Harmony Gold’s Unisel mine in Welkom in the Free State is an intermediate low grade operation that is currently mining two of the three different reef bands, namely the Leader reef, Middle reef and Basal reef. A challenging mining environment resulted in a support design consisting of pack support.
An analysis of the mining efficiencies highlighted that the support installation and sub-standard support hampered the production rates resulting in lost blasts.
An alternative support unit was investigated, however no support units on the market were available to fulfil the ideal design. The development of a new support product together with Elbroc Mining, resulted in a positive solution to this problem.
The new support unit sufficiently supports the stopes and ensures stability from a rock engineering perspective and also has added mining engineering benefits which improved the mining efficiencies, reduced logistical tramming, ease of support installation, improved production rates and improved economic benefits to the operation.
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