There are three different rock drill choices with the MD5150C Track Drill which enable matching the selection to the application to achieve the highest production rate.

CATERPILLAR has released the new MD5150C Track Drill, the first of the C Series drills, which feature Cat components - proven reliable and available from local Cat dealers who also service the drills. According to Caterpillar, the MD5150C delivers top-of-class power and high airflow for fast, efficient drilling of holes from 101.6mm to 152mm in diameter.

The MD5150C offers a choice of three different rock drills, patented carousel rod changer, ergonomic cab and many other features that Cat says boost productivity and reduces operating costs.

Compared to the MD5125, which the MD5150C replaces, the new drill has 18% more power, a compressor that can deliver 33% more air volume and 40% more air pressure, 19% faster tram speed and 40% greater ground clearance.

With less than half as many moving parts as competitive rock drills, it is a simple, reliable design that Cat says offers dependable performance and exceptional durability. Caterpillar is the only manufacturer offering rock drills designed to be serviced on site to reduce downtime and control costs. Service doesn't require a clean room and there's no need to incur freight costs to ship the rock drill to the OEM for maintenance or to keep a spare rock drill in stock to accommodate maintenance downtime.

The rock drill also features an automated lube system which eliminates the need to stop the machine for manual greasing every two hours. Three different rock drill choices enable matching the selection to the application to achieve the highest production rate. The standard rock drill on the MD5150C is the HPR5128, which uses 51mm drill steel. Also available are the HPR6832 Rock Drill, which can use 68mm speed rod, and the HPR6030 designed for 60mm drill steel.

Innovative carousel rod changer
Cat says the MD5150C dramatically reduces set-up time, thanks to its innovative carousel rod changer. The rod changer and feed assembly have seven patents pending.

The system holds six rods and accommodates two lengths and multiple diameters of drill steel. Powerful dual-rod grippers and a unique gate design let the rod and gate move simultaneously, reducing cycle time.

The rod changer is supported by a sturdy feed and heavy-duty 2.7 metre boom that extends to 3.3 metres for larger pattern coverage with fewer set-ups. Because the carousel rod changer weighs less and holds more rods than linear models, the boom extension can reach farther and drill deeper while maintaining stability. Holes can be drilled within 610 mm of the highwall, which is 50% closer than with a linear rod changer.

High power and big air
The MD5150C delivers exceptional power and airflow for faster, more efficient drilling in hard rock applications, according to Cat. The heart of the power group is the Cat C11 Engine rated at 287kW (385hp) at 1800 rpm. Designed for high performance and excellent fuel efficiency, the engine meets US Tier 3 and EU Stage IIIA emissions standards. The high-horsepower engine works as a system with a high-capacity air compressor to optimize air flow. An oversized, high-efficiency cooling system further improves performance and life.

Cab enhances safety
The cab on the MD5150C is designed to enhance safety and productivity. It is ROPS/FOPS-certified and provides numerous shutdown controls accessible from the ground. Large windows, streamlined front structures and a skylight enhance visibility, as do well-placed mirrors and a high-resolution camera. The front window provides an emergency exit.

To boost operator comfort and productivity, the cab features automatic climate control, excellent ventilation, a fully adjustable seat, ergonomic controls and switches, and low sound levels (about 80 decibels).

To further improve operator productivity, the machine is equipped with a smart drill monitoring system that tracks changes in rock formation and automatically adjusts impact and feed pressure based on hardness of the rock. Anti-jam, anti-plunge and anti-plug capabilities keep the track drill working efficiently and extend drill string life.

Quick maintenance
Service technicians benefit from the simple component layout and convenient service access. A walk-in service station provides easy access to major service points for the engine, compressor, air conditioner, hydraulic valves and more. A boom-mounted camera provides a view of the front of the drill while working inside the service center.

In addition to its serviceable design, the new track drill leverages exclusive Caterpillar technologies that maximize uptime. Cat Electronic Technician speeds the troubleshooting process, improving repair accuracy and reducing downtime. Cat Product Link allows remote monitoring of machine location, service meter hours, fuel usage and other critical factors, providing managers the information they need to optimize utilization and reduce costs.


BOART Longyear, a provider of integrated drilling services, equipment and performance tooling, has introduced TruCore, a first-in-industry integrated core orientation system that it says enables drillers to increase productivity and decrease spend on consumables.

"Boart Longyear has a living legacy of delivering innovation in drilling technology. While essential for mapping exploration and mine site development, core orientation is a part of the drilling process that has only experienced incremental product improvements through small changes to the process and equipment, until now," says Boart Longyear global product manager Chris Lambert.

"The innovation behind TruCore improves productivity and reduces the number of parts drill crews need to maintain a core orientation system which in turn reduces cost."

Core orientation is essential to the mining and resources sector as it marks and determines the precise orientation and position of core while in the ground. This information helps determine faults, cleavages, joints, mineral lineation and other geophysical properties which lead to better mapping for exploration and mine site development.

Chris Lambert says compared to other systems, additional extensions are not needed when the integrated TruCore housing is combined with Boart Longyear's outer tubes, reducing the number of joints and high wear on outer tube extension barrels. TruCore's unique core marking technology allows one tool to always be in the hole.

"The ability to send a second TruCore tool down immediately after the first tool is retrieved combined with wireless communication means that core readings can be taken without having to break a joint in the inner tube. This leads to a faster drill site operation," he adds.

