Epiroc completes its acquisition of AARD Mining Equipment

Epiroc says it has completed its acquisition of AARD Mining Equipment, the South African mining equipment manufacturer. AARD, based in Chamdor near Johannesburg, South Africa, designs, manufactures, services and supports a wide range of mining equipment, specialising in low-profile underground machines for mines with low mining heights.

The high-quality products include drill rigs, bolters, loaders, scalers, and more. The company’s customers are mainly in the southern Africa region where its machines are present in over 30 large mining operations from gold to platinum to diamonds, including the Venetia Underground Project.

AARD has approximately 200 employees. Epiroc first announced on August 25, 2022, that it had agreed to acquire AARD. Helena Hedblom, Epiroc’s President and CEO said at the time: “AARD has reputable and reliable products that complement our underground product portfolio well. This acquisition will further strengthen our growth ambitions in Africa and beyond. We are looking forward to welcoming the great team at AARD to Epiroc.”

The attached photo shows an AARD 5.5 t class LHD recently being commissioned on site at Sibanye-Stillwater’s Burnstone gold operation in the South Rand Goldfield. All new AARD machines come standard with CAS Level 9 technology making them 100% compliant with the latest DMRE legislation and ready to mine. In addition to new machines, AARD also has a thriving rebuild business which brings opportunities to equip units with Level 9 CAS as well as other technology such as diesel particulate filters (DPF).

AARD has also been carrying out its own work towards making its vehicles more intelligent and connected. In 2021, telecoms major Vodacom Business together with its subsidiary, IoT.nxt ran a 5G connected mining vehicle trial with AARD. An intelligent edge gateway was installed on one of AARD’s newly manufactured mining vehicles. Known as Raptor, this gateway is a device developed by IoT.nxt to transform an ecosystem into a multilingual hub of innovation and communication. In addition, Vodacom provided real-time alarming notifications on IoT.nxt’s cloud-based platform – all underpinned by secure Vodacom 5G mobile connectivity.

AARD also has battery electric experience having developed the AARD eCruiser battery light vehicle based on a converted Toyota Landcruiser.