01 December 2010


  In this issue
Outstanding safety record at Two Rivers Platinum Mine

Developments to improve production and safety

Tracking the improvement in production with the new Hydraulic drills
  Recent achievements

Congratulations Vincent Dikana for your outstanding safety achievements - 5 years with no accidents.

  Contact us
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33 Loveday Street
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Wanderers Cricket 

 We have 14 tickets for the game.  Contact me if you would like to  watch the game from our  hospitality box at the Wanderers 
 15th January 2.30pm
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Whilst on my travels...

It was good to catch up with my old friend Jabu Khumalo down at Two Rivers Platinum Mine in the Steelpoort Valley. Jabu, who is the Chief Geologist at the mine, is passionate about his work and insisted that I come down to celebrate a safety milestone achieved by Lesedi Drilling at Two Rivers. Lesedi Drilling has been providing drilling services to the mine since it went underground in 2003. 
”Lesedi Drilling has not had a single safety incident or accident during continuous operations in 5 years,” Jabu told guests and Lesedi personnel gathered at the celebratory braai. “This is an extraordinary achievement that I have never experienced before,  I want to congratulate Vincent Dikana and his team for a magnificent effort.”

Dempsey Fouche, Lesedi’s Area Manager, explained that this was truly an event worth celebrating. “Compromising safety is absolutely not an option for Lesedi Drilling, and I hope the fact that our safety measures and precautions have kept our staff safe for 5 years shows our staff and customers how much we value our employees.”
 Well done Dempsey, Vincent and the Two Rivers team.


I observed a new experimental lightweight platform being assembled in the Lesedi Orkney workshops for Kopanang Mine. The mine has called for a reduction in the risks associated with drilling “up” holes and and we have built a prototype for evaluation in response.


Lesedi Production Statistics:

The statistics for our productivity in the Platinum sector are quite interesting. It’s clear that the Two Rivers Team is not just leading the pack with regard to safety but in productivity too. It is not surprising that this is the case as Jabu Khumalo, Chief Geologist, spends a lot of time planning new holes and ensuring that services for the drilling teams are in place well before the drill is required to move into a new cubby.

It is a common misconception that productivity is the sole domain of the senior drilling man on site - he actually has very limited power over his destiny on a shaft. The real power lies with mine management and their quest for efficiency. There is a strong correlation between a mine’s profitability and the drilled metres per machine per shift. A poor drilling productivity result is usually associated with a struggling mine while a high productivity result usually reveals a profitable efficient operation.  

Progress Report: Hydraulic Mamba  

The deployment of the first two brand-new 45 kw hydraulic drills at Kopanang is an important event for Lesedi Drilling. These drills have replaced the hydraulic feedscrew drills and offer safer and efficient rod handling as well as higher productivity. The requirement is to achieve an average output of 15m per shift from the drills, which compares with a figure of 6m per shift for the MetreEater or Kempe hydraulic feedscrew drills. Lesedi Drilling has invested R8 million in these South-African made drills during the last 4 months. Four machines have already been deployed at AngloGold Ashanti’s Kopanang Mine and a further 4 machines will be deployed at AGA’s Moab Khotsong Mine.   

The output of EP 45 -1 on its maiden hole is recorded below. 



This is a good result reflecting that the design criteria have essentially been met. Operator familiarity and the good old “learning curve” will also add to greater output from the drill.

The second drill EP 45-2 achieved even better results – unfortunately the final result was clouded by a water pump failure that lasted for 6 days. However, if we remove this factor from the analysis then the result is exceptional and exceeds our expectations. The 50m drilled in the 3rd shift is remarkable and achieved a result that a feedscrew hydraulic drill just cannot compete with.
It is important to remember that the EP series drills take up the same amount of cubby space as a feedscrew drill. They do not require the massive excavations of the LM series of hydraulic drills from Boart Longyear. The LM drill operates at 75 to 90 kw power levels and the EP series significantly lower. The EP 22 has a power rating of 22kw and the EP 45 a 45kw rating. An EP 45 drill would be comfortable drilling a 500m AXT size hole and the EP 22 250-300m. 

Kindest regards



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