Tag Archives: DD422iE

Bolting operations with Sandvik DD422iE battery-electric rig commence at McIlvenna Bay

The underground mining team at the McIlvenna Bay project in Saskatchewan, Canada, has reached a major milestone by installing the first resin anchored rebar bolts with the Sandvik DD422iE rig, the OEM reports.

This battery-powered machine – which carries out tramming on battery and plugs into the mine grid for face operations – is a multi-purpose jumbo that allows miners to bolt and bore with a single machine. This results in a significantly reduced overall cycle time that supports rapid development, Sandvik says.

Back in 2022, Sandvik announced it would supply a fleet of 20 battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), including trucks, loaders and drills, for the project in what was its biggest battery-electric vehicle order to date.

Among this 20-strong fleet was seven Sandvik 18-t-payload LH518B loaders, six Sandvik 50-t-payload TH550B trucks, four Sandvik DD422iE jumbo drill rigs, two Sandvik DL422iE longhole drills and one Sandvik DS412iE mechanical bolter.

The owner of the mine, Foran Mining, is putting these machines to work alongside help from contractor Procon Mining and Tunnelling.

Sandvik adds DD322i and DD422i development drills to Digital Driller simulator line-up

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions has introduced two new virtual training simulators to its Digital Driller™ offering. The new Sandvik DD322i and Sandvik DD422i Dual Controls simulators feature the latest software and advanced training methods for underground drill operators and maintenance teams, the company says.

Digital Driller simulators offer an authentic, safer learning environment for operator training across all underground hard-rock drilling applications. The virtual training environment means operators can be trained on site with zero damage to equipment or the mine environment, and no impact on machine availability.

Tiia Pohjanlehto, Sandvik Underground Drilling Training Academy Manager, said: “With the addition of the DD322i and DD422i Dual Controls models, we’re enabling even more comprehensive operator training. We can tangibly improve efficiency, productivity and safety, as operators can be trained before the drill rig arrives, on site, or during rig maintenance.”

The new DD322i and Dual Controls simulators complement the introduction of Sandvik DD322i and DD422iE Dual Control development drills to the Sandvik underground drilling portfolio in 2022.

Both new simulators retain the classic features of Digital Driller – such as total location flexibility, easy setup, customisable training courses and group learning – and now feature upgraded software for a more sophisticated and authentic operator experience, Sandvik claims.

The Dual Controls simulator, showcased earlier this year at the CIM Convention in Montreal, replicates the unique dual drilling control panel available for Sandvik DD422i and Sandvik DD422iE rigs, and can be further customised to include either one or two control panels during training, depending on the application. Operators can experience true multi-task operations from a single control panel, including bolting, boring and meshing.

The innovative Digital Driller simulators also offer environmental and sustainability benefits, with no rock tools or fuel consumed during training, zero damage to the rig or mine and zero harm to personnel, Sandvik says.

These simulators can be used across all competency levels, from product familiarisation and basic training for novice operators, to developing and refreshing the skills of experienced operators. Trained operators receive a formal qualification in Beginner, Professional or Drill Master levels after each module has been completed, the company added.

Australia’s first fully-automated, battery-electric Sandvik DL422iE drill goes to work at IGO Nova

IGO and Barminco have put Sandvik’s DL422iE longhole drill to work at the Nova operation in Western Australia, becoming the first mine in Australia to roll out the fully-automated, battery-electric rig.

The nickel-copper-cobalt mine, in the Fraser Range, is owned by IGO and operated by Barminco. Both companies have been trailblazers in terms of trialling electrified mining technologies and, like Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, they are a part of the Electric Mine Consortium.

Barminco purchased the Sandvik DL422iE, which was commissioned and put to work in July.

Darren Kwok, Head of Mining Electrification and Technology at Barminco, said: “Accelerating decarbonisation is one of our sustainability priorities and there are clear benefits to using battery-electric vehicles in the underground environment. Reducing or eliminating diesel emissions improves working conditions for our people and also has the potential to improve efficiency and profitability. We’re very excited to see the benefits that this new Sandvik rig can provide.”

Chris Carr, Head of Technical Services and Acting General Manager Nova at IGO, added: “At IGO, we believe in a clean energy future, and that extends to our underground mining operations where the electrification of our fleets will create a safer, greener and more productive operation. The arrival of the new Sandvik drill is an important step towards our commitment to be net zero across our direct operations and projects by 2035, if not sooner.”

