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Contributors

Filtering by Tag: W.C. Olivier

Group Training Centre receives accreditation

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By W. Olivier

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Master Drilling (MD) is proud to announce that our Group Training Center has received accreditation for the Intermediate Generic Management (Version 4) programme. This programme will give employees access to registered training programmes and they will receive National Qualification Framework (NQF) recognized qualifications.

Master Drilling Training Services can now extend its scope of training via the Mining Qualification Authority (MQA), other Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) as well as the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO). This will allow MD to offer a range of registered training programmes to MD employees as well as potential external clients.

Being recognized as an accredited training provider will grant MD access to registered training programmes resulting in employees obtaining recognized qualifications. Additionally MD can offer clients personnel whom are trained by an accredited entity who possesses relevant subject matter expertise. 

Once the relevant qualifications become available Master Drilling clients can be assured that all Master Drilling employees will be trained and found competent on these programmes, thereby reducing the risk of injuries, property damage and production losses to the client through the highest levels of employee competence.

Master Drilling taps into Table Mountain Group rocks

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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.

 

A leap forward in the underground exploration drilling industry

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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

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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

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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 achieves impressive safety milestones

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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.