MMD celebrates 40 years of mining innovation in 2018, and yesterday the company donated a revolutionary anti-personnel landmine clearance rig to The HALO Trust at the Hillhead Show in the UK. This donation clearly demonstrates how investment in research and development in the mining and quarrying sector can be adapted to provide humanitarian solutions for communities recovering from war and conflict.

The rig is destined for deployment in Zimbabwe, which remains one of the most highly mine-impacted countries in the world. Small plastic mines – extremely difficult to detect and densely packed – run for hundreds of kilometres, close to houses, schools and agricultural land. Clearing the minefields using traditional methods is a slow, painstaking job with a high level of risk. MMD’s innovative Sizer technology will enable land to be returned to farmers faster and allow children to stop walking to school on paths through minefields.

Five years in development, with generous support and contributions from ABB, Siemens, Westbury and Conveyor Units Ltd., the mobile Demining Sizer rig works by receiving excavated soil containing anti-personnel landmines: two MMD Sizers process material, ensuring that all mines contained in the soil are crushed or detonated. The unit’s ability to handle a wide variety of soil types − from hard and abrasive to wet and sticky – and its remote control operation will remove human contact in the highly sensitive minefields in which The HALO Trust operates around the world.

The HALO Trust CEO James Cowan said: “We are very grateful to MMD for this generous donation. Once this machine is set to work, it will increase the area of contaminated land we clear each day in heavily mined countries such as Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka. In the places where we work, cleared land simply means more food for farming families and safer routes to school for children. MMD’s Sizer technology will make a real difference to tens of thousands of people.”