Maintaining a workable underground mining environment is a big challenge that requires highly focused support systems to achieve absolute safety and achieve optimum production. That is why, in South Africa, the mining industry has a set target to eliminate mining fatalities to zero by 2020.
According to the Department of Mineral Resources , platinum and gold sectors were the biggest contributors to fatalities in 2016 although there was a 5% decline in the fatalities. Hence, enhancing safety underground is imperative.
Contributing to the topic of eliminating mining fatalities, Director of Minova , Donald O’Connor, believes in underground safety equipment, the performance of the support systems and the safety of the operators installing the support system are paramount.
Ground support methods
Rock bolting, over the years, has proved to be an integral component for underground support system . O’Connor mentions “Quick-cem” integrated Lokset installation as one of the methods. The method provides for reliable, fast and efficient rock bolting using mechanised drill rigs in hard-rock mines.
Another method is the “Slim hole” bolting system for stope bolting in hard rock mines, which uses integrated system of drill steels, small drill bits, resin capsules, rock bolts and autorock drilling rigs to improve the performance, increase the safety, as well as reduce the cost of rock bolting in low stopes.
These products are already available on the international market, with other organisations providing them mainly in Africa, Australia and South America.
O’Connor discolses that Minova will soon be launching the “Tekcrete” Fast range on ultra-strong and ultra fast-setting shotcretes, provides effective rock surface support in minutes, using a only fraction of the thickness of conventional shotcretes.