The overburden affects things and makes the work more difficult in a number of ways. “When there is so much of loose material to handle, the hole collapses all the time. As soon as you pull the rod up, it collapses again. It’s very time-consuming work. At another location, you could drill five holes in the same amount of time.”
This new rig manages the time aspect much better than its predecessor, mainly because it has the option of using longer drill rods. The new SmartROC D65 handles 8 m lengths, which means that the operators do not need to change the rods as often. “With the new SmartROC D65, we just need to add one rod instead of two as before. We will save a lot of time, especially if there is water. It’s really tough to try and join rods when there is a lot of water”.
The BenchREMOTE operator station allows the operator to work from a safe distance and manage three rigs simultaneously, significantly boosting production capacity. Norrbottens Bergteknik estimates a considerably higher production rate. “Having one operator covering two machines is just fantastic. Production will improve greatly, but it all centres around being able to rely 100% on these new automated systems. Naturally, we assume that everything will work out, and we are counting on this. We have been able to submit tenders for a significantly higher production rate thanks to our investment in the new SmartROC D65.”