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Contributors

Filtering by Tag: Master Drilling

Our sites continue to achieve impressive safety milestones

Drill Safe

 
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By T.C.P. Booysen

Master Drilling’s Exploration division achieved 5 years without Lost Time Injuries (LTIs) at its underground operations near Bethal, Mpumalanga and 3 LTI-free years at its surface operations near Rustenburg.

The overall LTI frequency rate for 2018 is currently at 0.00 which is a remarkable achievement.

No LTIs were recorded for 2018 on any of the Exploration division’s drill sites. Master Drilling’s safety management team would like to congratulate these sites on their excellent safety performance thus far for 2018. These safety achievements are a testament to the effective safety management systems, continuous improvement, measuring and monitoring of any non-compliance to health, safety and legal requirements and reflect a good health and safety culture within the company.

Kolomela Projects Proudly Achieves 4 Years with no Lost Time Injuries

Drill Safe

 
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By T.C.P. Booysen and W.C. Olivier

On Sunday, 29 July 2018 Master Drilling Exploration’s (MDX) Kolomela project achieved 4 years without Lost Time Injury (LTI) or nearly 1 million LTI free man-hours. This is truly a remarkable feat considering the project employs over 100 people operating 15 drill rigs with supporting logistics at any given time.  This achievement reflects the strong safety awareness and culture of not only the MDX SHEQ department but every employee on the site. This milestone could also not have been achieved without the close collaboration of our client, Kumba Iron Ore and, more specifically, the Kolomela safety and leadership teams to whom MDX would also like to give credit.

 
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“Safety must come first, and I believe there is no reason we can’t have an injury-free workplace. Our team have really embraced this approach, understanding incidents not only impact our work, but importantly, family and home life too”, TCP Booysen, MDX senior safety officer. 

On the 15th of August 2018, the General Manager of Kolomela Mine, Mr. Masala Mutangwa and some members of his Kolomela Leadership Team (KLT), presented MDX with a certificate for this milestone safety achievement.

 
Left to right: Mr. Eddie Dixon (COO -– MDX); Mr. Trevor Booysen (Senior SHERQ – MDX); Mr. Macdonald Modise (Full-time SHE rep – Kolomela); Mr. Masala Mutangwa (GM – Kolomela); Ms. Refilwe Legotlo (Acting MTS – Manager); Mr. Jackie Lourence (Section Manager – SHE Kolomela); Mr. Jasper Coetzee (Operations Manager – MDX) and Mr. Puso Galehole (Safety Officer – MDX).

Left to right: Mr. Eddie Dixon (COO -– MDX); Mr. Trevor Booysen (Senior SHERQ – MDX); Mr. Macdonald Modise (Full-time SHE rep – Kolomela); Mr. Masala Mutangwa (GM – Kolomela); Ms. Refilwe Legotlo (Acting MTS – Manager); Mr. Jackie Lourence (Section Manager – SHE Kolomela); Mr. Jasper Coetzee (Operations Manager – MDX) and Mr. Puso Galehole (Safety Officer – MDX).

 

The COO of MDX commended the team for this remarkable achievement but emphasised that they should not become complacent and should remain vigilant and innovative in the ways they approach safety, always advocating “safety as a culture” on site.

 
Mr. Eddie Dixon, Chief Operating Officer – MDX, congratulating the Kolomela team on their excellent achievement, but warning to not be complacent, to remain vigilant and do everything possible to maintain good safety performance.

Mr. Eddie Dixon, Chief Operating Officer – MDX, congratulating the Kolomela team on their excellent achievement, but warning to not be complacent, to remain vigilant and do everything possible to maintain good safety performance.

 

The Kolomela Project has implemented several initiatives which contributed to achieving this excellent safety milestone, including but not limited to the following:

  • Ensuring that the site has the correct skills and competent persons for each job;

  • Strong safety processes which encourage pro-active safety behaviour;

  • Encouraging a culture of safety – both as a collective and as an individual;

  • Active participation in the client’s initiatives, safety strategies and safety management plans;

  • Planned Task Observation (PTO), Visible Felt Leadership (VFL), on-the-job coaching by management and leadership teams;

  • Planned audits, inspections, reporting and monitoring;

  • Learning from incidents,; through dynamic SHEQ communication across the business;

  • Embracing the “STOP & FIX” culture for unsafe conditions and/or behaviours;

  • Monthly, daily and weekly meetings and safety forums;

  • Quarterly participative forum meetings;

  • An effective safety incentive scheme.

Proud MDX employees celebrating 4 years without any LTIs with a well-deserved braai.

