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AEL poised to transform the industry with its new and improved Vertical Drop system

Posted 13 Apr 2015

AEL Mining Services has entered into an agreement with ELB Engineering Services for the installation of turnkey Vertical Drop infrastructure that will enable deeper, safe and efficient delivery of emulsions for blasting in underground mining operations.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the two parties was signed at AEL’s head office in Johannesburg on 16 March, 2015 by Dr Stephen Meijers, CEO of ELB and Sepadi Mohlabeng, AEL Executive Director: Global Operations. This agreement will see ELB exclusively installing the AEL-patented infrastructure at customers’ sites as required, while AEL will sign off on completion of the projects, commissioning and supply of emulsion.

The Vertical Drop enables safer deeper levels mining by allowing emulsion and sensitiser to be delivered to storage tanks underground thereby offering the requisite explosive energy on tap.  This revolutionary system enhances safety, improves logistics and saves costs.

The agreement between AEL and ELB is a culmination of work carried out over five-years and this innovation will, as a first for the industry; provide mines with access to emulsion at levels as deep as 700m.  This is leaps and bounds above the current depths that have traditionally been achieved of approximately 225m.

“This innovation addresses the challenge facing mines of delivering explosives as deep as possible, without compromising on safety,” says Sepadi Mohlabeng, AEL’s Executive Director of Operations. “This also removes our customer’s burden of conducting another, separate project which would require a re-allocation of their resources.”

ELB’s work will include the establishment of the pertinent roadways, surface delivery point, the drilling of the borehole, installation of all piping and underground storage tanks as well as the respective piping and ancillary equipment and required safety and control devices.

Dr Stephen Meijers, CEO of ELB notes that, “ELB’s strength lies in its ability to partner with world-class technology providers and execute projects to the total satisfaction of its clients. The strength of this partnership lies in the ability of both companies to package a total solution to the end user. ELB is most honoured to have the opportunity to work with AEL in developing the business going forward”.

In conclusion Mohlabeng notes the importance of partnership in realising this innovation for the mining industry and is hopeful of the future implications of this agreement.

“We expect interest in this innovation to increase and are therefore confident that we have found a reliable and competent partner to ensure that we continue to deliver safer, more efficient services to an ever evolving mining industry,” concludes Mohlabeng.