BIC is an acronym most geologists are familiar with. It stands for Bushveld Igneous Complex, situated in South Africa. It’s one of the world’s most significant geological features due to its size, age – and mineral wealth.
BIC is the largest layered igneous intrusion within the Earth’s crust. Put simply, a layered intrusion is an underground formation of rock formed from magma that cooled down and solidified in layers, much like a layered cake. Each layer can have different types and concentrations of minerals, making these formations especially interesting for geologists and mining companies.
The Bushveld Complex contains the world’s largest known resources of platinum group metals, chromium, and vanadium. Most of the chromium resources are concentrated on the eastern limb of the Complex, which runs across Limpopo, the northernmost province of South Africa. One of the major producers of chromium ore in Limpopo is the Dwarsrivier mine, located some 130 km southeast of Polokwane, the provincial capital.
The Dwarsrivier mine has been in operation since 1999. Since 2015, it has been run by Assore South Africa. The mine produces more than a million tonnes of chromium ore yearly.
Mining is a competitive industry, and cost control plays an important part – and this applies to drilling tools as well. Recently, the Dwarsrivier mine began to use Robit’s Top Hammer drilling consumables.
“Drilling requirements are essential to ensure that face holes for blasting are drilled fast, efficiently, and within budget. Quality and cost are the top priorities”, says Dewet Pretorius, Mining Manager at Dwarsrivier.
In addition to cost and quality, Dwarsrivier were on the lookout for a supplier with effective after-sales service – something that had been lacking up until then.
“With Robit, our overall costs have decreased, production has improved, and the Robit team is providing us with good after-sales service as well”, Mr Pretorius says.
South Africa holds about 70% of the world’s chrome reserves and is the largest producer of ferrochrome in the world. Dwarsrivier will continue to contribute to this effort for a long time: the current plan extends the mine life well into the 2040s.
In the picture from left: Babra Shai, Site supervisor, Robit – Dewet Pretorius, Mine Manager, Dwarsrivier – Trevor Van Biljon, Area Sales Manager, Robit