Ground Support Supplement Article by JENNMAR

The following is an article from JENNMAR which appeared in the Ground Support 2023 Supplement

Jennmar: 25 years of Australian ground support learning


Since commissioning a manufacturing facility in Sydney, New South Wales, in 1997, Jennmar has learned a lot about Australian ground support requirements. Having manufactured ground support in the United States (US) since 1972, Jennmar is well positioned with manufacturing capability and detailed knowledge of US underground mining.
Australian mining conditions require Australian products and Jennmar adapted quickly to compete in this market. A major key to the success and longevity as a ground support supplier is innovation, and Jennmar’s appetite for new product development is unmatched. Successful new product development saw Jennmar diversify from the initial coal mining products into hard rock mining products in 2007 and civil tunnelling products in 2015.
During the last 25 years, Jennmar’s Australian manufacturing footprint expanded from New South Wales into Queensland in 2001 and Western Australia in 2013. Both the New South Wales and Queensland sites saw significant expansion completed in 2007 with a major expansion completed at the Western Australian site in 2020.

Product development

To become an industry leader you need to invest in the recruitment, development and retention of quality people. Since 1997, Jennmar has successfully recruited experienced industry personnel in the fields of underground mining, engineering, technical support and manufacturing. The knowledge and experience of this team has enabled high-quality interaction with mining personnel to ensure that Jennmar’s focus is aligned with the customers’ requirements and expectations.
Jennmar Australia’s initial product development program was focused on developing a superior range of high-quality ground support products to position the company as a leading supplier to Australian mines. This focus proved successful with Jennmar now recognised as a leading innovator and supplier to both coal mining and hard rock mining in Australia.

Over the last 10 years, Jennmar’s new product development program has largely focused on products that can deliver measurable productivity improvements to our customers. These successful improvements have included higher product strengths, fewer installation steps, fewer bolt installations required, greater installed quality and reduced surface and underground logistical requirements. In most situations, these improvements are quantifiable and the subsequent cost improvement has been considerable.
It is widely recognised that the cost to install ground support is considerably greater than the cost of the ground support elements themselves. Therefore, Jennmar’s focus on developing products and systems aimed at removing time from the bolting cycle has delivered excellent outcomes for our customers. These products form Jennmar’s Rapid Development Underground range.
The COVID-19 pandemic had the potential to slow R&D development, but thanks to the timely 2019 investment in the Frank Calandra Jr Research Centre in South Western Sydney, Jennmar was able to continue new product development on key projects when site access for trials was not available. Jennmar’s R&D team was able to continue to replicate ground support installations with our in-house jumbo and undertake thorough product testing and evaluation at the centre.
To understand the value of the benefits achievable from the introduction of new ground support technology, it is important to determine a quantifiable measure and capture the relevant data during development activities. In some instances, a double benefit is possible through the reduction of actual costs and the increase of actual revenue over a certain period.
Data captured by Jennmar and our customers over the last eight years has demonstrated that small sustainable timesavings (productivity improvements) over an extended period can lead to operational cost improvements of a magnitude that can never be achieved from cost savings.

Example one

Jennmar’s Spin2Stall/Rapid Development resin bolting system was successfully introduced into Australian mining in early 2014, with more than 13 million of these bolts having now been installed in Australian underground mines.

This innovative technology completely removes or considerably reduces one step from the bolting process, thereby creating a genuine timesaving in the ground support installation cycle.

Following the successful introduction of the Spin2Stall/Rapid Development resin bolting system, the timesaving achieved across multiple customer sites has been consistently measured at a 13–16% reduction for each metre of development advance. By multiplying this against the known cost per hour or metre of advance, it is possible to quantify the actual cost saving value over a set period or distance.

Example two

The introduction of newly developed higher-capacity support elements has enabled multiple Jennmar customers to reduce support density, which has had a direct impact on consumable costs per metre. However, the more considerable cost saving has come from the reduction in the total time required to install the ground support in the excavation.
Depending on the location in the mine and the support pattern required, the total cost savings per cycle is in the order of 16–29% of the previous total installed cost of the ground support cycle.
To date, the benefits of these successes have been limited to measuring the improvement of the ground support installation process and, in some cases, to additional development advance being achieved. However, it is possible that a larger cost improvement benefit is being overlooked by limiting the evaluation to the directly related activities.

A snapshot of the next few years

There is, without doubt, a far greater chance of future company success being driven by innovation and the introduction of new technology than will ever be achieved from a short-sighted focus on cost-reduction strategies.

The responsible purchase of ground support components will always be a considerable element of the decision regarding ground support supplier selection.

The Australian mining industry is currently experiencing the growing availability of low-cost imported ground support products.

It is important to understand that these products come from companies conducting very little to no new product development and just passing on existing technology, limiting a company’s opportunity to find true value-adding benefits.
If you want access to new product technology designed specifically for Australian mining conditions, the greatest chance for success comes from partnering with an Australian manufacturer. This includes committing to the supply of your existing ground support requirements and supporting these companies to continue new product development specifically for Australian mining.
At the Australian Centre for Geomechanics’ Ground Support 2023 conference, Jennmar will be proudly presenting two papers – Design, development and testing of the Falcon Bolt and Application of modern pumpable polyester resin to the mining cycle.
These presentations will coincide with the launch of a completely new ground support system – the Falcon Bolt. Jennmar’s Falcon Bolt has the potential to change how you select your ground support, how you install your ground support, and how you measure the overall benefits achieved from these decisions.
Jennmar has developed the Falcon Bolt in conjunction with a mechanical grouting system. When utilised in tandem, this method provides a rapid bolting solution for life of mine elements, while the inherent properties of the design also provide a measure of quality control on bolt installation. The Falcon Bolt configuration can be varied to accommodate different ground conditions, and is available in an arrangement that enables extension drilling, providing a potential alternative for cable bolts. It is designed to suit static, quasistatic and dynamic geotechnical domains.

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