Every underground mining operation requires a fleet of machinery. Part of this fleet will include loaders, tool carriers and underground drilling machinery. Anyone in charge of hiring or buying mining equipment must explore the range of drills available and understand how, and when, each is used throughout the mining process – whether it’s exploration, development or production.
Using the correct drill can be the difference between mining success and failure. The mining drills you should be using include:
To help you work out which drill you should hire for your mining operation we’ll showcase the various drills available, plus give you a snapshot of the quality and safety features you should expect.
If you deal with a company that specialises in machinery for underground mining, you’ll have access to all the drill rigs you require.
Development drills are used for a range of applications underground, from small-scale face drilling to develop the mine right up to large-scale tunnelling. The combination of rock drills and booms will help set up your underground mining operation ready for the exploration and production phase.
Development drills available include:
- Epiroc (formerly Atlas Copco) Boomer H104
- Sandvik Axera 5-140
- Sandvik DD420-60C
- Sandvik DD421-60C
The range of production drills available allows mining operators to complete a variety of drilling activities including tunnelling, long-hole drilling and narrow vein drilling. Production drill rigs are flexible with most designed to rotate 360 degrees.
Production drills available include:
- Epiroc (formerly Atlas Copco) Boomer 104
- Epiroc (formerly Atlas Copco) 1257
- Sandvik Solo 5-5V
- Sandvik DL430-7C
- Sandvik DL431-7C
- Sandvik DL421-15C
How do you know you’ve hired the right drill rig?
To completely take the guesswork out of your decision, talk to a company that specialises in underground mining. Minspares only hire and sell machinery for underground mining and are happy to recommend the right drill rig for your mining project. Here are some general features you should consider before making your selection.
1. Choose a drill known for its durability
Any equipment used in underground mining needs to be durable. Mining projects can last for several years and with the constant dust and moisture underground it’s vital that your machinery is built to the highest standards.
2. Does the drill rig have multiple applications?
Drilling rigs may be used for various engineering projects from exploration to mineral extraction. When you’re working underground, space is limited, and you may need to choose a drill rig that can operate on surfaces or various hardness and textures. Talk to your supplier to see if you can hire one drill to cover multiple jobs.
3. Match the drilling method to the terrain
You’ll need to understand the characteristics of the terrain before you decide which drilling method is best. Whether that is top hammer drilling, impact drilling or rotary drilling.
What safety features do drill rigs have?
As with all underground mining work, safety always comes first. Many of the world’s leading manufacturers, including Sandvik and Epiroc (formerly Atlas Copco), are committed to manufacturing drilling machinery that exceed the highest safety standards required.
Here are some of the existing and new safety features you can expect on drill rigs.
From the safety of a cockpit, the operator can set the precise drill position every time. Precision drilling helps to reduce unexpected issues like rock falls.
In newer models, you can choose to add automated functions which allow the drill rig to be operated from the safety of a control room.
New battery-electric models are fitted with zero-emission equipment to create a healthier environment underground.
The world’s leading brands place a lot of focus on operator safety and comfort. Whether it’s a highly secure cockpit, low emissions, air conditioning or ergonomic designs – operator safety is paramount.
Before you begin your underground mining operation, contact the team at Minspares. We’re Perth’s leading supplier of underground mining machinery and can give you expert advice for your project.