Returnable transit packaging specialist Mpact Plastic Containers, part of paper and plastic packaging group Mpact, claims it has launched South Africa’s first locally manu- factured plastic core tray – the Rock-Box.
The tray is designed for the storage and packing of core drilling samples.
Mpact Plastic Containers agent Garth Labuschagne, who has been active in the local mineral exploration industry for the past seven years, was involved in the development of the Rock-Box.
“The combination of Labuschagne’s knowledge of the mineral exploration sector and Mpact’s expertise in manufacturing quality plastic products has resulted in the development of South African innovation,” says Mpact Plastic Containers MD Loutjie de Jongh.
The Rock-Box will be manufactured at Mpact’s Brits facility.
Labuschagne says the mould used in the manufacture of the Rock-Box is expected to arrive in South Africa this month, with production to follow immediately.
He adds that the mould was designed in South Africa and is being manufactured in Italy.
As the Rock-Box is a locally manufactured product, it will be about 40% cheaper to buy than imported plastic core trays.
“The trays will be manufactured to order; however, we will keep a stockholding of about 50 000,” Labuschagne notes.
Initially, the ISO 9001- and ISO 14001-accredited Rock-Box will be available in two sizes, namely the NQ core tray, which will have the capacity to hold 6 m of core, and the BQ core tray that will hold 7 m of core.
The Rock-Box, which will be ultraviolet-stabilised and offer high quality and a long life span, will be made from polypropylene.
Polypropylene is resistant to organic drilling fluids and will not contaminate the core. A polypropylene NQ core tray is also about 30% lighter than its steel counterpart.
The plastic remains cool to the touch, despite extreme temperatures, is fully recyclable and can hold more core samples than trays previously imported into South Africa to improve cost efficiency.
Unlike steel trays, the Rock-Box will also have the benefit of being nonmagnetic, eliminating core sample contamination.
The elimination of rivets and welds in the design is expected to increase strength and durability, while the one-piece mould offers increased stability, less damage and a reduction in waste.
“Users will be able to place the trays inside one another when empty, leading to significant savings in freight costs. When filled with core, they can be stacked on top of each other without damaging the core in the tray below,”
says De Jongh.