Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy]]> vol. 111 num. 5 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Analysis of the radial and tangential stress distribution between two neighbouring circular holes under internal pressure by numerical modelling</b>]]> Stress analysis in a rock medium is essential to determine the stress concentration between two consecutive circular holes and prediction of fracture behaviour. When two consecutive circular holes in a hard rock medium such as granite are loaded internally by the pressure of non-explosive expansion material (NEEM), stress concentration occurs between the holes which then causes the rock to fracture. In this work, finite element (FE) analysis using Phase² code was employed to study the stress concentration between two consecutive circular holes under internal pressure induced by NEEM. Effects of different hole diameters and spacings, rock properties and NEEM pressures have been analysed. The data gained from the numerical analysis and analytical solutions were then used to develop two models. These models were then modified by using the FE data and polynomial regression analysis. The developed analytical models showed to be in a very good agreement with the FE analysis. Hence, the developed models can be used with confidence to determine stress distribution and concentration factors around two consecutive circular holes in a hard and brittle rock which are loaded internally by the pressure induced from the NEEM. <![CDATA[<b>Meeting the milestones: Are South African small- to medium-scale mines up to the task?</b>]]> Controlling noise has proven difficult in mining, and noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) remains common. In 2008, a South African Mine Health and Safety Council study focused on small- to mediumsized mines in relation to the milestones set by the industry to prevent NIHL. An evaluation of the compliance of ten diamond, sand, aggregate and Readymix concrete mines and production sites with standards, legislation and best practice guidelines relating to NIHL prevention was conducted, using a noise compliance audit tool. The findings indicated that all mines surveyed had poor compliance with the international standards, compliance with International Standards Organization standards being the poorest. There was a clear distinction between the small and the mediumsized mines in their compliance with local standards and legislation (ranging from 14 per cent to 66 per cent). The areas of best compliance were audiology and medical examinations. The lower-than-expected compliance was largely attributable to shortcomings in hearing conservation programmes for occupational noise. Initiation of remedial practices in the small- to medium-scale mining sector to facilitate improvements in NIHL prevention and compliance with standards and legislation is recommended. <![CDATA[<b>Profiles of noise exposure levels in South African Mining</b>]]> OBJECTIVES: A two-year study focused on current noise exposure levels in the South African mining industry, aimed at helping the Mine Health and Safety Council of South Africa meet its milestones for eliminating noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). METHODS: A multi-task methodology was adapted from international baseline studies to determine the exposure to noise in both large-scale and small- to medium-scale mines. RESULTS: On average, 66.7 per cent of the employees sampled in year 1 and 78.4 per cent in year 2 were exposed to noise levels of above the 85 dBA legislated occupational exposure level. CONCLUSIONS: Information obtained through the study could be developed into a national personal noise exposure database, including audiometric results, equipment noise emission levels and initiatives for noise engineering control by mines and equipment manufacturers to facilitate targets of eliminating NIHL. <![CDATA[<b>Revegetation of sand mines in the Seringveld Conservancy</b>]]> Mining of sand in South Africa is rapidly growing to sustain an increasing demand for sand for building purposes. Although mining of sand is regulated by environmental legislation, such as the National Environmental Management Act 107 of 19981, previous bad mining practices have left areas of land degraded and vulnerable to erosion. This study was conducted in the Seringveld Conservancy, where mining of sand has left the landscape with a degraded and unsightly appearance, and where little rehabilitation of the original vegetation has taken place. The aim of the study was to develop rehabilitation techniques for the degraded mined soils on two sand mines, Boekenhout Sand and Krokodil Sand, and to develop an overall strategy of revegetation by regenerating key plant species. Techniques for regenerating indigenous tree species cover, using modified mined sludge if topsoil is not available, were used to develop a practical and cost-effective strategy to be used in revegetation. A comparative trial was used to cultivate indigenous tree species in different soil mixtures. The study is important as it provides new information on the rehabilitation and revegetation of sand mined areas in the Seringveld Conservancy. This study will determine if alternatives could be used to replace topsoil on mined areas where none is available. The study is needed to determine whether revegetation of the mined areas would be possible using indigenous plant species that are difficult to grow. The overall results indicate that replacing topsoil was successful for various modified soil mixtures that could sustain the growth of indigenous vegetation on the sand mines. Different indigenous tree species require different modified soil mixtures for successful propagation. A revegetation strategy was developed to