NON-EXPLOSIVE CONTINUOUS MINING METHODS BEING DEVELOPED BY CSIR: MININGTEK FOR NARROW REEF MINING

Symposium on Vein Deposits
Abstract As an unique South African organisation, CSIR: Division of Mining Technology (Miningtek) strives to support the mining industry by improving health, safety and productivity through developing, adapting and transferring technology.

Considerable effort is currently directed towards the development of potential non-explosive mining methods with the potential to allow continuous mining in narrow reef conditions. Besides improving productivity, continuous mining results in concentrated mining which has a significant impact on reducing infrastructural costs.

Impact Ripping and Water Pulse Rock Breaking have been tried on gold mines, whereas Activation, Mini-Disc™ cutting and the Plasma Holemaker are currently being tested on platinum mines.

The organisation’s many years of experience in novel rock breaking, together with its world-wide collaborator network, has placed it in a unique position to assist the mining industry and manufacturers in developing and/or adapting existing technologies for application underground. Currently a range of technologies are being investigated, which have reached different stages of maturity.
The main technologies under investigation are;
- Impact ripper system
- Water pulse rock breaking
- Activated undercutting rollers
- Mini disc cutters
- Electric rock breaking
The paper will briefly cover the current state of development of each of these technologies.
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