The Sandvik DL422iE is a fully-automated, battery-powered top hammer longhole drill designed for underground mass mining in 4 x 4 m or larger production drifts, Sandvik says. It can drill vertical and inclined fans and single or parallel Ø89-127 mm longholes up to 54 m in depth using ST58 and ST68 tube rods.

The drill’s electric driveline includes a battery package and electric motor to allow for zero emissions while tramming and also reduced thermal load. The DL422iE also features Sandvik’s patented Charging While Drilling technology; an innovation for reduced battery charging time without the need for additional infrastructure.

Nathan Cunningham, Business Line Manager at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, said: “We’re seeing considerable customer interest in Sandvik battery-electric vehicle solutions that help remove diesel from underground mines. If a miner is able to achieve a fully-electric underground operation there can a be a flow-on effect for the ventilation capacity calculations. For new mines, in particular, this can reduce bring a double benefit – better worker health and a reduction in the work required to meet ventilation requirements.”

The DL422iE is part of the Sandvik 400iE series of drill rigs that, together, provide a battery-electric solution to just about every underground challenge.

“Other members of the family include the Sandvik DD422iE mining and tunnelling jumbo and the Sandvik DS412iE rock bolter,” Cunningham says. “The DD422iE was launched in 2016 and has since logged more than 4 million metres of drilled holes and over 18,000 kilometres of tramming with zero emissions. Meanwhile, the DS412iE rock bolter was launched in 2021 and is rapidly transforming mines across the world.”

Kwok added: “Electrification/decarbonisation is a key priority for Barminco and one of the most important trends in the sector at the moment, alongside automation. For this reason, we’re delighted to have Sandvik as a technology partner who is providing industry-leading solutions to the challenges we face.”

Fully owned by IGO, the Nova Operation uses long hole and sub-level open stoping with paste backfill. In thr 2022 financial year, it achieved total production of 26,675 t of nickel, 11,483 t of copper, and 982 t of cobalt.

Foran Mining and Sandvik reveal first battery-electric DD422iE jumbo at CIM 2023

Foran Mining and Sandvik have unveiled the first Sandvik battery-electric jumbo drill, a DD422iE, to be used at its McIlvenna Bay project in Saskatchewan, Canada, at the CIM 2023 conference in Montreal.

The DD422iE is part of a 20-strong battery-electric vehicle fleet for the project and comes with drilling and bolting capabilities.

When Sandvik announced the fleet order with Foran Mining last year – its largest BEV order at the time. It was to include seven Sandvik 18-t-payload LH518B loaders, six Sandvik 50-t-payload TH550B trucks, four Sandvik DD422iE jumbo drill rigs, two Sandvik DL422iE longhole drills and one Sandvik DS412iE mechanical bolter. Delivery of the equipment was scheduled to begin this year and continue into 2025, Sandvik said.

In the post announcing the milestone BEV drill, Foran said: “The innovative electric DD422IE, with drilling & bolting capabilities, reinforces our commitment to delivering carbon-neutral critical mineral production. As a company, we remain dedicated to developing and implementing eco-friendly solutions that will have a lasting positive impact on the environment and the communities we serve.”

The 2022 feasibility study on McIlvenna Bay outlined a 4,200 t/d operation over an 18.4-year mine life, able to produce an average annual production of 33,000 t of copper-equivalent output over the first 15 years of mine life. By individual metal this equates to 17,600 t of copper, 28,900 t of zinc, 20,000 oz of gold and 486,000 oz of silver.

Sandvik to supply Rana Gruber with 19-strong fleet of battery-electric vehicles

Rana Gruber has selected Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions to supply a fleet of 19 battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), including trucks, loaders and drills, for its iron ore operations in Storforshei in northern Norway.

The agreement, worth some SEK370 million ($36 million), underpins Rana Gruber’s aim to operate the world’s first carbon-free iron ore mine by the end of 2025.

Sandvik’s second-largest battery-electric mining fleet to date will include six Sandvik TH550B trucks, five Sandvik LH518B loaders, four Sandvik DL422iE longhole drills, two Sandvik DS412iE mechanical bolters and two Sandvik DD422iE jumbos. Delivery of the equipment will begin during the March quarter and is planned to continue through 2024. Sandvik will also provide on-site service support and batteries.

