The Strata 950 raise drill that was usedto sink a shaft down to the trapped men. A diagram showing how the pilot shaftwas drilled and then reamed to its finaldiameter. View a bigger version.(Images: Murray & Roberts)It took nearly 23 hours to bring all 33miners to the surface.(Image: momento24)MEDIA CONTACTS • Eduard Jardim, Murray & Robertsgroup communication executive+27 11 456 6200RELATED ARTICLES• SA junior mining sector vibrant• Mining history for new solutions• Mines, headgear and the mind• Mine houses bullish about AfricaApril McAlisterThe world has been captivated by the rescue of 33 miners trapped 688 metres underground in the San Jose mine near Copiapo in northern Chile.The entrance to the main tunnel collapsed on 5 August 2010, trapping the miners – 32 Chileans and one Bolivian – deep underground for over two months.A breakthrough in October saw a rescue shaft finally reaching the miners, enabling workers to start bringing them to the surface one by one. The rescue capsule, named Phoenix, was fitted with an oxygen supply and communications facilities, and took about an hour to make a round trip. It brought the last miner up in the early hours of 14 October.This rescue was made possible by the efforts of South African construction and engineering company Murray & Roberts through its Cementation division, Cementation’s Chilean partner Terraservice, and others.Cementation is the engineering giant’s global mining contracting division, and is collaborating with Terraservice in a joint venture called Terracem. Murray & Roberts have been involved in many major construction projects around the world, including the Burj al Arab in Dubai, the Cape Town stadium, and the Paris-Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi.It was a Terraservice drill that reached the miners’ underground chamber on 22 August 2010, allowing them to attach a written message to the drill pipe confirming they were alive and well. Food, water and medication were sent down to the men through this shaft.Murray & Roberts were the first to get a drill to the site in response to the Chilean government’s call for help. Terracem dispatched one of their raise drilling machines, the Strata 950, to San Jose to begin drilling a pilot hole to reach the miners.This machine, which is owned by Cementation Canada and operated in Chile by Terracem, had just sunk a shaft for the nearby Andina mine and could begin drilling immediately, even though the rock was hard, which necessitated frequent interchanging of drill heads.Murray & Roberts co-developed the rotary vertical drilling system used by the Strata 950. The pilot shaft was just 370mm wide, but was later reamed to its final diameter of 750mm, allowing for the reinforcement and stabilisation of the top section with steel casing.Three drilling operations, running concurrently, raced to be the first to reach the trapped men. The Strata 950 was plan A, and plans B and C involved a Schramm T-130 drill and a Rig 421 oil well drill respectively.It was the plan B hole that was finally used to extract the miners, who have become national heroes and were lauded by the world for their determination to survive.Wonderful achievementMurray & Roberts group communications head Ed Jardim said in a statement: “This is a wonderful achievement for South Africa and Murray & Roberts. We are very privileged to have been a part of this process and it is a feather in our cap as South Africans – as leaders in underground mining.”The first miner, Florencio Avalos, reached the surface just after 05h00 South African time on 13 October, and the last to be lifted to safety was Luiz Urzua, who was shift chief when the incident happened. The rescue took 22 hours and 37 minutes.Jardim added: “The Chilean government has managed the rescue and drilling process exceptionally well and we have been proud to have assisted them through this process.Florencio Avalos
Dr Tshepo Motsepe, the spouse of President Cyril Ramaphosa and First Lady of the Republic of South Africa, will on Tuesday, 18 September 2018, embark on an official visit to the United States, ahead of the South African delegation, led by President Ramaphosa, attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York.Dr Motsepe will start her visit at her alma mater, Harvard University’s School of Public Health, where she will deliver an address at the Open Summit on Early Childhood Health and Development in South Africa. She will also have a conversation with a group of students and faculty from the Department of Global Health and Population.On the second leg of her visit Dr Motsepe will attend the unveiling of the Nelson Mandela statue at the United Nations Headquarters.Dr Motsepe holds a Master of Public Health in maternal child health and aging from the Harvard School of Public Health. She is a qualified medical doctor, holding a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She has also completed a Social Entrepreneurship Certificate Programme at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS).Dr Motsepe has worked in private practice and in hospitals including Chris Hani Baragwaneth Hospital in South Africa and Parirenyatwa Hospital in Zimbabwe – each the largest in their countries. She also worked with the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute which is a leading African research institute focusing on sexual, reproductive health and HIV research. She has also served as Chairperson of the Gauteng Health Department’s Accreditation Committee.Dr Motsepe is currently the Chairperson of African Self Help Trust (ASHA), a non-profit organisation which provides early childhood development support programmes for home based crèches in disadvantaged communities.Issued by the Presidency
