Mineral Resources Ltd says it has become the first company in Australia to start up Epiroc’s new generation SmartROC D65 drill rig.
The updated SmartROC D65 delivers high-quality blast holes with accuracy and precision and is loaded with smart features such as automated drilling and rod handling, according to the miner and technology and service provider. It also uses less hydraulic oil than previous versions and has fewer hoses and pumps. This helps to reduce costs and makes servicing easier, while increasing sustainability and reducing the environmental impact of the rig, Minerals Resources says.
Back in October 2019, Epiroc’s Kris Thomas, Product Manager – SED at Epiroc Australia, told IM that Australia was the first big target market for this new rig, with the new model already having been put forward in several major tenders, particularly in the Western Australia iron ore industry.
Mineral Resources’ own portfolio of iron ore assets comprises numerous known deposits and highly prospective targets across two of Western Australia’s premier iron ore provinces – the Yilgarn and the Pilbara.
“We decided to bring our drill and blast function in-house to enable greater agility, innovation and optimisation,” Mineral Resources said. “We’re always looking at ways to reduce our environmental footprint, not only with the work we perform but also in our choice of equipment.”
Having the new drill rigs on site allows for further efficiencies, the company says, as a platform drill is no longer required to drill up to 229 mm blastholes.
“By being more efficient in everything we do means we’ll continue to achieve our aim of being a leading provider of innovative and sustainable mining services and a low cost mining operator,” the company concluded.