Proud MDX employees celebrating 4 years without any LTIs with a well-deserved braai.

MDX’s SHEQ management system and process approach proved to be fundamental contributing factors to ensuring a safe workplace at Kolomela.  Utilizing innovations such as electronic checklists, daily inspections and other paperless technologies to not only gather data on possible future areas of risk, but also communicate safety related content to employees on site rapidly and effectively, bolstering safety awareness and culture daily.
This way of doing things differently compared to traditional methods fits into Master Drilling’s vision of, “We challenge the status quo to provide our clients with specialised, adaptive one-stop drilling solutions”.  It is within the framework of this vision that MDX, in collaboration with clients, strives to accomplish even greater safety achievements with zero-harm always being the ultimate goal in the workplace.   

 

Major Sponsor of the Drill Rig and Safety Innovation Forum

Drill Safe

 
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Master Drilling is one of the Major Sponsors of the Drill Rig and Safety Innovation Forum, taking place on 20 July 2018 at Glen Hove Conferencing, Johannesburg. 

Master Drilling have supported DrillSafe from the beginning and are one of the founding DrillSafe Annual Contributors. 

We would like to thank Master Drilling for recognising the importance of DrillSafe and for their support! 

Master Drilling taps into Table Mountain Group rocks

Drill Safe

 
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By W.C Olivier

Master Drilling, the local and international technology driven company, in November 2017 embarked on a challenge to drill horizontal diamond core boreholes into the Table Mountain Group quarzitic rocks, of the Hottentots-Holland Mountains near Kylemore, in the Western Cape. The project was initiated by the Stellenbosch Municipality in consultation with the groundwater consulting company GEOSS This is the first attempt in South Africa drilling horizontal diamond core boreholes into the side of a mountain cliff face, giving the opportunity to tap into “underlying” aquifers. These horizontal boreholes form part of Master Drilling’s extensive regional projects which aim to urgently boost the water supply for the Western Cape region by tapping aquifers with sufficient water yields.

It is expected that these boreholes will unlock large groundwater aquifers which will aid the efforts to relieve the immediate water needs of Stellenbosch and later, the larger City of Cape Town municipalities.

 
Drill site near Kylemore where Master Drilling is currently drilling horizontal diamond core holes into the Hottentots-Holland mountains.

Drill site near Kylemore where Master Drilling is currently drilling horizontal diamond core holes into the Hottentots-Holland mountains.

 

The Table Mountain drilling is particularly challenging due to the tough drilling conditions posed by the hard and fractured Table Mountain quartzites. Master Drilling made a few quick adaptions to the drilling conditions and as a result the first 200mx122mm diameter borehole progressed well and was recently completed. Several additional horizontal core holes will be drilled at this site, with the possibility of drilling in other locations in the near future.

A second portion of the current project involves percussion drilling in the immediate vicinity where GEOSS are targeting the confined Peninsula Formation of the Table Mountain Group.  The borehole depths have reached a maximum of 400m thus far. Some of the boreholes completed to date have delivered considerable yields with the greatest yield achieved so far, being in excess of 30l/s.

Master Drilling is confident it will continue to achieve success in the region and is committed to greatly expanding its services to help assist with the future aquifer drilling programs in the region.

The drilling of these horizontal boreholes has once again affirmed Master Drilling’s ability to overcome challenging drilling problems and prove itself as a one-stop drilling solutions provider.

 

MASTER DRILLING UNVEILS DISRUPTIVE MOBILE TUNNEL BORING SOLUTION

Drill Safe

 
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18 January 2018

Technology to address miners’ costs, safety and productivity challenges

Master Drilling Group Limited (“Master Drilling”, JSE: MDI), a world leader in specialised drilling solutions, today announced that its new disruptive Mobile Tunnel Boring (“MTB”) solution, to be unveiled at Investing in African Mining Indaba 2018 in Cape Town, will be ready for commissioning in the third quarter of the year.

Master Drilling’s internally conceptualised design and internationally patented MTB technology was developed in response to the growing demand from clients, and the mining industry at large, for a cost effective mechanised tunnelling contract service offering that addresses safety and efficiency challenges on new and existing operations. The new solution may also make it possible for marginal projects to pass feasibility hurdles due to cost and time savings.

Danie Pretorius, CEO of Master Drilling, said: “This disruptive technology allows continuous mining and requires no blasting, thereby significantly enhancing mining efficiencies. It is as advantageous at the capital stage of mining projects, with quicker deployment and access to the ore body, as it is at the production stage through substantial productivity increase when opening up blocks of ground or increasing a mine’s footprint.”

