Phalaborwa is a vast mining complex located next to the mighty Kruger National Park in the northeast corner of South Africa. It is host to several valuable minerals such as copper, phosphate, zirconium, iron, and vermiculite.

One of the entities within the Phalaborwa complex is the Foskor open-pit phosphate rock mine. Phosphate is a critical mineral in fertilizers. Before the foundation of the Foskor mine in the 1950s, South African agriculture depended on imported phosphate rock. Today, largely thanks to Foskor’s success, South Africa exports phosphate fertilizers worldwide.

Drilling and blasting at the Foskor mine in Phalaborwa is operated by Brauteseth Blasting, a family business founded in 1983 in the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province of South Africa. The company started as a small-scale civil blasting company catering to KZN’s construction industry. In forty years, it has grown into a major national player, contracting to more than 20 quarries, five large-scale mining operations, and several construction sites.

Brauteseth has built its success on two cornerstones: a highly skilled, motivated staff and continuous investment in top-of-the-range technology and equipment. This focus on quality tools extends to consumable parts as well.

Brauteseth Blasting operates eight drill rigs at the Foskor mine. As their consignment agreement with their then-supplier of DTH hammers and drill bits was ending in late 2023, Robit SA approached Brauteseth, requesting a performance test of Robit’s and the then-current supplier’s DTH tools.

The extensive testing period started in October 2023 and was completed in February 2024. Robit’s tools included the D65 QL60 3½” API REG blast-hole hammer and 165 mm QL60 Flat Face blast-hole bits.

“The test results were clear: Robit’s tools outperformed the competition in terms of penetration rate and cost-per-meter”, says Duane Kukard, Area Sales Manager at Robit SA.

Convinced by the tests, Brauteseth Blasting signed a consignment agreement to supply their drill rigs at the Foskor mine with Robit’s DTH 6″ equipment.

Since May 2024, all eight of Brauteseth’s rigs in Phalaborwa have been drilling blast holes with Robit’s tools – now with increased efficiency and profitability.


Drilling methods / services