Gunnar Moe, Chief Executive Officer of Rana Gruber, said: “We’re proud that our mining operations already have among the industry’s lowest CO2 footprints but we have even higher ambitions to completely eliminate our carbon emissions. We have a crystal-clear decarbonisation strategy. When we announced our 2025 goal in 2020, many did not believe it would be possible, but we’re taking another major step forward partnering with Sandvik to implement a battery-electric fleet that will improve our work environment and reduce our operational costs. Most importantly, BEVs will help us achieve our ambitious goals for carbon-free mining.”

Moe said Sandvik’s philosophy around batteries and its approach to battery safety was an important factor in Rana Gruber’s selection process.

“This is a new world for us but Sandvik has extensive battery-electrification expertise,” he said. “We are already very pleased with our cooperation with Sandvik and their commitment to support our BEV transition, not as a supplier but as a true partner wanting to take the journey with us.”

Established in 1964, Rana Gruber produces approximately 1.8 Mt/y of iron ore concentrate from its five deposits in Norway’s Dunderland Valley. Its resource base includes more than 440 Mt of iron ore.

Sandvik has supplied underground equipment to Rana Gruber for more than 25 years. The companies signed a cooperation agreement to strengthen their partnership in November 2021. Trans4Mine, Sandvik’s in-house consultancy, conducted studies and simulations to advise Rana Gruber on BEV fleet requirements, charging station locations and other mining cycle optimisation opportunities, resulting in a letter of intent in November 2022.

Mats Eriksson, President of Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, said: “BEVs have demonstrated their power to reduce a mining operation’s carbon footprint. Rana Gruber is a pioneer in the mining electrification shift in Europe, and we look forward to supporting their battery-electric transition.”

Sandvik to deliver ‘biggest BEV fleet to date’ for Foran’s McIlvenna Bay

Foran Mining has selected Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions to supply a fleet of 20 battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), including trucks, loaders and drills, for its McIlvenna Bay project in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Set to be one of the world’s first carbon-neutral copper development projects, McIlvenna Bay will be powered by clean hydroelectric power and designed to take advantage of Sandvik’s latest technological advances in sustainable mining, the OEM says.

Sandvik’s biggest BEV fleet to date will include seven Sandvik 18-t-payload LH518B loaders (pictured dumping into a TH550B), six Sandvik 50-t-payload TH550B trucks, four Sandvik DD422iE jumbo drill rigs, two Sandvik DL422iE longhole drills and one Sandvik DS412iE mechanical bolter. Delivery of the equipment is scheduled to begin next year and continue into 2025, Sandvik says.

Sandvik will also provide on-site service support and Battery as a Service by Sandvik at the underground copper-zinc mining project located in east-central Saskatchewan.

Jakob Rutqvist, VP Strategy and Commercial for Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions’ Battery and Hybrid Electric Vehicles (BHEV) Business Unit, said: “This record contract is the culmination of a year-long collaborative effort between Foran Mining and Sandvik and demonstrates a shared vision that electrification will drive the future of sustainable mining. BEVs have enormous potential to reduce a mining operation’s carbon footprint, and Canada continues to be the epicentre for mining electrification and a blueprint for what to expect in other major mining regions very soon.”

Copper and zinc are critical metals for the transition to a low-carbon future as essential elements of electrical grids, solar panels, wind turbines and batteries. The McIlvenna Bay project intends to supply those minerals in a way that will not only be carbon neutral but ultimately have a net positive impact on the climate, according to Sandvik.

Dave Bernier, Chief Operating Officer of Foran Mining, said: “This is a very exciting period for Foran as we continue to execute on our initiatives to permit, construct and operate McIlvenna Bay. Sandvik is a global leader in industrial battery technology and we look forward to working together on our project. Utilising battery-electric equipment with semi- and fully-autonomous capabilities can help us achieve carbon neutral targets and provide a safer working environment, which is part of our Net Positive Business strategy as we look to deliver critical metals essential for global decarbonisation in a responsible and socially-empowering way.”

Foran Mining conducted a thorough analysis during its 2020 prefeasibility study to determine the investment case for BEVs compared with diesel. The company determined that BEVs would deliver better financial results at McIlvenna Bay when considering the savings generated through lower ventilation capital and operating costs.

That report, authored by AGP Mining Consultants Inc, envisaged the potential use of 7 Sandvik LH517i LHDs and 11 Artisan Vehicles (Sandvik) Z50 battery electric trucks for a 3,600 t/d of polymetallic ore operation.

