African Explosives Zimbabwe is a leading supplier of explosives to the Zimbabwe mining industry.
AEL’s history in Zimbabwe dates back to 1928 when Chemplex, a subsidiary of AE&CI, established an office in the country. In 1990, Chemplex was sold to ZIDC, who brought in Nitro Nobel AB as partners. AECI appointed Nitro Nobel of Zimbabwe as agents for accessories, and in 1993, AECI set up a permanent branch office, and formed African Explosives Zimbabwe in 2003.
AEL’s name in Zimbabwe is synonymous with the supply of the traditional ANFO, packaged explosives and initiating systems, and more recently, with electronic delay detonators.
AEL Zimbabwe supplies the leading mines with explosive solutions, and ensures optimal magazine explosives storage and stock in country.
In 2001, AEL was awarded an explosives tender by a leading platinum mine to provide Prime, Load, Tie and Shoot (PLTS) blasting services for the open pit mine. With a wealth of experience in PLTS in other African countries, AEL put together a winning bid in the face of stiff competition from other established explosives suppliers.
AEL was awarded an initial three year PLTS contract that heralded the beginning of a long term and fruitful relationship and eight years on, that relationship has grown from strength to strength. During the open pit life, in excess of 70,000 tons of emulsion was used to blast ore and overburden totalling close to 60,000,000bcm using a fleet of four AEL Mobile Manufacturing Units (MMUs).
During 2009, AEL supplied the explosives solution for the expansion project for the development of new portals for the underground mining operations.
Electronic Delay Detonators
Through the application of the ‘Mine to Mill’ concept, AEL's platinum mine customer became the first mine in Zimbabwe to use electronic delay detonator technology, called Smartdets®, supplied by AEL's sister company, Detnet to optimise the mining-processing value chain. The Smartdet electronic delay system was upgraded by the development of the synchronised blaster, which increased blasting capability from 800 to 1600 detonators.
AEL's 13 member site-based team that services this mine consists only of local citizens with various levels of mining and explosives engineering experience.
AEL continually provides training to the AEL team on site, as well as customer personnel in order to keep up with technological advancements and to optimise the effective application of its products. To meet the future requirements of the mine, AEL Zimbabwe has embarked on a skills development strategy through an intensive explosives engineering course for its field personnel.
Conversion to shock tube products
AEL Zimbabwe has started converting its traditional fuse and ignitor cord users to shock tube products following the commissioning of its state of the art automated factory at its headoffice in Johannesburg. Already leading mines have recorded significant improvements in its mining efficiencies due to the improved timing accuracy of shock tube assemblies.
Bulk Emulsion Products
AEL Zimbabwe is proud of being a leading supplier of both surface and underground bulk emulsion technologies into the Zimbabwe market place. With decades of experience in establishing bulk emulsion sites, AEL Zimbabwe has the capability to mobilise at new sites at relatively short notices.