The Mandela Mining Precinct launched the Isidingo Drill Design challenge in August 2018 with the aim to rapidly design and develop an innovative, locally-made drilling technology through three rapid product development phases.
In October 2018, 11 eligible innovators’ concepts were presented, and the top three announced. A year later, in October 2019, two out of the three finalists: HPE and Novatek, delivered their prototypes to the Mandela Mining Precinct. The prototypes were successfully tested, illustrating both Novatek and HPE’s adherence to the primary criteria that will enhance the performance of the drill, reduce the exposure of operators to dangerous conditions and immediately contribute to zero harm, explains Mandela Mining Precinct programme manager, Martin Pretorius who is responsible for the LoCM programme.
The innovation challenge illustrates agility, efficiency and flexibility often not seen in traditional research and development (R&D) approaches. The drills are currently undergoing rigorous testing. An announcement one the performance of HPE and Novatek’s drills will be made in due course.