POINT three of a second. That is how long it took 15 tonnes of explosives in 160 holes that were 9m deep to detonate. It took a while before this could happen, however, because an environmental impact study, licence and permits were required to start mining. At the same time, all the requirements as determined and prescribed by the Department of Mineral Resources had to be met. This included rehabilitation, safety aspects, as well as thorough planning regarding the placement and structuring of all machines and equipment.
On Wednesday at 15:00 the first blast of Hardware Mecca trading as the Brick Mecca
Crushing Plant was heard at its stone-quarry near Daniëlsrus. It was a proud moment for this family business.
Duard Valks says the stone-quarry is an extension of the business’s existing activities, which include a hardware business, brick factory and roof truss business. Josua Grobler, the manager of the Brick Mecca Crushing Plant, and Ruan van Niekerk, the manager of Brick Mecca, visited
the site on 10 June. Grobler, who works as a construction manager, spoke to experts in order to gather as much knowledge as possible about this new path the business was taking. He did mining-related courses and completed the necessary examinations after hours in order to ensure compliance.
It took these two men and their team of workers about three months to move 60 000 to 80 000m3 (cubic metres) of earth, equal to about 4 000 loads. This was done to prepare the site for the company Sure Blast from Theunissen that was responsible for the blasting. After this, it took Sure Blast about a week to ready the explosives.
On Wednesday the excitement was tangible as a group of businessmen and bystanders waited in suspense about 1,3 km from the blast site. About 36 000 to 38 000 tonnes of rock were blasted loose. This is approximately 1 000 to 1 500 loads comprising 33 tonnes per load which need to be processed and transported. Valks believes it will take about two to three months to process all the rock.
Great quantities of processed stone will be used at the brick factory, but good-quality stone will also be offered to the public at competitive prices.
Four new trucks have been bought and the stone factory will soon be expanded in order to increase production for the business to be run more effectively. Two or three new construction product ranges will also be produced soon.
Cast products such as kerbstones and lintels, which have to be brought from Gauteng, will then be produced locally and offered to the public at a lower cost.
Valks says he is proud of the 20 new job opportunities that were created and that 20 households can now experience better living conditions.