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The primary objective of AngloGold Ashanti's Technology Innovation is the formulation of a roadmap to provide a solution to the challenges of safe and sustainable mining at depth. 

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Revolutionary gold-mining machine making progress
JOHANNESBURG – The innovative Mark IV high-technology machine that...
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FAST
FACTS
  • Haulage Boring Machines

    The consortium is challenging long-held conventions related to underground mechanical development by pursuing high-speed mechanical tunnelling techniques. 

    The need to develop a development methodology to open up mining grids for continuous reef boring, remains a significant technical challenge.  To address this, the team is investigating alternative development options

  • Stage 2

    Wifi network has been installed underground allowing the monitoring of the machines from surface.

  • Ultra High Strength Backfill

    Construction of proto type plant at Savuka to commence Q2 2016.

  • Stage 2

    Reef drives are being 3D mapped to assist in planned machine movements.

  • Reef Boring

    Three MK III proto type machines have been deployed in 2015 at TauTona mine 97 Level in the Carbon Leader Reef proto type sites.

  • Ultra High Strength Backfill

    Surface trials to pump the UHSB product at a product temperature ranging between 30°C and 35°C over a 1000m distance were successful.

  • Reef Boring

    To date 199 holes have been drilled.

  • Reef Boring

    The MK II machine was decommissioned and returned to the original equipment manufacturer.

  • Ultra High Strength Backfill

    The 97 Level proto type plant was commissioned in Q2, 2014 for filling the holes in the Carbon Leader Reef proto type sites.

  • Development

    The need to develop a development methodology to open up mining grids for continuous reef boring, remains a significant technical challenge. To address this, the team is investigating alternative development options 

  • Ultra High Strength Backfill

    The 66 Level proto type plant was commissioned in Q1, 2016 for filling the holes in the Ventersdorp Contact Reef proto type sites.  

  • Reef Boring

    Installation and commissioning of the new generation MK IV machine successful.

  • Reef Boring

    The MK III machines are evolving and modifications are made to meet the blueprint design.

  • Reef Boring

    Holes have been drilled skin to skin to validate the results obtained in the first test.

  • Reverse Circulation (RC) Drilling

    In order to enable mechanical reef boring, enhanced geological information, which is significantly greater and faster than current techniques are required. RC drilling is being developed to replace conventional geological drilling techniques.

    During the second quarter of 2014, the site has been set up for trial 5 and the current machine was modified to allow for a different drilling technique known as rotary percussion drilling.  In trial 5, five holes will be drilled and the results with regards to penetration rate and accuracy will be compared to reverse circulation drilling parameters.  To date, two holes have been completed, indicating promising results with regards to penetration rate.

  • Reverse Circulation (RC Drilling)

    In order to enable mechanical reef boring enhanced geological information, which is significantly greater and faster than current techniques is required. RC drilling is being developed to replace conventional geological drilling techniques.

  • Development

    The Aard LHD and Manitou support rig was successfully commissioned at TauTona mine.

  • Reef Boring

    The reef boring cycle times have improved to 82 hours per hole, from roughly 160 hours per hole.

  • Reef Boring

    The intention is to “Safely Mine All the Gold…”

  • Development

    Two Brokk machines commissioned for flat drive development.

  • Development

    Development with propellant based explosives is ongoing. A total of 290m has been developed.  Further trials are being conducted to optimise the round design.   

  • Stage 2

    Active sensors have been installed on the MK IV machine assisting in the setup of the machine.

  • Reef Boring

    The cycle time advance is now closer to the 72 hours per-hole blueprint.

  • Reverse Circulation (RC) Drilling

    During the second quarter of 2014, the site has been set up for trial 5 and the current machine was modified to allow for a different drilling technique known as rotary percussion drilling. In trial 5, five holes were drilled and the results with regards to penetration rate and accuracy were compared to reverse circulation drilling parameters. To date, two holes have been completed, indicating promising results with regards to penetration rate.

  • Reef Boring

    One MK III proto type machine has been deployed in 2016 at TauTona mine 66 Level Ventesdorp Contact Reef proto type site.

  • Ultra High Strength Backfill

    As part of the ongoing process to install instrumentation to continuously measure the rock conditions, a software data logging system was installed in the prototype production site. In addition, an acoustic monitoring system has been installed to monitor the rock mass response during drilling.

  • Reef Boring

    Hole 17 was of critical importance to the project as it was aimed at proving the technical viability of drilling holes skin-to-skin in order to ensure maximum orebody extraction.   

  • Reef Boring

    One MK IV proto type machine has been deployed at TauTona mine test site.

Corporate
Profile

AngloGold Ashanti, one of the world’s foremost gold exploration, mining and marketing companies, holds a portfolio of operations and projects on four continents, and has a worldwide exploration programme. We work across the full spectrum of the mining value chain and employ considerable expertise and resources to mitigate the impact of our activities on the environment, and to leave host...

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