Stefan Widing, President and CEO of Sandvik, said: “I am very pleased that Foran Mining has chosen Sandvik to deliver our leading battery-electric solutions for the pioneering McIlvenna Bay project. We see very strong momentum for our mining electrification offering, which offers great potential in driving more sustainable mining, helping customers to boost productivity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve workers’ health.”

A dedicated on-site project team will be jointly working with the mine’s operations team to ensure the products and services in the delivery scope support the alliance on Foran’s journey towards more productive, efficient and sustainable mining, Sandvik said.

“Battery as a Service by Sandvik will enable McIlvenna Bay to get the most out of its battery-electric equipment by relying on unrivaled expertise to manage the capacity and health of batteries and chargers throughout their long lives,” it added.

Sandvik to supply battery-electric vehicle fleet to Hindustan Zinc’s SK Mine

Sandvik and Hindustan Zinc have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for supply of a battery-electric underground equipment fleet to be used at Sindesar Khurd Mine to help it achieve its carbon neutrality ambitions.

Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the March quarter of 2023, with the fleet being the first underground battery-electric fleet to be deployed in India.

The equipment to be delivered includes an 18-t-payload LH518B loader and three 50-t-payload TH550B trucks (pictured) as well as a DD422iE drill rig with Sandvik’s unique and patented ”charging-while-drilling” technology, the company said.

Sandvik will also provide batteries, charging systems and a full-range on-site battery and equipment service team. The loader and the trucks will be equipped with AutoSwap, Sandvik’s patented battery self-swapping system, capable of battery changeout in a few minutes.

“Aligned with our expansion strategy for battery-electric vehicles, I’m delighted to sign this agreement with Hindustan Zinc to deliver the first battery equipment fleet in India,” Henrik Ager,  President of Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, said. “This is a testament to both the pioneering ambitions of Hindustan Zinc and the technological maturity of Sandvik BEV products.”

The TH550B truck and LH518B loader are based on the Artisan™ technology, which Sandvik acquired in 2019, and enriched with the latest Sandvik mining technology, contributing to overall productivity improvements of up to 20%, the OEM said. The machines will be equipped with state-of-the-art battery telemetry solutions enabling automated, on-premise as well as remote health and performance monitoring.

The Artisan driveline and battery solutions have been field tested with more than 500,000 operating hours.

Sandvik outlines its emission-free mining journey at The Electric Mine 2022

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions President, Henrik Ager, got The Electric Mine 2022 Conference in Stockholm, Sweden, off to a bang earlier this month, with a major product reveal that will set a new benchmark in the battery-electric underground mining space.

After reflecting on a journey that saw him escape a broken lift on his way to the Radisson Waterfront that morning, Ager announced the company would soon release the largest-capacity battery-electric truck for underground mining to the market, the TH665B.

With a 65-t-payload capacity, this machine will be measured against the largest underground diesel-powered underground trucks for productivity, speed and cost. Interest is expected from major contractors and miners alike, with one of the bigger markets being the Australian underground hard-rock segment.

The prototype TH665B is currently completing factory testing, but it turned heads in Stockholm, with conference attendees witnessing a video of the machine in action on the company’s test track in California, USA.

Blending proven Sandvik design and advanced technology built around electric drivelines and battery systems, the TH665B will get its first mine site runout at AngloGold Ashanti’s Sunrise Dam gold mine in Western Australia. This trial is expected to prove its viability in a long ramp haulage application before commercial truck production commences in late 2023.

The Sandvik TH665B comes with an electric drivetrain that delivers 640 kW of continuous power, which equates to 858 horsepower

While displaying said video, Ager said the vehicle could haul a 65-t load up a 14.3% grade at 11.5 km/h. This, he said, was 30% faster than Sandvik’s 63-t diesel truck, the Toro TH663i, with which the TH665B shares a state-of-the-art cabin. An electric drivetrain that delivers 640 kW of continuous power, which equates to 858 horsepower, and significant torque, is behind such numbers.

Following the introduction of the Sandvik TH550B 50-tonne battery-electric vehicle at MINExpo INTERNATIONAL® 2021, last September, this latest vehicle launch shows, once again, how the company is betting big on its battery- and hybrid-electric loaders tackling the challenge of operating underground mines today and tomorrow.

