Back to Zambia

Mining and Technical Exhibitions is heading back to Zambia in July, and for those of you who are not familiar with the country or with our exhibitions, then read on, as you might just take your business to new heights. MMPR pans in on the mining industry of Zambia to illustrate the situation and why you should visit Zambia if you are working in the mining business.


The face of drilling today

The dimensions involved in today’s drilling solutions need to be explored for a better understanding of what the mining industry should expect. MMPR spoke to different experts involved
in various drilling solutions for the mining industry to illustrate how the situation fares. Otto Coetzer, Vula Drilling Director: Product Development shared some insight, “We manufacture drilling consumables that we use for underground drilling. There are two specific types of drilling applications:


A tribute to tools

Toolboxes can be customised for different trades.

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Tooling in the mining industry is an extremely broad topic as there are thousands of different kinds of tools.
The Oxford Dictionary describes a tool as an implement used to carry out a particular function, or a thing used to help perform a job.

Element 6, which has strong roots in the South African diamond industry, dating back some 60 years, provides a good reference point for some of the tools that are being used in the mining sector today.

  • Hard rock – drilling is typically required in exploratory and blasting holes, so the choice of inserts to mount into drill tools should be taken into consideration.
  • Soft rock – a range of hard wearing tungsten carbide products and synthetic diamond picks is believed to offer overwhelming benefits to the industry.
  • Tunnelling – round shank picks with a diversity of head designs and retainer systems are needed for this specific application, and inserts can be customised for specific requirements. Drill bits are used for roof bolting, particularly those equipped with tungsten carbide or polycrystalline diamond inserts to suit the rock conditions.

Such a brief overview already shows some key concepts that emerge:

  • Synthetic diamond – working face material in exploratory and blast hole drilling through the world’s hardest formations, which exist in a range of different sizes, strengths, and coatings.
  • Polycrystalline diamond – can be mounted on drills and picks to increase penetration rates and increase longevity of performance life.
  • Carbide tungsten – tough, hard and economical with good wear resistance even at high temperatures.

    Click here to read the full feature article on page 10 of the Jan/Feb 2014 issue of MMPR ...

Communication systems speak volumes

A world of technological gizmos and gadgets goes into making the right communication equipment.

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Tiaan Tromp, Becker Mining South Africa sales manager, gave a rundown of a number of individual modes of communication.

Leaky feeder
Leaky Feeder, for those less familiar, is a mine wide communications systems that is based on a radiating cable that can be deployed where ever the mine requires communication. The cable has gaps / slots that “leak” the signal in and out; one can say that it is like a gigantic antenna system, and can be dubbed as one of the most effective mine-wide communication backbones.

“The leaky feeder is primarily a voice communications system, but also manages data transfer, particularly tagging and tracking,” said Tromp.

“A lateral system, one can “spider-web” it wherever it needs to go with special equipment used to spilt the cable and allow it to branch.
Think of it as a system with a tap, hosepipe and sprinkler; the more it branches the less “water pressure” there will be, so at some point you are going to need a pump to pump up the pressure again. The same principle applies to a Leaky Feeder, so every 350m (for UHF) to 500m (for VHF), you will need to insert a power amplifier to boost up the signal again.  

Industrial Wi-Fi/fiber
Industrial Wi-Fi is also a communications backbone, run using a fiber optic network and / or meshing with hot spots underground, much like hot spots we find in airports, malls and restaurants.
It is can be connected back to the mine’s IT infrastructure or on a seperate network and makes up a mine wide communication system for voice, video and data.

Click here to read the full feature article on page 5 in the Mar/Apr issue of MMPR ...

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