Master Drilling’s MTB solution can bore out an excavation of 4.5 and/or 5.5 meters in diameter at a rate that far exceeds conventional tunnel construction methods. The MTB can deliver various infrastructure solutions such as for declines, ramps, haulages and contact tunnels in hard rock with compressive strengths in excess of 300 MPa.

Its modular construction makes it also possible to retrofit to existing operations and major mining companies have expressed interest in deploying Master Drilling’s first MTB once commissioned in the third quarter of 2018.

Koos Jordaan, Executive Director of Master Drilling, said: “The concept phase of our MTB started in April 2017 and after consideration of various alternatives, we made the decision to pursue a collaborative option in the market to realise the concept. We are pleased to have partnered with Italy’s Seli Technologies, a company with half a century’s experience principally in civil mechanised tunnelling, to manufacture and assist us during operation of our first MTB.”

The continuous process involves excavation, support and waste removal that creates a smooth circular excavation that does not disturb the side walls of the tunnel. In addition, the geometry makes for a stable and strong tunnel and, because it is a non-explosive process, it increases the on-face time and delivers higher production advances on a cost-efficient basis.

“As a solution driven company delivering a fully mechanised range of services to clients, we will continue to invest in R&D as this new service is adopted and matures.

“We believe this solution presents substantial future growth opportunities for Master Drilling and we plan to order new MTBs on a continuous basis with the second machine planned for early 2019,” concluded Pretorius.

Master Drilling’s MTB solution will be deployed through a newly established and dedicated division, Master Tunnelling. Master Drilling is also exploring other opportunities in the civil tunnelling industry.

Established over 30 years ago, Master Drilling is a South African based JSE-listed company with over 160 rigs across 20 countries providing a comprehensive range of drilling and raise boring services predominately to the mining industry.

A leap forward in the underground exploration drilling industry

Drill Safe

 
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Master Drilling makes a leap forward in underground exploration drilling by acquiring the first               Boart Longyear™ state-of-the-art LM™30 Skid Steer in South Africa!

Written by W.C. Olivier

Master Drilling recently acquired the first, state of the art, Boart Longyear™ LM™30 Skid Steer (LM30SS) in South Africa. Boart Longyear a leader in design, development and manufacturing of products for mining and drilling unveiled the LM30SS unit in South Africa for the first time last week. 

The LM30SS drill unit is a compact, mobile and self-driven drill with components which ensures rapid setup, movement between drilling sites and means the drill rig doesn’t require an external electrical supply. Master Drilling’s underground operations manager Mr. Ben Legransie states that the mobility, rapid setup and overall self-reliance of the LM30 ensures efficient and continuous operations as there are less time delays when the drill rig is moved from one site to another, especially in the underground mining environment.

Master Drilling's senior SHERQ officer, Mr T. Booysen, at the first demonstration of the LM30SS in South Africa.

Master Drilling's senior SHERQ officer, Mr T. Booysen, at the first demonstration of the LM30SS in South Africa.

The LM30 drill rig mounted on a CAT 246D Skid Steer with all systems powered by the CAT’s  diesel engine. The LM30SS is capable of drilling at various angles from vertically downward to vertically upward at B, N and H sizes at depths of 310m, 180m and 80m respectively. Therefore, this rig provides the capabilities required for most underground exploration drilling applications. 

The LM30 does not only provide great mobility and rapid setup but also improves safety with a remote control panel allowing for rig operation at a safe distance, guarding of all moving parts and machine cut-off switches on all guarding. The LM30SS also has various dead man switches both when operating the CAT Skid Steer and drilling unit.

Mr. Trevor Booysen, senior safety officer from Master Drilling’s  exploration division, states the drill rig will significantly reduce the likelihood of incidents in general as there is no need for cumbersome loading and pining of the machine that reduces the need for manual handling and subsequent risk for especially hand injuries. The machine also has an automatic rod breakout system which further reduces the risk of hand injuries and fatigue related risks through decreased material handling. Master Drilling strives to optimise technological and adhere to the global demand for safer machines that optimises productivity and decreases workplace incidents and injuries.

Master Drilling believes this drilling unit is a large leap forward in rapid movement and setup technologies especially in the underground drilling environment. The time saving advantages will be carried over to clients who require geological information quickly in order to make real time mining decisions in order to maximise mining efficiencies.