Ager at the event outlined the three main drivers for the electrification move, namely: worker health, mine economics and sustainability. Sandvik’s battery-electric solutions, he said, hit all three criteria, providing safer, more productive and sustainable ways of moving the tonnes the industry needs to keep up with global commodity demand.

The primary driver for electrification came from ventilation and refrigeration constraints, followed closely by environmental, health and safety concerns over diesel exhaust emissions. At the same time, Ager said there was significant room for operating costs to fall with the adoption of battery-electric equipment given 40% of total mine operating costs were related to energy and ventilation, and electricity use was often cheaper than transporting and using diesel fuel underground.

Around the same time as MINExpo, Ager outlined that electric mining equipment could account for more than half of the company’s equipment sales in underground mining by 2030. In Stockholm, he added some colour to that statement.

The company’s generation three battery-electric vehicles have clocked up more than 500,000 operational hours with its Artisan™ battery packs and electric drivelines, with 22 active BEV units. This experience makes Sandvik an industry frontrunner, Ager said.

The machines out in the field include the 4-t-payload and 10-t-payload Artisan A4 and A10 LHDs, the Z40/Z50 (40 t/50 t payloads) haul trucks, the Toro™ LH514BE – an AutoMine®-compatible cable-electric loader, boosted with battery technology – plus the 18-t-payload battery-electric Sandvik LH518B LHD and 50-t-payload battery-electric TH550B truck.
This year will see the company officially release the LH514BE, which will be followed in 2023 by the TH665B and – judging from the preliminary nomenclature – a 15 t battery-electric and AutoMine-compatible LHD.

Three other battery-electric and AutoMine-compatible units are in the preliminary stages of development, scheduled for release in 2024-2025.

This comes on top of plans to electrify its full i-Series drilling line by 2030, drill rigs which tram on battery and plug into the grid while drilling/bolting.

Launches for the DD422iE-DC (development drill) and DS422iE (rock bolter) are expected in 2022, with the DL432iE (longhole drill) and the DT923iE (jumbo drill) coming to market between 2023 and 2026.

Since the rollout of the first battery-electric drill in 2016 – the DD422iE – 2.8 million metres had been drilled and 12,500 km had been trammed with these electric machines, Ager acknowledged.

It is not just product releases that are on the Sandvik roadmap, with Ager stating plans to develop different drivelines (battery-electric, hybrids, cable, battery-cable), quantify the value and beat the economics of conventional drivelines, expand into other applications such as narrow vein and narrow reef mines, and continue to develop 100% electrified, energy efficient mechanical cutting for soft- and hard-rock applications.

He also said the company would look to address the capital expenditure gap with diesel machines, aiming for cost parity from a total cost of operations perspective.

The company, at the same time, is planning to further its global capabilities to serve the electrified fleet throughout its entire life cycle, while building out battery optimisation expertise and developing global application knowledge to support customers in designing, planning and executing electric transition strategies.

Real equipment for the real world

This might look like a long ‘to-do’ list, but Ager’s colleague, Brian Huff, VP of Technology and Product Line for the BHEV business unit with Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, was able to outline several real-world wins from machine deployments later at the conference that showed how far the company has already come in addressing industry pain points.

Huff, a co-founder of Artisan Vehicle Systems, relayed some observations from field trials of the company’s LH518B and Z50 battery-electric vehicles, summing them up in series of snappy statements such as: “everything will be serviced, whether it was intended to be or not”; “battery cells are consumable, but the driveline is not”; “damage is expected, resilience and serviceability are required”; “isolation fault monitoring is more than shock hazard prevention”; “availability improves with each ‘opportunity’”; and – one of the more important ones – “operators prefer BEVs”.

“They take a beating and keep on working and, despite what people may think, these batteries are not fragile,” Brian Huff told delegates at The Electric Mine 2022 Conference earlier this month

Delving into specifics, Huff said real-world trials had proven the opinion that electric drivelines came with dramatically longer life and less maintenance. He also acknowledged batteries had become the new ‘consumable’ in this equation.

“Maintenance requires parts, but comes with very low labour,” he said, explaining that battery modules can be replaced underground and then rebuilt at the factory with new cells, making rebuilds both quick and painless. At the same time, refreshing the battery brought opportunities to use improved cells as they are developed – a reflection on the accelerated winds of change in the battery market.

