From an AEL standpoint, the world of quarry and construction is an increasingly diverse one. Offering a vast range of business opportunities, this market embraces a range of mining applications, from surface coal mining to underground tunnelling, for which the growing technological offering from the AEL stable has been specifically designed and manufactured - all with the aims of assisting customers in the better mining of an even larger range of minerals and aggregates.
One example of the sheer reach the company offers is its recent involvement in the underground tunnelling requirements of South Africa’s largest construction development in years – the Gautrain.
The fact that AEL tackled the 14 kilometre tunnelling project with the necessary expertise and enthusiasm to complete it in a deadline driven environment is proof enough of the company’s capacity for exploring and catering to a diverse range of markets and mining applications – but the story doesn’t end there.
Efficiently addressing the quarry and construction needs of over 350 customers in Southern Africa, AEL’s Quarry and Construction division has spent many years developing long-term relationships across the region and has realised much success in these endeavours. It has managed to do this through the proven deployment of advanced technologies and products coupled with reliable, expert support and service.
The range of product solutions available through this division includes bulk explosives, electronic detonators, packaged explosives and initiating systems. Differentiating itself from other divisions offering similar product sets within AEL is the fact that customers in the quarry and construction markets can opt to purchase the product by the case or on a unit by unit basis.
The solution set also includes two of the service-related offerings for which the company has become renowned – Rock on Ground and Down the Hole.
AEL retains a specialised and experienced team of experts, which is backed by over 100 years company experience in the market, as well as a proactive onsite research and development team, continuous internally training and mentoring. It is this team of dedicated, customer-centric and highly skilled individuals that are deployed when a Rock-on-Ground service is deemed necessary by AEL’s valued quarry and construction customers.
The AEL team leader will configure the site requirements from a logistics and supply point of view and will remain on site to ensure clear communication lines that guarantee higher levels of performance, responsibility and accountability.
As part of its Rock-on-Ground offering, the on-site team will also arrange an efficient blast design proposition in conjunction with the customer ensuring the best blast results while AEL manufactures and delivers the products needed. The team manages then load, fire and shoot of the explosives, monitoring the site continuously to ensure quality control, reporting, liaison and follow ups are conducted professionally and on-time as Rock-on-Ground adheres to the company’s general On Time and In Full approach to all mining scenarios.
A less staff intensive service offering, AEL’s Down-the-Hole offering ensures that customers receive quality, on time and in full delivery of products. AEL will provide explosives on the bench, assist in measuring hole products and managing quality checks on the bench during preparation of the blast.
These solutions are broadly available and easily sourced through any of the six focussed regional hubs found in Namibia, Lesotho, Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Eastern Cape, the North West Province and the Western Cape.
Innovations and Trends
2009 was a tough year for South African industry as a whole and this included the quarry and construction industries with most planned residential developments grinding to a halt when the worst of the recession hit. While the industry as a whole was buoyed by an increase in aggregate developments, driven predominantly by production-intensive projects like the FIFA Soccer World Cup among others, AEL anticipates a complete reversal of fate in the residential construction industry in forthcoming years.
As one of the largest player in residential construction arenas, and as one known and respected for delivering quality product on time and in full, AEL does not anticipate that its place as the front-runner in this market sector will change.
The company aims to continue in delivering on an already proven track record for delivering the latest mining and explosives related technologies and it has underscored its reputation for doing so with recent conceptualisations like electronic initiating systems and the automation of its shock tube assembly line.
The company has taken the first crucial steps towards expanding its local and international footprint with the establishment of regional offices in Lesotho and Namibia and with the creation of a South American office where AEL business is conducted through a set of the most reliable and respected channel partners in the region.
The company also intends on continuing its efforts in consolidating and growing its product offering, support infrastructure and expertise.
As an enterprise that has dominated the quarry and construction markets for several years, and one that has maintained its position as a leading provider of Rock-on-Ground solutions, AEL offers a proven track record in delivering the latest innovative approaches, which enhance on-site safety, increase mine productivity and proficiency, and back all of this up with a skilled staff complement that is on hand to deliver on any and all customer service and support requirements.