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Next step into Australia as BME acquires balance of AIS

Explosives leader BME (JSE Omnia group) has completed the acquisition of Australia-based Advanced Initiating Systems Pty Ltd (AIS), a company that BME was instrumental in establishing five years ago; the move signals a rebranding and expansion of BME’s technical services and products in Australia.

According to Brad Bulow, BME’s General Manager Australia Asia and a director of AIS, the rebranding process will begin in the second quarter of 2018, and will take forward the considerable progress that AIS has made in the Australian market.

“As AIS, we have become well-known as the distributor of BME’s pioneering AXXIS digital detonation system, as well as forging close relationships with clients through our proactive support, professional approach and strong service ethic,” said Bulow. “Our technical capability has also been well proven with a record blast at a large central Queensland coal mine.”

The AXXIS system was used at the mine to initiate the largest electronic detonator blast ever at that time – firing 5,665 detonators in 2,683 blastholes; this also broke a previous record achieved at the mine when an AXXIS-controlled blast successfully initiated 4,303 detonators in a single blast to break 2,8 million cubic metres of overburden. The world’s largest electronic detonator blast record is now held by BME in Zambia.

Bulow said BME – a member of the JSE-listed Omnia Group – would be looking for opportunities to offer its range of other technical services, technology, equipment and emulsions as the market required.

“With over three decades of growth in the explosives business, and as the leading supplier of emulsion explosives to South African opencast mines, BME has innovated a broad range of solutions that are being applied across Africa and in a growing number of markets abroad,” he said. “Our position as part of the Omnia Group – which has facilitated our considerable manufacturing capacity – places us well to meet customer demands in Australia.”

BME has steadily expanded its emulsion production facilities, as well as automating its manufacture of initiating systems. Alongside its AXXIS detonation system, it has also developed the BlastMap blast planning and design software, as well as mobile applications to promote quality blasting.

A mining engineer with explosives specialisation and 25 years of experience in the resources sector, Bulow will head up the Brisbane-based business following the latest acquisition.

About BME: www.bme.co.za

BME is the leading supplier of explosives and services to the African mining, quarrying and construction industries. Focusing on safety, supply security and value adding technical services, BME strives to remain at the forefront of technology by regularly participating in the research and trials of new blasting techniques and products, as well as attending and presenting at technical conferences worldwide. BME has operations in Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, DRC, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Namibia, South Africa, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe and where opportunities present themselves.