Battling early market perceptions, Huff said these machines were far from “experimental”, having been used and proven to work at many hard-rock mines. “They take a beating and keep on working and, despite what people may think, these batteries are not fragile,” he said.

One of the new solutions to have come out from these real-world trials is the introduction of a new battery cage design that aids serviceability, Huff said. Coming with removable side covers, an improved locking system and structural design, this battery cage incorporates the company’s AutoConnect function, which, when combined with AutoSwap, facilitates quick battery swapping without the operator having to leave the cabin. The new cage would be available on the TH665B as well as other models, Huff said.

He then put some names and numbers behind earlier statements, highlighting a trial of a Z50 truck at Pretivm’s Brucejack gold mine in British Columbia, Canada, that saw more than 90% machine availability, exhibited speeds of 9.5 km/h on a 15% grade with a 42-t load, and observed battery swap times of less than 10 minutes. This added up to a 42% increase in tonnes hauled compared with a diesel-equivalent machine and a 22% boost in speed.

The trial at New Gold’s New Afton gold mine, also in British Columbia, saw a 56% mucking cycle time beat over a diesel-powered-equivalent, a plus-70% ramp speed improvement (on a 17% ramp), and decreases of 80% and 90% in energy use and heat generated, respectively.

Referring to another LH518B trial where the machine only clocked in a 74.9% availability, Huff was quick to highlight that all the problems/failures that caused the reduction in availability were correctible.

And, channelling his engineering DNA and the leading role Sandvik is willing to take in the industry’s pursuit of the zero emission, electrified mine, he reflected on all these real-world trials with: “a failure isn’t a failure, it is an opportunity to improve.”

Sandvik expands battery-electric drill range with new top hammer DL422iE

Sandvik is continuing to grow its battery-electric equipment offering, launching its fully automated and electric driveline-equipped DL422iE top hammer longhole drill.

The driveline system on the new rig eliminates diesel emissions while tramming, increasing productivity while reducing environmental impact and fostering a healthier work environment, the company says.

Back in October after Sandvik’s Innovation in Mining virtual event, the company confirmed to IM that it was testing a battery-equipped prototype DL422iE unit in Canada ahead of a planned launch in the March quarter of 2021.

The zero-emission Sandvik DL422iE joins the Sandvik DD422iE as the company’s second battery-driven underground drill, with the company expecting to offer a full range of battery-tramming rigs covering all underground drilling applications by the end of 2021.

The new Sandvik DL422iE is designed for underground mass mining in 4 x 4 m or larger production drifts. It features the latest intelligent technology to enable continuous and unmanned operation, with automation and teleremote for drilling during shift changes and breaks, Sandvik says. Through these and other features, combined with data collection and transfer through wireless networks, the Sandvik DL422iE helps to ensure improved equipment utilisation and productivity.

The new longhole drill is capable of drilling vertical and inclined fans and single or parallel Ø89-127 mm long holes up to 54 m in depth using ST58 and ST68 tube rods. It is equipped with the powerful 33 kW HF1560ST longhole rock drill, which is based on a proven concept in terms of drilling capacity, reliability and operating cost, the company said.

With an impact frequency of 40-45 Hz and optimised percussion dynamics for ST68 tubes, the Sandvik DL422iE delivers optimal bit-to-rock contact for improved energy transfer, according to Sandvik. This leads to decreased stress level in rock tools, lower coupling/front housing temperatures and extended service life for shank adaptor and tube.

As standard, the Sandvik DL422iE is equipped with Sandvik’s Platinum drilling automation package for continuous and automated production drilling. This is combined with the i-Class iSOLO drilling control system to maximise productivity and enhance accuracy in drilling fans and parallel long holes. “It acts as a full-time stinger control and is used in uploading drill plans to the control system, with drill plan management direct at the user interface to ensure one-hole automation drilling to a predefined depth,” Sandvik says. “Furthermore, feed and boom positioning to the next hole are automatic, while data is transferred via WLAN ethernet connection.”

In addition to the standard Platinum package, the Sandvik DL422iE can be equipped with an optional automatic bit changer, enabling autonomous drilling of complete fans and working through shift changes.

On top of being equipped with MySandvik remote monitoring, units can also be integrated with AutoMine® and OptiMine®, providing multi-unit control and fan-to-fan remote tramming, Sandvik says.

“As the industry’s focus on sustainability increases, Sandvik’s latest drilling solutions specifically address the challenge of providing enhanced operational drilling performance combined with reduced emissions,” the company explained.