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt ReeseCorn and soybean lodging, quality issues, and persistent moisture have plagued the 2018 harvest for Ohio so far. According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Crop Progress Report for the week ending Oct. 14, the heat and dry conditions for part of the week allowed corn harvest to continue to outpace the 5-year average in Ohio. Soybean harvest moved ahead 13 percentage points, although it continues to lag behind the 5-year average.Though there have certainly been challenges in Ohio, buckeye farmers had better be careful before lamenting too long. Ohio is certainly not the only state facing harvest issues.In Minnesota, cool and wet weather conditions continued to hamper harvest progress during the week ending Oct. 14, 2018, according to USDA. There were only 1.1 days suitable for fieldwork, the fewest days suitable this year since the week ending April 22 when there were no days suitable for fieldwork.The persistent wet conditions have left Minnesota’s topsoil moisture at 56% adequate and 42% surplus, according to USDA. Despite the challenges, corn harvest progress for Minnesota is near normal at 18% in 2018 compared to the 20% five-year average. Soybean harvest, however, is really falling behind with a five-year average of 69% of the Minnesota crop harvested and only 38% of this year’s crop out of the fields so far in 2018.Steady rains, heavy fog, cool weather and even snow have kept soybeans from drying down this fall and really slowed harvest efforts for Steve Eickhoff who farms in the Spring Valley area in the southeast corner of Minnesota.“We have maybe a quarter of our beans done and we started corn after the snow melted from this weekend. Everything got mature early but we have been so wet,” Eickhoff said. “The first snow we had was on Sunday but to the north they have already had snow a couple of times. We have been cold with highs in the 40s the last couple of weeks. We usually start harvesting soybeans the end of September and by early October we are usually going hard on the beans. The beans are ripe, but we can’t get them dried down. The forecast is for highs in the 50s but sunshine for the next 10 days. We’ll see what happens.”Eickhoff said the soybean crop for the area looks to be about average and corn yields look strong — if they can get them out of the fields in a timely manner.“Stalk quality is not real great and the beans are all leaning. We have had some wind issues and we don’t need any more snow that is for sure,” he said. “One of the blessings of being cold is that we haven’t had any conditions for the molds. I think the grain quality is pretty good. So far we have heard some horror stories but we haven’t had any sprouting or anything like that. I don’t think we ever got the beans dry enough for that to happen.”In Iowa the story is similar. Rain and early snow showers limited Iowa farmers to just 0.8 day suitable for fieldwork during the week ending Oct. 14, according to the USDA. Activities for the week included moving grain, monitoring field conditions and harvesting corn when weather permitted. A whopping 60% of the topsoil in the nation’s top corn producing state had surplus moisture. Only 17% of the state’s corn crop had been harvested compared to the five-year average of 24%. For soybeans, 19% had been harvested compared to the 51% five-year average. And, while harvest progress continues to lag, Iowa’s farmers are grimacing at the rainy forecast for many parts of the state through late October into November.
After it’s drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections, Congress organisations in the State are set to introspect on what went wrong. The State unit Youth Congress has called for an open dialogue on June 3 to introspect the results. Former and curent office-bearers of the party’s student wing National Students Union of India (NSUI) and Youth Congress are among those who have been invited to voice their opinion to find out where did the party go wrong and to discuss the future strategy.“Though Lok Sabha elections results are shocking for the Congress, we humbly accept the mandate given by the nation. The Congress is going through a difficult phase and youth need to stay united in same old fighting spirit in such adverse political circumstances,” said Satyajeet Tambe-Patil, president, Maharashtra Youth Congress.Mr. Tambe-Patil said it is time for the young workers of the Congress to come together and put a formidable fight against the Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. “It is our duty to ensure that Congress comes back to power in the State and for which we have to decide the future strategy,” he said, adding that the meeting will discuss how to go forward for Assembly polls and which programs should be highlighted in front of the people.“Assembly polls are different than the Lok Sabha polls. We have invited all the workers to ensure the focus is back on party organisation and to let everyone talk as openly as possible. It will bring out some negative points which can be tackled in the course of time as well,” he said.