“Our path with Debswana started in the early 1970s when AeL was first registered in the country. Following the commencement of Orapa Mine operations in 1971, AeL was registered in 1973 and at that time the supply of explosives and blasting services was performed from South Africa. After Jwaneng mine was operationalised in August 1982, AeL shifted the focus to establishing a meaningful partnership with Debswana that would help grow the industry in the country,” says Ronald Joseph, Managing Director of AeL Mining services in Botswana.
Through this journey, in 1981, AeL and Debswana collaboratively established the country’s first bulk emulsion manufacturing plant at Jwaneng mine. In 1983 another plant was established to service the explosives distribution sites at Orapa and Letlhakane mines. since then, AEL has been involved in various activities at Debswana’s operations, and have helped grow their business by incorporating AEL’s intelliBlastTM value proposition.
The intelliBlastTM approach, which emphasises a customisable solution to blasting services, is materialised in terms of advanced product offerings, and blast optimisation consultation work in conjunction with each operation’s requirements. “Our approach is fully in line with our intelliBlastTM value proposition. Customisation for efficiency is the basis of our intelliBlastTM philosophy that we execute for Debswana,” adds Joseph.
“Our plants at Debswana are capable of manufacturing up to 3700 tons of emulsion between the two sites,” says Joseph. “This is not only a verycost-effective solution, but also allows flexibility, as well as last minute changes on the bench to suit the different blasting requirements.” These on-mine facilities enable AeL to service Debswana’s bulk explosive requirements from either one of the two plants and allows for any contingency plans. The two plants are the only bulk emulsion plants in the country.
One of AEL’s offerings for Debswana is the “Down-The-Hole” (DTH) blasting solution. In addition to this, AEL continues to offer the “Prime-Load-Tie-in and shoot” (PLTs) service to Debswana as and when required. AEL has over the years continued to help Debswana shape the future of Botswana by providing solutions that contribute to sustaining the mining processes at the various Debswana operations. One such key contribution is the recent success of the Northeast Corner project where AEL, together with Debswana was involved in all the blasting design and execution.
“An extensive collaborative approach with Debswana is how we have built the prosperous relationship we have today. We have learned, particularly in the case of Debswana, that a true partnership is built through active engagement, trust and ongoing commitment,” Joseph concludes.