The Sandvik DL422iE is mounted on a C400E 4-wheel drive frame steered carrier equipped with an electric driveline system (battery package and electric motor) for zero diesel emissions and reduced operating costs. The batteries can be charged during drilling in a newly patented feature, while electric power can be drawn from the electrical supply system from the mine’s network.

“[The] Sandvik DL422iE helps mines reduce overall emissions and ventilation and fuel costs, and to create a healthier working environment,” Sandvik says. “Thanks to shorter cycle times and increased drilling capacity, [the] Sandvik DL422iE has the potential to help mines increase drilled meters per shift by up to 10%. Productivity can increase by up to 20% via improved equipment utilisation.”

The longhole drill is equipped with the ZR35 telescopic boom and horseshoe type boom support with telescopic jacks for maximum drilling stability, the most effective foundation for accurate longhole drilling in mass mining, according to Sandvik. The wide 3,000 mm total boom offset and 620 mm telescopic extension allows a pivot line height of 2,100 mm, which is typical for a wide range of mining methods.

The 360º feed roll-over, large boom tilt and swing angles ensure fan drilling versatility in 4 x 4 m or larger cross sections and, to ensure maximum accuracy in alignment, the boom is instrumented with electronic parallelism. An optional extended boom support allows for up to +/-45° feed tilt in drilling fans or long holes, which, Sandvik says, increases versatility in downhole drilling in stopes at the end of the orebody, in drilling long holes in the ore/waste contact and in slot raise drilling.

Net penetration rates with air-mist flushing are up to 15% higher on the Sandvik DL422iE when compared with water flushing, according to the company. The drill rig can be equipped with a CT80 onboard screw compressor (8 cu.m/min at 7 bar), which ensures efficient flushing and high net penetration rates. The use of the on-board air supply, meanwhile, is a cost-efficient alternative to mine air infrastructure or portable units, the company says.

Sandvik gears up for battery-electric drilling revolution in southern Africa

Southern African mines will soon begin the transition from diesel-driven to battery-powered drill jumbos, with the introduction of the world’s first highly-automated underground electric drill rig by Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology, according to the mining OEM.

Saltiel Pule, Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology’s Business Line Manager for Underground drilling in southern Africa, says the Sandvik DD422iE rig has already seen enthusiastic take-up in mining countries with strict anti-pollution regulations such as Canada, with the innovation having been in development for the past three years.

“The key benefits of the battery concept in underground drill rigs are zero emissions and much less heat, making for safer and healthier working conditions,” Pule said. “There are many other advantages to this technology, however, including increased drilling productivity, reduced operating costs and better energy efficiency.”

One of the first mines to have received the DD422iE was the all-electric Borden mine in Ontario, Canada. Since then, Barrick has trialled a unit at its Hemlo underground mine, also in Ontario.

The Sandvik DD422iE’s electric driveline, with an electric motor mechanically connected to axles for high torque and high efficiency, allows the rig to tram independently between working areas. The unit’s high-precision inverter delivers exact control of the tramming speed, according to Sandvik.

“The rig only needs to be connected to mains power during the actual drilling, at which point the electric motor is connected onto hydraulic pumps,” Pule says.

Improved drilling power of up to 20% is achieved by an active power compensation system which draws reserve power from batteries during peak loads, according to Sandvik. Battery charging is carried out during those phases of the drilling cycle when power intake is low, such as during boom movements. There is, therefore, no waiting time to charge up batteries.

In pursuit of zero-harm safety standards, the unit uses sodium nickel chloride technology – regarded as one of the safest battery systems for underground conditions.

Sandvik also offers a battery rental option to customers, taking responsibility for battery inspection and maintenance, as well as responsible disposal at the end of battery’s life, the company says.

“The battery therefore becomes an operational cost for the mine, rather than a capital expense,” Pule says. “This option also gives the customer the certainty of predictable operating costs while adopting a new technology.”

In addition to zero emissions and less heat generation, the electric drill rig produces less noise, making communication easier and working conditions less stressful, Sandvik added. There is a reduced risk of fire, as there are no fuels exposed to hot surfaces – as can happen with diesel engines.

“The range of indirect savings that customers achieve when they move from diesel to electric includes lower ventilation costs underground, no need for diesel storage and diesel pipelines, and more control over operating costs,” Pule says.