LKAB set to test Epiroc Easer rig at Konsuln

LKAB says it is getting ready to test Epiroc’s Easer L raiseboring rig at its Konsuln test mine this month as part of the Sustainable Underground Mining (SUM) project it is taking part in.

The mobile rig is set to start work this month, with LKAB being Epiroc’s first customer in Europe to use it, according to Carlos Quinteiro, a specialist with LKAB’s Mining Engineering department.

Designed to drill opening holes in block cave, sub level caving and sub level stoping mines, the Easer L can also be used for precondition holes, paste fill tube holes and media holes. The rig works in drifts from 4.7 x 4.7 to 6 x 6 m. When drilling with a 750 mm diameter reamer, the Easer L can drill conventional holes up to 200 m and box holes and down reaming holes up to 60 m, according to Epiroc. It also has the capability to drill angled holes in any direction with a minimum range of 90°–60° from horizontal.

Quinteiro, who is also the Project Manager for the SUM subproject 1, said: “The rig can drill opening holes up to a maximum of 60 m. “We will start by test drilling 40-50 m and then evaluate the results.”

The drill rig will initially be used at level 436 in the Konsuln mine, which is the first level that has an increased sublevel height – of a total of 40 m.

“With an increased sublevel height, we have to be able to drill longer opening holes than our existing rigs can handle,” explained Quinteiro.

A number of different tests will be carried out to check LKAB’s quality and productivity requirements, the iron ore miner said. “Only after an acceptance test has been performed will a decision be made on whether Easer L can be used in production at Konsuln.”