrates to customers that AECI Mining is perfectly positioned to deploy seamlessly into their operations through the use of its innovative and agile products and services.

This offering is underpinned by four main enablers: adaptable delivery systems, blast consult, intelligent software and differentiated products.

AECI Mining’s growth is supported by sustained investment in R&D to keep its operations at the frontier of technology to deliver innovation and state-of-the-art solutions.

Ludick says a strong R&D drive puts the company at the forefront of cutting-edge innovation. An example of this is the company’s focus on autonomous mobile manufacturing units (MMUs), which are set to usher in new standards in the explosives industry.

“In future, we will see autonomous MMUs with patented technology and smart-loading capabilities, which will intelligently deliver explosives according to GPS coordinates positioning,” Ludick says.

“We believe that going autonomous will significantly contribute to improving safety and accuracy in blasting processes.”

AECI Mining Explosives product manager Ritzema Nel says a significant development that bolsters its emulsions offering is the Powergel X2 range.

The solution is designed for surface mining applications, where extreme blasting conditions, such as hot holes and reactive ground, or a combination of both conditions, exist. The product was introduced to the market in the first half of 2020.

“Powergel X2 is a revolutionary breakthrough,” explains Nel, who adds that most other products available in the market cater for either reactive ground or hot holes, but not both.

The product was developed and tested by some of the most dedicated and creative minds from AECI Mining’s R&D department. Its other key benefits include eliminating the need to use plastic sleeving in reactive holes.

Meanwhile, AECI Mining Explosives has broken new ground with its underground emulsion at the Khoemacau copper project in Botswana. This is the first time since the Gautrain project in South Africa that the product has been deployed at an operation of this magnitude.   

So far, results have been excellent and the project is consistently exceeding targeted milestones. The company is also excited about a venture in Zambia and the success it has recorded with its Vertical Drop technology, delivering sticky formulation at 980 metres underground, which is the deepest recorded installation done by AECI Mining Explosives to date”.

Elsewhere, Nel says the company is on its way to deploying a bagged emulsion offering in South Africa’s underground mining sector.

By partnering with customers on their unique journey, AECI is able to ensure efficient and sustainable blasting practices by focussing on optimal blast outcomes, optimising blasting processes and solving blasting problems.

This article will appear in the September issue of Australian Mining.

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