Autonomous rig to boost safety, efficacy

1st May 2020 By: Halima Frost - Reporter

Autonomous rig to boost safety, efficacy

PARAMOUNT PARNERSHIPS B&E partners with Paramount Equipment to maximise its efficacy in supply

Drilling and blasting contractor Blasting & Excavating (B&E) intends to add the REL C650 series of autonomous drill rigs to its portfolio to offer a higher level of safety and efficacy to the opencast operations it services.

The first rig is being manufactured in India and will be handed over to B&E once completed.

The REL C650 autonomous drill will add remote technology to B&E’s mining drill and blast offerings.

“The rig ensures not only the highest level of safety, with the operator being taken out of harm’s way, but also a highly efficient drill operation that benefits clients and B&E,” says B&E engineering director Deon Rajoo.

He adds that the company follows a non-traditional approach – which includes adapting and taking up new technology – compared with that of its competitors, offering clients the benefit of more effective blasting and excavating methods.

B&E currently maintains one of the largest drill fleets in Southern Africa, which includes “cutting-edge” autonomous drilling capability. The fleet comprises pit vipers, DM30 DTH rigs, the soon-to-be-included REL C650 autonomous rig and a variety of hydraulic rigs and rock breakers.

“Our drill service capability includes a drilling capacity of rotary drill holes from as small as 89 mm top hammer drilling up to 270 mm blast hole drilling,” states Rajoo.

In addition to drilling capability, B&E also operates and maintains a large fleet of earthmoving equipment, including excavators from 20 t to 60 t, wheel loaders and dozers, as well as 30 t and 40 t articulated dump trucks.

The company also offers mine planning and technical services through a strong team of surveyors and mine planners.

B&E attests to being one of Africa’s leading contractors in the drill and blast market and has evolved into a specialist drilling and blasting company since being acquired by construction engineering company Basil Read in 2010.

The company services the majority of quarries and opencast mines in Africa, delivering superior performance with a highly diverse and effective fleet.

Rajoo concludes that the company’s ethos lies in breaking with tradition and embracing technology that improves safety and mining methodology by limiting or removing the number of people in harm’s way when blasting and excavating.