Wealth Unearthed

As one of the leading explosives companies with a century old history, AEL truly understands the enormous responsibility of its role in mining the earth.

Mining the earth’s resources is the reason for AEL's existence. AEL also deeply appreciates the importance of mining to the welfare of a nation’s people and the development of economies.

AEL strives to take care in the development, supply and application of its energy solutions in mining industries around the world. After all, AEL breaks rock – with care and well-controlled energy.

With this in mind, AEL also strives to continually evolve and remain relevant to its customers and the broader community of stakeholders.

AEL takes its role as leader in many markets, applications and technologies very seriously, believing in the power of active collaboration with its customers.

AEL's passion for meticulous care and controlled energy drives its customer focus and innovation. It strongly underpins AEL's corporate objective ‘to continually evolve and remain relevant'.

It ensures a sharpness in AEL's core competencies of ‘making its technologies significantly beneficial and immensely accessible’.

But AEL's resolve to “unearth wealth with meticulous care, and energy" extends more broadly:

  • To unearth the wealth of talent in its people and energising them to do remarkable work
  • To unearth the wealth in its technology programmes and energetically bringing them to fruition
  • To unearth the wealth and energy in productive and mutually beneficial customer relationships
  • To unearth the wealth that mining brings to a nation’s people… and ‘how AEL can contribute more broadly’.

To deliver this, AEL constantly has to rely on its values of ‘confidence, courage and care’.

AEL applies its learning to successfully develop and bring appropriate technologies and services to mining industries throughout the world.

To this end, AEL commits itself to:

Quality through a culture of continuous improvement

AEL understands why quality is important to its customers. At the rock face, we learn through experience how our products and services can deliver improved results for your mine. This is what drives our investment in continuously improving our market offering. Customers reap the benefits of this continuous improvement as we provide you with superior products and better blasting efficiencies, at a competitive cost. We call it 'total blasting solutions'.

We continue to maintain and develop an internationally accepted quality management system according to AEL's accredited ISO 9001 and world-class rating. AEL also adheres to the United Nations’ quality standards, as set out in the international markets.

AEL's customers are assured that they always receive products and services that are fit-for-purpose and of superior quality and safety standards.

Delivery on time and in full

AEL understands that its customers require absolute reliability and the knowledge that their blasting products will be delivered on time and in the right quantity. In order to achieve exceptional reliability, and guided by customer demand, we invest in creating a network of strategically located distribution sites. Our capability to supply on time, dependably, allows our customers to carry very low stock levels and in some cases no stock without the risk of production downtime.

Often, our customers have special delivery requirements. We go the extra mile to ensure that deliveries match our customers' operational needs.

We fully comply with the legal requirements of the Road and Transport Act and Dangerous Goods Act, the UN Transport of Dangerous Goods Guidelines and the International Maritime Organisations code. Our transporters have specialised equipment and their safety practices are audited regularly.

Safety, health and environmental policy

All of AEL's products are designed and materials selected with the safety of the explosives handler in mind. Our products are researched, designed and tested for suitability to the harsh mining environments. When used correctly, our products contribute to creating a safer mining environment.

We are committed to ensuring that our products comply with the most stringent safety rules, regulations and legislation. AEL complies with the Mines Health and Safety Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Hazardous Substances Act and the Explosives Act.

Due to our diligence in safety, and our active high-profile membership of various international organisations such as the National Institute of Explosives Technology (NIXT), International Explosives Safety Organisation (SAFEX) and International Society of Explosives Engineers (ISEE), we are involved in shaping the blasting industry, its standards and its future trends. These associations also keep us informed on safety innovation and international trends.

AEL has always operated an environmental management system, but this was formalised in 1996 when AEL achieved ISO14001 listing for seven of its sites - Modderfontein, Mankwe, Witbank, Potgietersrus, Lichtenberg, Thabazimbi and Nelspruit. In 2009, AEL retained its listing and a further 21 sites were added - Vereeniging, Westville, East London, Somerset West, Klerksdorp, Limeacres, Kimberley, Musina, Steelpoort, three sites in Zambia and Botswana and five sites in Ghana.

This international standard ensures that AEL manages its environmental impact while adhering to the requirements of international norms, legislation and regulations. It forms the foundation for continuous improvement in environmental performance.

Product stewardship - from cradle to grave

In the blasting industry, when a supplier's value system lacks product stewardship, it is reasonable to expect that both supplier and mining employees will be exposed to unnecessary risks and danger. These risks become apparent when potentially dangerous explosives need to be relocated, or expired products must be disposed of safely. They also manifest when hazardous elements are used in products themselves, which compromise the safety of the mining environment.

AEL takes ownership of, and responsibility for, the entire chain of supply to our customers. For many years, AEL has practised product stewardship - a moral and ethical code along the life cycle of a product or service.
This involves an absolute commitment to, and responsible management of our products, throughout their life cycles. We focus on performance, health, safety and environmental issues in each life cycle phase, while also adhering to the Explosives Act and Minerals Act.

Product stewardship is thus a comprehensive cradle-to-grave approach for each product and service. It goes beyond traditional manufacturing to include suppliers, contractors, distributors and customers. It affords us the opportunity to analyse existing practices, to identify gaps leading to potential liabilities, and to develop processes that will add value to our business results.