Tag Archives: Epiroc T45

TBS’ Collar Keeper blast hole solution goes commercial in Western Australia

Aquirian Limited’s TBS Mining Solutions Pty Ltd (TBS) has commenced commercialisation of its revolutionary Collar Keeper® System, with a fully commercialised, extended trial underway in Western Australia’s Northern Goldfields.

TBS is on-site with 60% of the mine site’s Epiroc T45 drill rigs converted for an extended commercial trial, it said.

This milestone follows the completion of its final in-field trials at the end of 2021, where 254 production holes were drilled, including 30 wet holes in difficult ground conditions, where The Collar Keeper System eliminated the requirement for costly and time-consuming collar piping, according to Aquirian.

While the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in Western Australia delayed access to site, Greg Patching, Executive Director Business Development and Innovation, said: “We are thrilled to be finally in the field commencing the transition for our customers onto the Collar Keeper System. This marks a major milestone for the development and commercialisation of the system.”

TBS has also received strong interest from several overseas mining companies and received its first orders for a commercial trial to commence in Zambia in mid-late May, it said.

The company continues to work on the development of the Collar Keeper System, including expanding the range of drill rig applications and mechanisation of the system which will, in time, provide a pathway towards full automation for clients worldwide, it said.

The Collar Keeper System is a combination of Aquirian-developed, retrofittable drilling apparatus combined with its existing Collar Keeper. The technology represents a step change in managing blasthole quality and is targeted to provide a unique solution to a range of different blasting environments with global applications, the company said.

The initial focus for the technology is on mines operating in Western Australia with smaller-diameter holes in challenging ground conditions, where high-cost collar piping is traditionally used.

“The traditional method of collar piping has not changed in over 40 years and introduces significant hazards as well as cost, time and quality issues, and poor blast outcomes for clients,” the company said. “In addition, the poor blasting outcomes lead to further downstream costs in load and haul, and the processing of mined material.”

DDB awarded drill and blast gig at Rio’s Western Turner Syncline 2 project

Dynamic Drill and Blast Holdings is to carry out drill and blast services at Rio Tinto’s Western Turner Syncline 2 project in Western Australia after entering a services contract with WBHO Infrastructure Pty Ltd (WBHO-I).

Under the contract at the bulk earthworks project, Dynamic Drill and Blast is expected to commence delivery of services immediately until late October. This timeline is dependant on drill and blast volumes required as the project progresses, it noted.

This newly awarded project follows on from current services being undertaken by DDB at the Western Turner Syncline Northern Access Road project, the ASX-listed company said. The company will mobilise two drill rigs, 15 personnel and ancillary equipment to deliver the required services, all of which are contracted on standard terms and conditions for a short-term pact of this nature, it said.

Back in November 2019, Rio said it would invest $749 million in the Western Turner Syncline Phase 2 (WTS2) mine at its Greater Tom Price operations, in the Pilbara of Western Australia, facilitating mining of existing and new deposits and including construction of a new crusher as well as a 13 km conveyor.

On top of this work at WTS2, Dynamic Drill and Blast is currently deploying equipment and personnel to two short term, strategic projects, it said.

“Whilst these contracts are not considered to be material contracts by Dynamic Drill and Blast, they have the potential to evolve into further opportunities in the gold and/or iron ore production sectors,” the company said.

It estimates the revenue generated from the three short-term combined projects will be around A$1-A$3 million ($738,004-$2.21 million). This is based on the fixed and variable nature of these types of agreements, the company explained.

Dynamic Drill and Blast continues to source suitable drill rigs to increase the capacity of the fleet, it said.

Since listing on the ASX earlier this month, three additional Epiroc T45 drill rigs have been sourced to complement the company’s existing fleet, it said. One unit has been mobilised to the Pilbara region of Western Australia, with another two units being transported from North America currently. These drills support the existing asset strategy and are suitable for projects within the tendered pipeline, it said.

And, with DDB’s current workshop facility lease maturing, a new fit for purpose premises including workshop, laydown, and office facilities, has been secured in Wangara, Western Australia, it said.

“The new facility provides greater maintenance and supply chain capacity, and this is now the company’s principal place of business,” Dynamic Drill and Blast said.