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Company history

JEF was founded in 1989 by Jimmy Johnson, Eugene Pretorius and Peter Francis and commenced operations with two relatively small pneumatic crawler rigs. The business grew quickly and JEF has since become a well-known name in the mining industry.

JEF became a proud subsidiary of Sentula Mining Limited in 2007. Sentula’s name was changed to Unicorn Capital Partners Limited in 2017 (JSE Ticker: UCP).

JEF Drill&Blast is a black-empowered, wholly-owned subsidiary of Unicorn Mining Services Investments (Pty) Limited. JEF prides itself on being a highly specialised drilling & blasting contractor that ensures optimal and profitable business outcomes for its clients.

Every blast, every time.

JEF services major mining players, mining services contractors, construction contractors, project houses as well as Unicorn Capital’s own mining operations. JEF is strategically focused on high-volume mining operations and specialised drilling & blasting contracts with blasthole-diameters above 140mm.

JEF’s primary current involvement is in the Coal Mining space with an excellent track record in a variety of other minerals such as chrome, diamonds and platinum, giving JEF a depth of expertise across a variety of minerals, geologies and mining environments.

Jef Drill And Blast Middelburg
Mining Blasting And Drilling Middelburg
Mining Blasting And Drilling Middelburg

 Working in a spirit of co-ownership


Working in a spirit of co-ownership with clients, staff, suppliers, communities and other stakeholders to deliver innovative, equitable, sustainable and value-adding drilling & blasting solutions at global best-practice standards.

Managing our production and support assets to ensure optimal levels of asset integrity, economy and efficiency.

Growing our business with next generations in mind.


The best drilling & blasting company. Preferred by clients. Admired by peers. Loved by staff.


  • Safety
  • Teamwork
  • Respect
  • Accountability
  • Integrity
  • Discipline
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