Tag Archives: Production drilling

Geophysique TMC to sell and service Minnovare’s Azimuth Aligner in Quebec

Minnovare has announced a new distributor agreement with Geophysique TMC that will see the Quebec-based company become the official sales and service agent for the Azimuth Aligner® range of products throughout the Canadian province.

TMC, Minnovare says, is one of Canada’s leading specialists in geophysical ground data collection. Established in Val-d’Or, Abitibi in 1998, it offers clients specialised mining equipment and consulting services to better prepare mineral exploration work; specifically, in regard to drilling programs.

Minnovare’s Azimuth Aligner is used in mining exploration and civil construction projects to automate the drill-rig alignment process. Minnovare claims it reduces rig setup times by up to 90%, increases drilled metres per shift by up to 20%, reduces costs per drilled metre by up to 15%, sets up 100% of holes within tolerance and increases revenue per rig by up to 10%.

The product is currently deployed at over 100 international mine sites and tunnelling projects, according to Minnovare.

Minnovare Commercial Director, Mick Beilby, said: “We’re delighted to be able to sign this distributor agreement with TMC. TMC have built a solid reputation in the Canadian mining sector over the past 20 years. Their specialisation in drilling applications and their cultural fit align well with Minnovare and we look forward to working with them in the years to come.”

TMC Director, Gabriel McCrory, said: “We are immediately able to offer high quality products to all of our customers in Canada, supported by the professional Minnovare team.”

This latest Azimuth Aligner distributor agreement comes on top of a similar one Minnovare signed last year with International Directional Services for the US market.

Epiroc expands production drilling capabilities with Simba teleremote e-tramming option

Epiroc says it is looking to maintain a leading position in the development of innovative equipment for use in mining and production drilling with the release of a new teleremote e-tramming option for its Simba series of rigs.

In the Simba Automation package, multiple automation functions are available to optimise the drilling process, according to Epiroc. With the recent addition of the e-tramming function the production drilling process can be handled in an even safer and more continuous way, the company said.

This will allow a Simba rig to be operated remotely and work more productively in a continuous “ring-to-ring” fashion, Epiroc said. “After drilling a ring and retrieving the rods, the rig can be tele-remotely trammed to the next ring, saving time and work effort. Not only does the tramming process become faster and simpler, the teleremote e-tramming function also provides a safer work environment since the operator can control the machine out of harm’s way, even between rings.”

Guilherme Paiva, Global Product Manager of Automation at Epiroc, said: “Our Simba drill rigs are globally recognised as the best in their class, and we continue to strive towards even smarter and faster solutions. Teleremote e-tramming makes for an easier, safer and more continuous drilling process. Fewer disruptions mean greater productivity.”

Simba rigs that feature Epiroc’s Rig Control System can be operated through a control panel from onboard the rig or from a remote location where potentially hazardous work conditions can be avoided. With information provided by laser sensors and cameras mounted on the rig, the operator can navigate, position and stabilise the rig to ensure drilling is executed according to plan, Epiroc said. “Mission accomplished in one ring, the operator can then tram to the next and the next.”

Paiva said: “We want to make the world’s best production drill just a bit better to optimise the entire drilling process, from positioning the rig to emptying the stope. Through automation and the ability to process more real-time information, we are taking huge steps towards greater safety and efficiency.”

More on Minnovare and Northern Star Production Optimiser trial

More details have emerged of the results Northern Star Resources achieved by implementing Minnovare’s Production Optimiser technology over a two-month period at one of its Kalgoorlie gold operations.

A newly released case study, co-authored with Northern Star Resources, showed the Production Optimiser technology not only increased drilled metres by 17% at the operation, it also helped deliver the highest average stope recovery in the life of the operation.

If maintained over a full year’s production, that represents an additional 5,000 oz and A$8.4 million ($6.1 million) additional revenue – equivalent to a 3.5% increase in forecast stope turnover, according to Northern Star Mining Services General Manager, Rob Parsons.

The two-month trial saw the Production Optimiser implemented at one of the Kalgoorlie operation in April 2018, with three long-hole production rigs running.

Parsons said: “The collaboration with Minnovare initially stemmed from the observation that too much time was being spent re-drilling holes (due to inaccuracy). The other problem we identified was the difference between the drill rig’s onboard inclinometers, and what was actually being drilled. It was most visible looking at the final stope pick up – the actual shape didn’t line up with what you had designed. So, we were doing extra work just to validate where things really were.”

Minnovare’s Production Optimiser system combines advanced hardware and software that enhances the speed, accuracy and reliability of long-hole production drilling. This leads to improved stope productivity and, ultimately, increased profitability, Minnovare says.

The system can be retrofitted to any make or model of drill rig and works independently of the rig’s onboard systems.

Parsons said: “We achieved, on average, 100 additional drill metres per day in the two months immediately after implementing the new technology, thanks to reduced rig setup time and re-drills. That’s roughly a 17% increase in drilled metres. During the same period, we reduced average blast-hole deviation (from planned toe-point) by 75%.

“In terms of stope ore recovery, those two months combined were the highest average for the life of the operation. The increased drill rate and stope ore-recovery equates to an approximate 3.5% reduction in stope turnover time.”

Minnovare Managing Director, Callum McCracken said: “Minnovare worked closely with Northern Star from day one to successfully implement the Production Optimiser on site. As the drillers and engineers continued to use the system they’ve seen further gains in drilled metres and a continuation of the improved recovery rate. That’s thanks to optimal blasts and a faster stope turnover, which is a direct consequence of greater drilling accuracy, speed and reliability.”

Since the trial has taken place, Minnovare and Northern Star have signed a technology collaboration agreement to develop and implement Minnovare technology across NSR’s Western Australia operations.