Rock Products

JUL 2013

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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Page 19 of 59

DRILLING BLASTING High-Tech Q&A on DTH REVERSE CIRCULATION KIT Atlas Copco continues to expand its blasthole product offering with the addition of the reverse circulation (RC) kit for the DM45/50 mid-range blasthole drill. Based off proven systems, components and technology, the RC kit is designed to meet the demands of today's expanding mining market by offering the added dimension of in-pit grade control. A number of components are included with the optional kit, which can also be retrofitted on drills currently in the field. The cyclone arm allows for sampling from the ground or platform level, with a vertical raise and lowering function. A cyclone rotation of 160 degrees provides safe access for cleaning, maintenance and attaching new sample hoses from ground level. Down-The-Hole (DTH) drilling is integral to a successful materials processing. Wolfgang Tronegger, product manager, DTH Surface Drilling, for Sandvik, addressed some questions about drilling operations. What is the biggest challenge for aggregates producers in the area of drilling? Drilling is seen as a necessity, thus limited focus is put onto that process in general. Chal‐ lenges include safety, operating costs, produc‐ tivity, hole quality and time. Do most quarries contract out drilling services, or are there still a fair number of operations that keep it in-house? It differs. We see waves in one or the other di‐ rection. For constant and predictable output, mines can easily outsource; in case of selectiv‐ ity or required flexibility, mines prefer to have their own equipment. What should a quarry look for if purchasing a DTH drill? Safety first, then operating costs, productivity and flexibility. New Technologies The cyclone is a heavy duty system designed specifically with flexibility in mind. Some of the features of the cyclone assembly are: a hydraulic upper knife valve and pneumatic lower knife valve for collecting and isolating the sample; a hydraulic hinge between the dump box and cone splitter that allows for easy cleaning; and a fixed cone splitter with primary and duplicate sample chutes. All cyclone and sample functions are easily controlled from the operator's cab. Atlas Copco, 18 ROCKproducts • JULY 2013 Talk about the importance of proper blast hole drilling with regard to the success of the blast. Production drilling is one of the first steps in the process chain. If the quality of this work is good, it supports all the other processes and overall cost is low. Or vice versa. There is a balancing act between how much money is spent for production drilling (number of holes, hole diameter, quality) and the positive or negative effect on the successive processes. Rule of thumb: the more you save upfront, the more expensive it will get later on. How is Sandvik utilizing high-tech tools to make drilling more efficient? With the mining industry moving toward in‐ creasing levels of automation and process op‐ timization, combined with demands for larger, higher‐capacity equipment, our new equipment has been specifically designed to address trends which are essential to the fu‐ ture of mining. Sandvik is introducing au‐ tomation on the drills to minimize the human factor/errors. This is especially important for customers who are operating in areas where experienced personnel is: 1. Hard to get. 2. Very expensive. Other tools include a surface study program to calculate the overall performance in a mine‐control system. Due to standardiza‐ tion and modularization we make it easier for operators/maintenance personnel to work on our drill simulators. With the new Pantera drill we are heavily pushing simula‐ tor training. How do Sandvik bits contribute to the rotational torque and pull-down force that makes a successful borehole? Most important is that the bits are designed to transmit the energy to break the rock into the rock. Therefore you need feed, rotation and flushing. In order to increase productivity you need to optimize drilling by using au‐ tomation but also the tools play a vital role. More powerful rock drills/DTH hammers re‐ quire new bit designs as well as new tubing systems on the hole. How do today's "smart drills" generate useful data that helps aggregates operations in their drilling and blasting planning efforts? Smart drills produce a lot of data. The chal‐ lenge is to utilize that in an effective way. It's about integrating the drill into the overall mine‐management system with two‐way communication. Successful mine manage‐ ment requires certain information such as po‐ sitioning of the drill, drill plan, production data, scheduled maintenance. The next steps are to deliver: 1. Measure While Drilling (MWD) data. 2. On‐line and on‐board samples analyzing results. Both are ongoing projects.

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