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For more information on any of the innovations listed here e-mail

Cost effective solution for equipping a backfill hole
A number of innovative engineering methods were implemented for the equipping of a backfill hole at Cullinan Diamond Mine. This included the use of a purpose designed carriage system and hydraulic torque tool both engineered to accomplish the top down installation.

Mechanisation of the blow-over process
Developed under the leadership of the operations team at Impala #20 Main Shaft, mechanisation of the blow-over process has enhanced safety, lowered the risk of injury and resulted in greater productivity.

Remote controlled drill rig for shaft sinking
The integration of proven technologies in an innovative manner has resulted in a new type of shaft jumbo drill rig being used in Murray & Roberts Cementation’s shaft sinking operations. Operated from a crow’s nest at the top of the unit, or from a pendant control at shaft bottom, this innovative drill rig is able to drill vertically, horizontally and upwardly at 45 degrees for station brow excavation. Equipped with 21 kW hydraulic drifters with high instantaneous penetration rates, this drill rig increases productivity significantly while at the same time enhancing safety levels as a result of fewer people at the shaft bottom.

Concurrent sinking of sections of a shaft barrel above one another
In order to accelerate the shaft deepening sinking project at the Doornkop gold mine, Murray & Roberts Cementation planned and executed a “dual-sink” with one shaft above the other, sinking both concurrently. Project returns were significantly improved through this methodology.

Ventilation brattice wall removed and floating steelwork installation in an 8,3 metre diameter operating shaft to allow reef mining in the shaft pillar
This small but challenging contract was completed accident free at the Evander No 5 shaft in 2002. The work entailed re-routing 120 m3/sec ventilation flows from behind the concrete shaft brattice wall, supporting the wall above the workplace, removing concrete brattice panels over 60 metres with diamond saws, supporting the shaft barrel and then installing new floating guide support steelwork. Work was completed from behind the brattice wall without interfering with regular shaft operations.

Pioneering Firsts:

  • Shaft sinking by contract in Africa at Mufulira,Zambia
  • Sink 9.6m lined diameter shaft at Kloof
  • To use conveyor belts in sinking decline shafts
  • Erect pre-assembled headgear in a record 4 days (Doornkop)
  • Extinguish underground fire by flooding & recover by draining
  • Undersea water intake station at CDM - Drill holes from station to seafloor
  • To cementate shafts for successful sinking in the West Wits dolomites
  • To pre-cementate shaft sites
  • Construct underwater plugs, using reverse flow fissure treatment for shaft salvage
  • To design grout pumps - 60MPa
  • Design & build the mortar intruded concrete plug for flood control & water door backup bulkheads
  • To develop automated grout-mixing plants
  • To develop grout-stope support packs
  • To design & install pre-stressed grouted cables underground
  • To operate a raiseborer in SA
  • Raisebore an ore pass system & sink concurrently
  • Upside down raising at Klerksdorp Goldfields
  • To develop continuous coring for diamond drilling
  • Develop & operate hydraulic top drive exploration drills of 6000m capability
  • Two deepest single lift shafts in the world
    • South Deep Main - 3004m
    • South Deep Vent - 2760m
  • To bring on stream and operate the first pillar & stall hard rock mine in South Africa on a contract basis