One stop drilling solution: Providing value added services

Drill Safe

 
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Written by W.C. Olivier and F.J.N Stassen

Master Drilling provides integrated core process flow management systems to its client’s exploration drilling projects. This service forms part of the value adding services rendered by Master Drilling to its valued customers. This entails the onsite QA/QC of drilled core, core transportation and delivery to clients’ core yards with further additional services streamlining and eliminating bottle necks in the logging, sampling and dispatching of processed exploration core. 

Since mid-2014 Master Drilling has provided this specific service to one of its prime clients in the Northern Cape. In addition to delivering core samples to the client’s core yard the exploration drilling project encountered a bottle neck when core trays had to be packed on and off stands. Master Drilling’s scribes thus fulfilled this function as well as validating core trays, and measuring and recording core recoveries prior to geological logging and sampling by the client.

The throughput of geological information gathered within the project could be maintained as this specific value adding service allowed our client’s geologists to focus on their science as they were freed from logistical and to a certain extent, quality concerns when it comes to the processing of their core.

Trained Master Drilling scribes check the quality of core with Master Drilling geologist Mlamleli Chopela.

Trained Master Drilling scribes check the quality of core with Master Drilling geologist Mlamleli Chopela.

Core samples are transported by a customised Iveco truck fitted with a specialised core holder frame and rubber shock dampeners ensuring minimal disturbance of the core samples during transportation. As part of uplifting the local community, workers are trained by qualified Master Drilling geologists to mark core and core trays, calculate and check core recoveries, and check the overall quality of the core prior to the client geologists logging and completing the final QA/QC checks on the core. General workers are trained to understand the mechanisms of core-loss, -gain, -grinding and other physical attributes resulting from drilling. This facilitates the rapid detection and resolving of any core quality issues.

The Master Drilling Quality Assurance team in front of Master Drilling’s customszed Iveco core carrier.  From the left: Thuso Mongale, Franklin Miles, Mlamleli Chopela, Francois Stassen.

The Master Drilling Quality Assurance team in front of Master Drilling’s customszed Iveco core carrier.  From the left: Thuso Mongale, Franklin Miles, Mlamleli Chopela, Francois Stassen.

 

This service has proven to be a successful collaborative link between exploration drillers and exploration geologists. In order to maintain the continued success of this added service, Master Drilling employs two fulltime geologists on this particular project. This service truly emphasises Master Drilling’s vision of “We challenge the status quo to provide our clients with specialised, adaptive one-stop drilling solutions”, by not simply just providing a traditional drilling service but filling additional value chain needs of its clients.

 

 

Master Drilling strives to keep the environment safe

Drill Safe

 
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By W.C. Olivier and F.J.N. Stassen

Since May 2014 Master Drilling has employed a fully dedicated rehabilitation crew at one of its surface exploration drill sites in the Northern Cape in order to keep up with the rapid drill rate on site.

The appointment of geologists and geohydrologists in 2013 as part of the Master Drilling team not only created a focus on producing a quality service through the delivery of core and other drill samples of the highest quality but also on delivering a rehabilitated drills site and boreholes which are left with water quality of the highest possible standards. General workers have been trained as field technicians to rehabilitate drilling sites and since 2015 have been utilizing water bailers to remove the bulk of pollutants produced during drilling after which hydrocarbon absorbing socks are emplaced in the boreholes to remove any last trace amounts of hydrocarbon pollutants.

Photographic reporting and measuring of water samples using an interface probe are employed to ensure borehole water quality prior to drilling and prevent any traces of hydrocarbons remaining in any boreholes.

Since the implementation of this initiative drilling crews have become more aware of the importance of protecting groundwater and improved borehole water qualities are a testament to the fact that drilling crews now take more care during drilling operations not to pollute valuable groundwater resources.

Since 2013 Master Drilling has rehabilitated more than a 1000 boreholes on this site and are currently investigation the use of more sophisticated on site analytical tools to measure the water quality to more accurate levels and improve the water quality even further.

Master Drilling’s management would like to congratulate the employees of this site for the implementation and maintaining of this critical environmental protection effort. This shows that Master Drilling is truly committed towards and supports environmentally friendly mining.

Master Drilling breaks scientific ground with the University of Pretoria

Drill Safe

 
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Written by W.C. Olivier

Prof Wlady Altermann (University of Pretoria) and farm owner Oom Peet with the Master Drilling team.

Prof Wlady Altermann (University of Pretoria) and farm owner Oom Peet with the Master Drilling team.

