Tag Archives: Saltiel Pule

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.

Sandvik out to capture southern Africa market share with new Rhino 100 raiseborer

Having helped Raising Australia slash slot-raise production times, improve productivity for its customers and significantly increase its own revenue, Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology’s highly mobile Rhino 100 ‘plug-and-drill’ raiseborer is ready to take southern Africa’s mining sector by storm, the mining OEM says.

The Rhino raiseborer, manufactured by TRB-Raise Borers in Finland but equipped with Sandvik tools and distributed by Sandvik, was developed in response to customer requests for a different approach to the raise drilling and blasting sequence, according to Sandvik, which says the Rhino 100 is a leap forward in mobility and drilling speed.

According to Saltiel Pule, Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology’s Business Line Manager for Underground Drilling in southern Africa, the key to the Rhino 100’s mobility is being self-sufficient.

“This unit carries all its own components, from rods and cables to hydraulics and the raiseboring head,” Pule said. “Pulled by a specially adapted double-axle John Deere tractor, no other transportation equipment is needed to move the rig.”

Together with fast set-up times and high drilling productivity, the Rhino 100 is an integrated solution that allows mines to meet ambitious drilling targets, according to the company.

“Outriggers stabilise the machine so there is no requirement for a concrete pad before setting up,” he said. “This means that the machine can be set up in as little as 10 minutes, compared with the few days it takes to cast and cure a concrete pad before use.”

He adds that no roof bolting is required either, as the Rhino 100 is equipped with an inclinometer that provides the operator with the necessary x and y coordinates, which the surveyor can confirm before drilling starts.

The Rhino 100’s productivity is further enhanced by its high drilling speed; with penetration rates of about 2 m/h, it can progress drilling at more than double the rate of conventional methods, Sandvik says.

“The rod-handling arm enhances health and safety underground, especially by preventing back and finger injuries,” Pule says. “By carefully manipulating and changing rods without them needing to be placed on the ground, the automated arm also avoids dust and rock chips getting into the threads. This helps maintain the workflow and keep the whole process running efficiently.”

The 52-t Rhino 100 – at 3.1 m wide and 3.4 m high – has been designed to fit comfortably into standard mine haulage, with easy mobility from one tunnel or stope to the next, the company said.

Judging by the number of enquiries from major mining players, Pule says the unit looks to have a promising future in southern Africa’s mining sector.