Anglo American Kumba Iron Ore and South African-based drilling services provider Rosond have entered into a R2-billion multi-year agreement, to develop and implement the next generation drilling contract.
The agreement follows an exhaustive process undertaken by Kumba Iron Ore as part of the initiative to modernise its geoscience operations and extend the life-of-mine of Kolomela and Sishen mines, to elevate safety standards, and improve productivity.
According to Themba Mkhwanazi, CEO of Anglo American Kumba Iron Ore, the partnership will contribute toward the development of small-micro medium enterprises in the host communities of Postmasburg and Kathu. Rosond has committed to partner with a local Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment company to develop a fully independent drilling company in the Northern Cape. In line with ensuring gender diversity and inclusion, Rosond has further committed to the skills development and advancement of female employees in the field of drilling.
Rosond has been involved in the research and development of the ‘next generation’ drill rigs for more than five years.
“The technology we’re bringing is available in various disciplines. What we have done is to package and tweak it into a formula that we believe works in this drilling environment – that we believe works for our clients. The drilling space has always been seen as a dirty type of hard work, but it does not have to be that way. It can be really sophisticated,” says Ricardo Ribeiro, MD at Rosond.
As part of the deal, Rosond is set to roll out 30 advanced drilling rigs beginning in mid-January 2020, as it introduces a level of technology that will make South Africa world-class industry leaders in the drilling space. Anglo American Kumba Iron Ore will have one of the most advanced drilling fleets in operation globally.
“We felt that Kumba Iron Ore strongly prioritised these considerations, and that they were therefore the right company for us to partner with in delivering these innovations into the field. I don’t think any drilling company could do this without collaborating with a big mining company, so we really appreciate Kumba Iron Ore’s foresight in buying into our vision. Their input makes this great stride forward possible,” says Ribeiro.