Last year the main focus for drilling technology solutions provider Rosond of Midrand was delivering 28 state-of-the-art drill rigs to the Kolomela and Sishen mines at Anglo American’s Kumba Iron Ore in the Northern Cape. This formed part of a R2 billion, five-year tender clinched by Rosond to supply Anglo American with the latest drilling technology as it modernises its geoscience operations.
Now that this major contract has been delivered and bedded down, the main focus for 2022 will be consolidating the company’s rapid expansion as it plans for further growth by taking on additional work in Sub-Saharan Africa, comments MD Ricardo Ribeiro.
Rosond is now the largest diversified privately owned drilling company in South Africa, with 1 500 employees. It has pioneered all-female drill-rig crews at Kumba in the Northern Cape, where 20% of its workforce is female. This is largely due to the fact that its next-generation drill rigs are fully automated, thereby removing the need for strenuous manual labour.
The drill rig technology developed by Rosond in conjunction with Comacchio has also resulted in significant health and safety records at Kumba. This is a significant achievement given that 80% of the workforce on the two projects there are new recruits, all from local or host communities and trained by Rosond. “We are very proud of our safety record, which talks to the combination of our training and technology,” says Ribeiro.
Rosond provides customised solutions to cater for specific client requirements. “We look at the mining operation and the surrounding environment to be able to supply the best solution possible, taking into account technology, commercial considerations, and the host communities we work with.
“We can design drill rigs for both surface and underground mining applications. Mining clients supply us with the necessary specifications required to develop a concept design. This is a key differentiator for us, as we are unique in not supplying anything off the shelf,” says Ribeiro.
Another key focus for Rosond has been enterprise supplier development (ESD) in the Northern Cape specifically, whereby smaller businesses are being empowered as key mining services providers. “We are hoping that our ESD programme will result in a successful business model that can be rolled out elsewhere,” says Ribeiro.
Looking to the future, Rosond expects to clinch further work in the Southern African market. It has also appointed a new Operations Director to drive growth and a Head of Technology. “This year we are going to spend a lot of time digitising our operations. We are in a unique position in that we have 28 drill rigs with telemetry systems in an 80 km2 radius in the Northern Cape. The data collection here is going to be significant in terms of data prediction, software development and drilling efficiencies,” concludes Ribeiro.