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BedRock Mining Timber Production

During 2017 TWK acquired a strategic equity stake in BedRock and welcomed BedRock to the TWK group of companies.

BedRock Mining Support is a fully integrated timber-based support company supplying underground mine support to South African gold and platinum mines. The company operates three mining-timber sawmills in close proximity to the timber source, and has access to the two associated mills in Makhado and Paulpietersburg respectively. BedRock also has a presence on the premises of our customers across the gold and platinum mining areas. The company provides mine safety support cost-effectively, consistently and reliably.

It optimises the timber and support value chain from seedling to stope, which enables us to delight our customers with quality, on-time, in-full delivery – every time. BedRock embraces the ISO 18001 OHSMS (occupational health and safety management system) to promote a safe and healthy work environment by providing a framework that allows them to consistently identify and control health and safety risks, reduce the potential of accidents, aid legislative compliance and improve overall performance.

The company employs a unique blend of professionals from the operational, financial and mining disciplines who pride themselves on their entrepreneurial roots as well as great relationships with all their stakeholders. The ingredients for great relationships are what they hold dear …


During 2017 TWK acquired a strategic equity stake in BedRock and welcomed BedRock to the TWK group of companies. BedRock provides a comprehensive suite of timber-based products for most applications in support of underground mining operations as well as dunnage for industrial and export purposes. Our products are complemented by an extensive array of on-site services, ranging from fire-retardant treatment, underground monitoring and the loading of material cars on the shaft bank.


A timber composite is a configuration made from trims (square chocks) and concrete bricks, spun together with wire in order to reduce the costly timber components. This is mostly used in the gold-mining sector. The composites are stacked from the hang wall (floor) to the foot wall (roof) and pre-stressed, mostly with a bag pumped with concrete pressing the upper section of the composite against the roof (footwall).


A closure meter is an instrument used to measure the yielding (reducing in height)

of the product as the load from the footwall (roof) increases.


A solid mat is a configuration made from chocks (pole slabbed two opposite sides) spun together with wire. It is used mostly in the gold-mining sector, where very strong support is required. Solid mats are produced at the Rutlands, Glenthorpe and Piet Retief mills.


Saturn props are produced at the Rutlands, Glenthorpe and Piet Retief mills. Saturn props are produced from poles with a specific diameter turned down to a required diameter. These turned poles are then cut on the ends and wire-bound to specific dimensions to avoid cracks and also to provide better yielding (crumbling) on the yielding end.


Pencil props are manufactured at the Rutland, Glenthorpe and Piet Retief mills. They are mostly used in the platinum sector. A pencil prop is manufactured from a pole with a specific diameter and a sharpened point at one end. The sharpened end will start to crumble (yield) as the load increases.


Typically, timber dunnage is used to secure and protect cargo from moisture, contamination and mechanical damage during transportation. Dunnage is an integral part of our business, as it consumes a part of the tree that would otherwise have been sent to the pulp market.

Dunnage has many uses, but is mainly used in ships, trucking, containers and in the steel industry. Dunnage used in ships is mainly utilised as hull protection to lift the cargo off the floor to prevent water from coming into contact with the cargo.

Dunnage used in the steel and trucking industries is used as a ‘spacer’ to separate layers of steel and/or products for ease of storing, loading, unloading and transportation purposes.

Dunnage products can be manufactured to meet specific requirements, but are mainly manufactured in lengths between 1,0 and 2,4 m, with a thickness varying between 50 and 80 mm.

Timber dunnage supplied to the shipping industry is fumigated according to international standards to avoid foreign insect pests from moving offshore and/or entering foreign countries.

Dunnage is produced at the Rutlands, Glenthorpe and Piet Retief mills.


Chocks are also produced at the Rutlands, Glenthorpe and Piet Retief mills. They are used where very strong support is required (deep-level mining). Chocks are produced at a larger rise (height of the chock), which makes stacking underground faster and more versatile. The product is produced from poles with two opposite large bearing faces.


Pack support is generally used as permanent passive support away from the working face and on gullies to provide areal cover in the stope. Examples are chock packs, modular mat packs, C-packs, spaced mat packs, end-grain mat packs, timber-composite mat packs and brick-composite mat packs. Pack support is commonly

used in deep-level gold and platinum mines.


Elongate support is generally used in shallower gold and platinum mines where conditions allow. Elongate support can vary from basic mine poles that allow minimal deformation to more sophisticated designs of pencil props, Saturn props and other higher-yielding elongates, with design yielding of up to 400 mm and beyond.


BedRock has established itself over the years as a leader in the provision of technical services associated with its products. Backed by a management team, including mining engineers, Groundwork Consulting external link provides technical services,

including support-design optimisation, to all our customers. This relationship has endured and prospered for many years and has earned accolades for the value it adds to the cost-effective support management within our customer base.


The movement of a strategic product such as timber-based mine support over long distances and ultimately down a mine shaft requires some sophisticated logistical and holding systems. Products are bundled, where possible, and delivered at the shaft head in material cars, with minimal re-handling. The emphasis of all logistical systems is primarily on ergonomic handling and making life easier for the end user.


The modern-day BedRock has its roots firmly embedded in the mining and forestry industries, with a strong focus on corporate governance, without neglecting our entrepreneurial foundation.


  • 1998 – Awarded supply contract for timber-based support to Gold Fields Group of mines, now Sibanye Gold;

  • 1999 – Awarded supply contract for timber-based support to Anglo Platinum Group of mines;

  • Awarded supply contract for timber-based support to Lonmin Platinum Group of mines;

  • 2000 – Management buy-out of Sappi Mining Timber;

  • 2002 – BEE deal with Mmakau Mining;

  • 2006 – BEE deal with RMB Corvest;

  • 2008 – Official formation of BedRock Mining Support in its current format;

  • 2009 – Consolidation of B-BBEE partner with the introductionof Shalamuka Capital;

  • 2010 – Acquisition of 30 000 ha of plantations from Mondi;

  • 2014 – Sale of 30 000 ha of plantations to MTO Forestry;

  • Secured a 10-year renewable timber supply contract with MTO Forestry;

  • Established a modernised shareholding structure, poised for future growth;

  • 2016 – Creation of a staff investment company called OLANDELAYO, colloquially meaning ‘the next in line’, through which the future level management will acquire an equity stake in BedRock;

  • 2017 – BedRock concluded a sale-of-equity agreement with TWK Agri (Pty) Ltd, whereby TWK acquired a strategic equity stake in the business.


  • Anglo Platinum: the world’s leading primary producer of platinum group metals (PGMs), accounting for about 40% of the world’s newly mined platinum;

  • Lonmin: a primary producer of platinum group metals (PGMs);

  • Sibanye Gold: the new gold champion for South Africa. ■

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