Master Drilling, the local and international technology driven drilling company, in August 2017, set up to drill a historical hole on a farm in Griqualand West in the Northern Cape. Renowned Professor, Wladyslaw Altermann, Head of the Department of Geology at the University of Pretoria and the Kumba-Exxaro Chair, sites the borehole close to a dry river bed containing a unique example of preserved pahoehoe lava flow structures within the Ongeluk Formation of lavas in the western portion of the Transvaal Supergroup.

Prof Wlady, as affectionately referred to by his peers, approached Master Drilling in early 2017 about drilling a core hole through the Ongeluk lavas, Magkanyene (glacial rocks) and the Koegas Formation. According to Prof Wlady, information on the contact between these formations in the area was nearly non-existing and the drilling would amongst other things, better the understanding of the stratigraphic correlation of these Transvaal Supergroup rocks to other lithologies in central South Africa as well as in other areas such as Thabazimbi and the eastern Bushveld. Furthermore, the age (2.5– 2.2 billion years) and the depositional environments of the rocks in the area are also poorly understood and the fresh samples will allow geologist an opportunity to better understand the geological history of these formations. This understanding also has an economic implication, the stratigraphic correlation will add much needed knowledge on the mineral bearing potential of these formations.

The Makganyene glacial deposits are the remnants of one of the most profound climate change events in the Earth’s history, which occurred approximately 2.4 billion years ago, leading perhaps to the total glaciation of the Earth and its oceans. The fresh core samples produced by this project will help scientists to better understand this climate change event which was followed by large lava flows, a significant rise in oxygen levels in the atmosphere and a dramatic decline in CO2 levels. This information could prove invaluable to scientist studying climate change models today. According to Prof Wlady, the fresh core samples will provide greater accuracy of information than weathered surface samples; the only information scientist could use prior to this project.

According to Prof Wlady this project was a first of its kind between the mining industry and a university in South Africa. Although there have been few scientific drilling programs of similar nature in South Africa, such as drilling through the Karoo rocks by the CIMERA centre of excellence and University of Johannesburg, these were all dependent on international funding. This was the first multi-million Rand scientific drilling project driven, planned, funded and executed utilising exclusively local expertise through the collaboration of a South African university and drilling company (Master Drilling), with assistance from the Kumba Iron Ore mine at Kolomela. The project is an unique example of collaboration of purely South African funding and expertise from industry and academia.

The project will create opportunities for young scientists to complete PhD, MSc and BSc degrees and the implications of the increased international publications, spread of knowledge and expertise are tremendous. The funding of the project by Master Drilling is a good example of industry involvement in basic and applied science.

For now, the core, containing yet to be discovered secrets of the Earth’s history is safely stored and be analysed by Prof Wlady, his team and the geological community around the world.

Master Drilling achieves impressive safety milestones

Drill Safe

 
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By W.C. Olivier and T.C.P. Booysen

Master Drilling continues to achieve impressive safety figures at four of its exploration drilling sites raking up an impressive 1212 injury free days between two of its sites and 2729 Loss Time Injury Free (LTI) days between another two operations at the end of September 2017.

Master Drilling has been conducting underground drilling near Carletonville, North-West province since August 2015, re-opening and drilling new drainage holes for its client between various underground mining levels. Since starting this contract Master Drilling has not had 1 injury to date on this site. The operation thus achieved 780 injury free days at the end of September 2017.

In July 2016 Master Drilling commenced surface exploration drilling near Rustenburg. Core drilling operations consists of four surface drill rigs running on a 24hr shift targeting the Merensky Reef and UG2 at depths well over 1000m. This site recently achieved a year without any injuries since the project commenced in 2016. This Rustenburg operations continuous its great safety performance and achieved a total of 432 safe days at the end of September 2017.

Master Drilling’s exploration division achieved 1157 LTI free days at one of its surface exploration and grade control drilling projects in the Northern Cape at the end of September 2017.  The site has been operational since March 2013 and at its peak was operating more than 20 drilling rigs and employed more than 200 persons. Currently the site has 17 operational drill rigs and has achieved a Loss Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTFIR) of zero for the past two years much lower than the company’s LTIFR target of three.

Since January 2013 Master Drilling has been conducting underground coal exploration drilling near Bethal, Mpumalanga.  The site achieved an extremely impressive safety milestone with 4 years LTI free in June 2017 and are currently standing on 1572 LTI free days.

Master Drilling’s safety management team would like to congratulate these sites on their excellent safety performance thus far for 2017. These safety achievements are a testament to the effective safety management systems, continuous improvement, measuring and monitoring of any non-compliances to health, safety and legal requirements and are a reflection of a good health and safety culture within the company.