Rapidly growing mining services provider Rocksure International in Ghana, Africa, has had a 100% Sandvik drill rig fleet since it was established and, according to the OEM, the partnership has been delivering spectacular results.
With drill rigs used in mining applications, the secret to success is to keep them in tip top condition throughout their working lives.
So, parts – who makes them and the service that comes with them – is of critical importance for these machines, Sandvik says.
By adopting the best work practices and latest premium equipment, Rocksure has gone from two drill rigs and eight employees when it was established in 2009, to today’s fleet of over 20 rigs and 1,200 workers. In the process, the company has been winning work that was once the preserve of Western multinationals.
In 2020 Rocksure delivered some 50 Mt of material to its customers in Ghana’s gold fields and is soon to be working on a major bauxite project in the West African country.
Partnership is the new leadership
Part of Rocksure’s strategy is to partner with leading equipment brands – and its fleet now includes 123 pieces of heavy equipment, all from the biggest names in the mining industry.
All of its drill rigs are from Sandvik, all of which have been supplied with comprehensive parts, service and training support bundles, the OEM says.
The predominant machine used by Rocksure is the Sandvik Pantera DP1500i. It is a hydraulic top hammer drill rig designed for production or pre-split drilling in open-pit mines, drilling holes with a diameter of 89-152 mm. The company also has a Sandvik DE881 multipurpose exploration rig.
“We work closely with clients like Rocksure to understand their needs,” Daniel Korsah, Sandvik Business Line Manager for Surface Drilling in West Africa, says. “We look at a long list of site variables, including blast efficiency, hole depth, length, type of rock, etc – and that helps inform the type of equipment we recommend. But that is only half of the story – the aftermarket support package is also vital to customer success.”
Fellow Business Line Manager Parts & Services, Ricus Terblanche, added: “It’s our job to make sure the rigs maintain their productivity targets, reduce costs and help the customer be more profitable. To ensure this, we look at the site data and use it to build a comprehensive parts list of the supplies that are likely to be needed. These parts are then ordered in conjunction with the machine sale, and both delivered to site at the same time. For major projects we can put large parts stocks in place, from which Rocksure can draw using a vendor-managed inventory approach. But our support bundles are much more than parts and include machine operation and safety training.
“We would never sell a machine unless we were sure the customer could operate it effectively and safely and had the skills and resources to support it.”
A recent sale of Sandvik Pantera DP1500i machines saw Sandvik support Rocksure with a four-week intensive classroom and practical operator and technical (maintenance) training, along with three months of asset support. This involved technicians being on site 100% of the full time, providing on-the-job coaching and inspections to ensure the rigs are operating to their highest potential, Sandvik explained.
Predictive parts replacement
Using Smart Inspections supported by years of accumulated analysis on component lifespan, Sandvik can calculate predictive operating costs and recommend a parts replacement service policy before parts fail.
Typically, when the machine has reached 14,000 hours of operation, the Sandvik Pantera DP1500i’s operated by Rocksure undergo a comprehensive overhaul, which can include the installation of new engines, pumps, track frames and undercarriage parts. Adding new technology can bring the machines to a better-than-new condition, with a significant reduction in fuel consumption, according to Sandvik. The fitting of new monitoring systems also helps to give much greater visibility of drilling performance – data that can further help boost productivity.
Terblanche said: “Rocksure is the perfect customer. They are professional, experts in their local market and loyal towards Sandvik – as well as growing at a fantastic rate. We do our best to support them with all the tools at our disposal to maximise their production performance. It’s a great partnership – when Rocksure is successful, Sandvik is too.
“A local mining services supplier supported by a global equipment manufacturer is a winning combination.”