The rationale behind the creation of the AngloGold Ashanti Technology Innovation Consortium in 2010 was to establish a network of innovative and diverse thinkers within an open innovation forum. The consortium has its primary objective, the formulation of a roadmap to provide a solution to the challenges of safe and sustainable mining at depth. 


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  • Ultra High Strength Backfill

    During the second quarter of 2014, construction of the underground backfill plant was completed and commissioned.  The plant currently allows for a semi-automated process to prepare the UHSB required to fill the holes at TauTona mine prototype sites.

  • 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.

  • Reef Boring

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

  • 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.   

  • 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

  • Ultra High Strength Backfill

    A backfill pumping distance of 400m horizontally and 10m vertically has been achieved.

  • 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

    To date, 60 holes have been bored at the various drilling sites.

  • Reef Boring

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

  • Reef Boring

    The reef-boring technology is being developed to extract gold-bearing reef using mechanical boring techniques, with the aim of creating an explosive-free, and, therefore, continuous mining operation.


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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