Our commitment to responsible and sustainable mining is central to our purpose and strategic vision.


AECI Mining is a leading partner in making mining safer and more efficient for a better world.

We offer state-of-the-art mining chemicals that optimise mineral processing, ensuring efficiency and environmental responsibility. Our explosives portfolio caters to diverse blasting needs, enhancing safety and precision in mining operations. By prioritising sustainability and safety, our mining chemicals and explosives offerings underscore AECI Mining’s dedication to propelling the global mining sector towards a responsible and technologically advanced future.


Jaco Human

Executive: International

Morne Stiglingh

Executive: Global Support Services

Meagan Van Den Berg

Executive: Southern Africa

Thinus Bierman

Acting MD: AECI Mining

Hirdesh Dewrajram

Acting Executive: Global Operations & Engineering

Phuti Maubane

Acting Executive: Human Capital

Mfundo Myeza

Head of Finance

Amit Govind

Acting Executive: Global Supply Chain
  • 1886

    Gold Discovered

    George Harrison discovered gold on the Witwatersrand reef and with that the largest market for dynamite exploded into existence.

  • 1895

    First Explosives Factory

    Establishment of the ‘Zuid Afrikaansche Fabrieken voor Ontplofbare Stoffen Beperk' at Modderfontein by President Paul Kruger.

  • 1896

    Factory Opens

    On 25th April 1896 President Paul Kruger officially opened the factory on one of his rare visits to the Rand.

  • 1919

    Two factories unite

    After World War I, the Modderfontein factory and Kynoch's Umbogintwini factory amalgamated. Explosives production was centred at Modderfontein and the Umbogintwini factory went over to making fertilisers.

  • 1924

    African Explosives & Industries Limited formed

    The formation of African Explosives and Industries Limited in 1924 breathed new life into Modderfontein factory with new developments commencing on a scale that merited the title of “the biggest commercial explosives factory in the world”.

  • 1931

    Sir Ernest Oppenheimer is appointed chairman

    Sir Ernest Oppenheimer is appointed chairman of African Explosives and Industries Limited.

  • 1932

    Ammonia synthesis plant

    The history of AECI and of Modderfontein factory is synonymous with the history of industry in South Africa. As a generator of wealth with its products and as a creator of supporting industries, its value was incalculable.

  • 1933

    Ammon gelignite takes off

    Three thousand cases of ammon gelignite, the new ammonium nitrate explosive, were put to the test. Within five years, ammon gelignites would completely replace straight gelignites.

  • 1944

    Name change to African Explosives & Chemical Industries

    After World War II, research and development facilities were consolidated and expanded at Pinelands in Modderfontein, whilst international liaison with ICI Explosives Research and Development centres intensified.

  • 1954

    2nd Ammonia Plant

    Against a background of burgeoning activity in mining and quarrying, African Explosives & Chemical Industries Limited solidified its reputation as a pioneer of explosives and explosives accessories.

  • 1957

    Igniter cord introduced

    The company introduced the capability for sequential delay timing for capped fuse systems in narrow reef mines by introducing igniter cord, which went into production at Modderfontein in 1957 and replaced 'chesa sticks'.

  • 1959

    Freflo and Dynagel developed

    The ever-increasing range of mining activities in South Africa facilitated some pioneering work on explosives and explosives accessories for the gold, diamond, platinum, iron ore, coal, copper, asbestos and quarrying industries.

  • 1961

    Black powder & BGP safety fuse

    The production of black powder and BGP safety fuse commenced at Modderfontein. At its peak, the plant produced 300 million metres of safety fuse per year.

  • 1963

    First pentolite boosters

    Somerset West factory produces the first pentolite boosters.

  • 1966

    ANFO introduced

    The 1960s saw the introduction of porous prill ammonium nitrate that facilitated the production of ammonium nitrate fuel oil (ANFO), a new blasting agent.

  • 1967

    No 3 Ammonia Plant commissioned

    A factory was built at Modderfontein for the production of PETN and detonating cord.

  • 1968

    Slurry explosives developed

    The development of a range of slurry explosives and on-site mixing techniques ushered in a new era in explosives technology.

  • 1972

    AE&CI abbreviation

    The company name was abbreviated to AE&CI Limited in order to facilitate financial investment from overseas.