complement and enable the rehabilitation of the mined areas in the Seringveld Conservancy. <![CDATA[<b>Quantitative study of the hardness property of laser surface alloyed aluminium AA1200</b>]]> Aluminium AA1200 was laser alloyed with a combination of nickel and titanium diboride using different weight ratios. Chemical reactions took place with the formation of different phases. The characterization of the alloyed surfaces was carried out by x-ray diffraction (XRD), optical and scanning electron microscopes. The alloyed surfaces are composed of the initial phase of Al-Ni dendrites and eutectics of TiB2/Al and TiB2/Ni distributed on the initial phase. Experimental results obtained showed that Al-Ni intermetallics brought about a significant increase in the hardness property of Al; however, these intermetallics are highly brittle and prone to fail by brittle fracture or stress corrosion cracking when put in service. The addition of TiB2 brought about a reduction in the formation of these intermetallic phases. A microhardness increase of over 10 times the hardness of the substrate was achieved. <![CDATA[<b>Microstructure and corrosion properties of Al(Ni/TiB<sub>2</sub>) intermetallic matrix composite coatings</b>]]> Laser coatings are used for a wide variety of applications. TiB2/Ni intermetallic matrix composite coatings were fabricated on Alsubstrate by a high power Rofin Sinar Nd: YAG solid-state laser. The characterization of the coatings was carried out by optical microscopy (OM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM/EDS) and Xray Diffraction (XRD). Electrochemical study of the laser coatings in 3.65 per cent NaCl at room temperature revealed that with very high weight proportion of nickel the corrosion resistance of the coatings deteriorated due the presence of AlB10 phase. 50 wt per cent TiB2+50 wt per cent Ni laser coatings exhibited the highest corrosion resistance in test solution. <![CDATA[<b>A model to predict the performance of roadheaders based on the Rock Mass Brittleness Index</b>]]> Roadheaders are very versatile excavation machines used in tunnelling, mine development, and mine production for soft to medium strength rock formations. Performance prediction is an important factor for successful roadheader application and generally deals with machine selection, production rate and bit consumption. Among many different parameters, brittleness is also one of the material properties related to breakage characteristics and can be used as a cuttability parameter from a mechanical excavation point of view. The main objective of the research study is to contribute the brittleness of rock excavated to construct a new empirical equation for predicting the performance of roadheaders in different material and operational conditions. In this regard, a new performance prediction model for medium duty roadheaders based on a brittleness index (BI) is presented. In this study, rock mass brittleness index (RMBI) is defined in order to investigate the influence of BI on roadheader performance. RMBI is an index which can be used to relate the intact and rock mass characteristics to machine performance. Results demonstrated that RMBI is highly correlated to instantaneous cutting rate (ICR) (R²=0.94). Moreover, through the further analysis and normalization, the pick consumption index (PCI) was introduced as a parameter having a good relation with pick or bit consumption rates (PCR) (R²=0.79). Finally, the new predictive models for ICR and PCR showed very good correlations with the actual measured values. <![CDATA[<b>Project solution for land reclamation and spatial arrangement of the 'Srebro' open pit mine at the Fruška Gora National Park</b>]]> The exploitation of stone (trachyte) at the 'Srebro' open pit mine, located on the northern slopes of the Fruška Gora National Park (Serbia) central area begun in 1964. Stone exploitation in this locality does not endanger the environment in an ecological sense, does not pose a threat to plants and animals, and apart from the terrain configuration changes, it did not leave behind permanent consequences to the environment. Projects for permanent cessation of mining operations and for land reclamation and spatial arrangement were completed in these circumstances. The paper gives a short review of the condition at the open pit mine; furthermore, the key problems and basic demands are presented, together with a concept of technical and biological land reclamation and the spatial arrangement of the mining complex. <![CDATA[<b>The effect of electrolyte additives on cathode surface quality during copper electrorefining</b>]]> The use of electrolyte additives to smoothen cathode deposits during copper deposition is practised worldwide. These additives absorb on the cathode surface and take part in the electrochemical crystallization process. However, these additives also affect the quality of the cathodes when they are inadequately controlled. Electrolyte additives used by Palabora are glue, thiourea, Avitone and chloride. Their effects were determined on cathode quality, the size of the current density region that gives the desired compact morphology, and current efficiency. This was done in a small-scale cell. Small cells have different hydrodynamics from industrial-scale cells, which makes it difficult to simulate the operation of industrial cells in a laboratory. The approach used here was to use a rotating cylinder cathode to attain controlled hydrodynamics. The rotation speed was chosen to give a diffusion layer thickness that is similar to that of an industrial-scale cell. It was shown that even fairly small changes in the additive levels can significantly affect the cathode morphology, and the current density range over which this morphology can be obtained.