Mining equipment and services provider Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology has expanded its high-pressure down-the- hole (DTH) drill rig offering with the new Sandvik Leopard DI650i model.
The company unveiled its first intelligent DTH surface drill rig for the first time at Electra Mining Africa which took place at the Nasrec Expo Centre, in Johannesburg, from September 10 to 14.
The drill rig is designed for 115 mm to 203 mm size holes, for high-capacity production drilling applications in surface mining, as well as large-scale quarry applications. In addition to a powerful engine and compressor, the Leopard DI1650i incorporates an ergonomic iCab cabin, high-quality serviceability, mobility and fuel economy, along with scalable automation packages to offer excellent overall productivity.
The Leopard DI650i comes with a range of new or redesigned components to boost its productivity. The standard rotary head option, HTRH6, has performed successfully on existing Sandvik DTH rigs, whereas the new heavy-duty option, MRH6, is a good fit with Sandvik’s new RH560-series DTH hammers and well-matched to the demands of the upper range of the capacity area.
Owing to clear visibility of the drilling area and a single integrated touch screen for all monitoring, diagnostics and mining automation displays, the Leopard DI650i’s silent, ergonomic iCab cabin provides the rig operator with a safer, productive working environment. The cabin also facilitates training, with space for more than one person at a time.
The maintenance crew can carry out all daily servicing tasks at ground level on both sides of the machine. Mining Weekly previously quoted Sandvik surface drilling and exploration president Joanne Cooke saying the drill rig is “very easy to service”.
The advanced serviceability and reliability features can increase the Leopard DI650i’s availability by up to 20%, compared with conventional DTH rigs at a similar technology level.
Intelligent control technology applied in both the compressor and the hydraulic system’s cooler fan can reduce fuel consumption by up to 15%, compared with conventional DTH rigs.
The drill rig’s fuel efficiency is further boosted by the flow-controlled drilling control system that eliminates fluctuations in airflow, instead allowing the pressure level to fluctuate in response to more difficult ground conditions and increased back pressure, for example, as a result of groundwater or collapsing holes.
This makes maximum flushing pressure and penetration rates available in the most challenging of rock conditions, while still retaining the low fuel consumption of the traditional pressure control approach in easy ground conditions.
The Leopard DI650i joins Sandvik’s other i-series drilling rigs in its compatibility with the newest scalable automation solutions. The latest onboard options include TIM3D drill navigation with wireless data transfer, My Sandvik fleet monitoring system and full-cycle drilling automatics, which merge functionalities such as uncoupling, feed auto-aligning and feed auto-positioning into a single efficient sequence.
These capabilities can be further upgraded with more advanced modules such as single-rig or fleet remote control systems by Sandvik Automine Surface Drilling, which is part of the Sandvik AutoMine suite of automation products.
Mining Weekly previously reported that Sandvik collaborated with surface mining contractor Aveng Moolmans in designing this rig. Cooke indicated that Sandvik took into account input from Aveng Moolmans’ team in South Africa, obtained from operator feedback and requirements.
Aveng Moolmans MD Stuart White said the company is in the process of finalising the deal for the rig with Sandvik, which is set to be used at one of the company’s operations in the Northern Cape.
This location was chosen for logistical purposes, as Sandvik will be on hand to mitigate any challenges that may arise from first-time on-site operation.
“We are very excited about this rig, owing to the intelligent features and the accurate drilling and fuel savings it enables,” White concluded.