Having helped Raising Australia slash slot-raise production times, improve productivity for its customers and significantly increase its own revenue, Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology’s highly mobile Rhino 100 ‘plug-and-drill’ raiseborer is ready to take southern Africa’s mining sector by storm, the mining OEM says.
The Rhino raiseborer, manufactured by TRB-Raise Borers in Finland but equipped with Sandvik tools and distributed by Sandvik, was developed in response to customer requests for a different approach to the raise drilling and blasting sequence, according to Sandvik, which says the Rhino 100 is a leap forward in mobility and drilling speed.
According to Saltiel Pule, Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology’s Business Line Manager for Underground Drilling in southern Africa, the key to the Rhino 100’s mobility is being self-sufficient.
“This unit carries all its own components, from rods and cables to hydraulics and the raiseboring head,” Pule said. “Pulled by a specially adapted double-axle John Deere tractor, no other transportation equipment is needed to move the rig.”
Together with fast set-up times and high drilling productivity, the Rhino 100 is an integrated solution that allows mines to meet ambitious drilling targets, according to the company.
“Outriggers stabilise the machine so there is no requirement for a concrete pad before setting up,” he said. “This means that the machine can be set up in as little as 10 minutes, compared with the few days it takes to cast and cure a concrete pad before use.”
He adds that no roof bolting is required either, as the Rhino 100 is equipped with an inclinometer that provides the operator with the necessary x and y coordinates, which the surveyor can confirm before drilling starts.
The Rhino 100’s productivity is further enhanced by its high drilling speed; with penetration rates of about 2 m/h, it can progress drilling at more than double the rate of conventional methods, Sandvik says.
“The rod-handling arm enhances health and safety underground, especially by preventing back and finger injuries,” Pule says. “By carefully manipulating and changing rods without them needing to be placed on the ground, the automated arm also avoids dust and rock chips getting into the threads. This helps maintain the workflow and keep the whole process running efficiently.”
The 52-t Rhino 100 – at 3.1 m wide and 3.4 m high – has been designed to fit comfortably into standard mine haulage, with easy mobility from one tunnel or stope to the next, the company said.
Judging by the number of enquiries from major mining players, Pule says the unit looks to have a promising future in southern Africa’s mining sector.