  • 1974

    No 4 Ammonia Plant completed

    In this year, a massive new nitrogen complex known as No 4 Ammonia Plant was built.

  • 1976

    Name change to AECI Limited

    The company name was changed to AECI Limited, to follow modern trends.

  • 1978

    First emulsion patent

    AECI Limited filed its first emulsion explosives patent.

  • 1982

    Mankwe opens

    The first new commercial explosives factory since 1908 was opened at Mankwe, near Rustenburg, with production of 100 million capped fuses per annum and a capacity of 80 000 tonnes of Anfex® per annum.

  • 1983

    Safety fuse produced at Mankwe

    A new plant at Mankwe factory came on stream for the manufacture of safety fuse.

  • 1985

    Wet spun safety fuse innovation

    Flowing from research that had commenced in 1980, AECI developed and in 1985 industrialised, a process for manufacturing safety fuse by a wet process.

  • 1987

    Klerksdorp operations opens

    The Klerksdorp factory and distribution centre began operations.

  • 1989

    Emulsion chemical gassing sensitisation innovation

    AECI introduced emulsion chemical gassing sensitisation technology to the South African explosives industry.

  • 1994

    Nitroglycerin plant closes

    AECI was in the process of phasing out nitroglycerin production as it was a very unstable substance and had caused a number of accidents worldwide, through the years.

  • 1995

    Somerset West explosives factory

    Closure of Somerset West explosives factory in line with the centralisation policy.

  • 1998

    AECI total ownership

    In January 1998, AECI exercised its pre-emptive option to repurchase ICI's 51% share in AECI Explosives Limited thereby regaining 100% ownership.

  • 1999

    Name Change

    The company name changed from AECI Explosives Limited to African Explosives Limited (AEL).

  • 2001

    Electronic detonators

    AEL achieved the first 1 500 electronic detonator single blast (at Damang Gold Mine in Ghana) using the AEL-developed programmable Smartdet® system.

  • 2003

    DetNet joint venture

    AECI and Dyno Nobel (Norway) entered into a joint venture with DetNet – 'Changing the Way the World Mines' with electronic detonators.

  • 2004

    AEL's head office at The Platform

    AEL head office moved to The Platform in Longmeadow Business Estate, a new head office building adjacent to Modderfontein.

  • 2006

    ISAP commences

    AEL embarked on the Initiating Systems Automation Project (ISAP) in 2006 and has designed, built and commissioned a high speed automated assembly line to deliver high volumes of shock tube product within a significantly reduced cycle time relative to existing manual processes.

  • 2007

    AEL invests in Indonesia

    2007 saw AEL's first international product assembly initiative and first capital investment outside Africa in Indonesia.

  • 2008

    World first with spray drying innovation

    In February 2008 AEL's R&D team pioneered and patented the world's first commercial pyrotechnic spray drying plant, which will eventually provide all the delay powders that the company needs for its new automated assembly plant.

  • 2009

    AEL establishes presence in North Africa

    AEL successfully established a presence in North Africa and installed its emulsion plant at Sukari Gold Project in Egypt and commenced blasting operations at the mine.

  • 2010

    New brand strategy and corporate identity

    AEL launches its new logo, brand strategy and corporate identity at Indaba in February. At the same time, AEL launches its new global website.

  • 2011/2012

    Ground-breaking innovations

    PCU 010 pump, Shock Tube Uni-Delay LP Vivid, Rhino Shock Tube Connector and Powercord 8 Premium.

  • 2014

    More trail-blazing innovations

    Blast Initiation Timer (BIT), GeoShot (Electronic Delay Detonator), CE4 Tagger and Hot Hole Monitor, Vertical Drop System.

  • 2015

    Latest innovations

    InstaStem non-detonating rock-breaking cartridge.

  • 2016

    Launch of IntelliShot™

    A superior advanced blasting system ensuring the best blast, on time, every time.

  • 2018

    AEL field trials latest innovation

    Digidet: an electronic shock tube detonator affording customer ease of deployment.

  • 2019

    Re-brand in line with blasting intelligence

    Taking the mining industry into the era of digitalisation and smart mining.

  • 2020

    Group Business Alignment and Rebrand

    Alignment of all business across the AECI Group. Refer to attached image “Group Align”.

  • 2020

    Vertical Drop

    Our formulations have been transferred safely, efficiently and cost-effectively to a record breaking depth of 980m.

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