The design uses optical communication to send measurements to a hand-held control device allowing the drill string to stay assembled. The pocket-sized controller simultaneously controls the two core orientation instruments increasing productivity by validating measurements while minimizing errors. Highly visible flashing LEDs direct alignment which reduces the total measurement time.

BOART Longyear, a provider of integrated drilling services, equipment and performance tooling, has introduced TruCore, a first-in-industry integrated core orientation system that it says enables drillers to increase productivity and decrease spend on consumables.TruCore is offered in sizes BQ through to PQ.

TruCore is the first product in Boart Longyear's first-ever line of instrumentation solutions. TruShot and TruProbe will be available in late 2014 and 2015 respectively, and are designed to bring more technology into the hands of the drill crew so they can deliver more information and value to the end client.

The Tru product range is designed and made in Australia. TruCore was officially launched at the Australian Drilling Industry Association's DRILL 2014 conference on August 19-22. TruCore will be available in Australia only during 2014 but in 2015 it will be rolled out to other geographic regions.

Approaching its 125th anniversary in 2015, Boart Longyear is a leading provider of drilling services, drilling equipment, and performance tooling for mining and drilling companies globally. It also has a substantial presence in aftermarket parts and service, energy, mine de-watering, oil sands exploration, and production drilling.

The Global Drilling Services division operates in more than 40 countries for a diverse mining customer base spanning a wide range of commodities, including copper, gold, nickel, zinc, uranium, and other metals and minerals. The Global Products division designs, manufactures and sells drilling equipment, performance tooling, and aftermarket parts and services to customers in more than 100 countries.

Boart Longyear is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, and is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in Sydney, Australia.



PT Atlas Copco Nusantara says the new DM30 II blasthole drill is suited for both rotary and DTH applications with low and high pressure compressor options.

PT ATLAS Copco Nusantara has expanded its line of mid-range blasthole rigs with the addition of the new DM30 II series. The DM30 II is built on the engineering of Atlas Copco's DM45 and DML blasthole drills. The DM30 II is suited to both rotary and DTH applications with low and high pressure compressor options.

Atlas Copco Drilling Solutions marketing manager Mark Stewart, who is based in Nanjing, China, says the DM30 II was born from experience of having operated 52 units in difficult and remote areas over a period of more than five years. "We established manufacturing in Nanjing with the goal of developing a world-class, affordable product for the mineral extraction industry."

Pre-release units have been successful drilling for gold in Papua New Guinea, coal in Indonesia, contract drillers in South Africa and copper in Mongolia. Now the unit is available for rotary and DTH customers in the mining and construction industry in all non-Tier 4 emissions countries globally.

"We are well positioned with service and parts available from our Nanjing distribution centre to support the DM30 II in all corners of the world," Mark Stewart says.

Upgrades on the DM30 II include a more robust I-beam frame, increased decking and increased component access, and improved rod handling and breakout.

Standard features now include automatic thread lubrication, head-up tram interlock and grease manifold, plus a wider range of options created from customer special requests.

The component layout and spacious electric over hydraulic cab are taken directly from its big brothers in the DM line and the DM30 II's hydraulic system components, feed system and rotary head have been proven by more than 28 years of use on the DM30.


WATPAC Civil & Mining is trialling the first Atlas Copco SmartROC T45 surface drill rig in Australia at a mining operation in Western Australia.

Watpac has a focus on operating leaner and more sustainable mining and secondary processing operations. Its mining manager in Western Australia Brendan Vaughn said, "I think my job as a responsible engineer and officer of Watpac is to make sure we have a strategy that is fully supported from the manufacturer through to what we're doing for our clients, across multiple commodities, remote sites, nationally.

"That's an undertaking that requires us to be committed [and] look for like-minded equipment suppliers. We want to be innovative and want to work with people who are innovative. It's not innovation just for the sake of innovation, it's innovation that works. The smart drill has been an incredible piece of technology to put out there to our clients."

Now the 'smart' technology in the SmartRig exists in a new machine that Brendan Vaughan thinks could be the best drill rig in its class. Watpac has been putting the only SmartROC T45 in Australia and only the second working anywhere in the world through its paces at Ramelius Resources' Mt Magnet gold mine. Three months has shown it uses considerably less fuel than its predecessor, the F9C. But it's not the significant monthly fuel bill savings that have him most excited by the performance to date.

"The T45 is better than an F9C and the reason comes back to a discussion not about fuel, but about engines," he said. "It's about litres burnt through the engine. That's significant because if savings of 30% on fuel burn are there – and we are seeing better – it means the engine is wearing out less quickly.

"There is always a big focus on engine life with these track-mounted machines. There is a direct correlation between fuel reduction and frame life, and that's a much bigger saving. The fuel saving is the tip of the iceberg."

He said the promise of maintenance cost savings related to the simplified hose and fitting layout of the T45 was likely to become evident after 7000 hours or so of operation and higher drill penetration rates with the extra 5kW of rock drill power (now 30kW) were also bound to be seen once some early rod-changing challenges were overcome.

"We put it in the hardest rocks … basalts and dolerites, and banded iron formations," he says. "It's not the granite and gneisses they test these rigs on in Sweden, but basalts and dolerites aren't for the faint of heart, and BIFs tend to be dense and a little bit abrasive too.

"We've seen penetration rates hit the same rates as the F9C, which of course is not good enough, but the reason is not the rock drill … we are trying to sort out issues with rod changing, and we're pretty keen to see what the pen-rate benefits of sorting that out will be."

Commenting on the question of a possible end point for the T45 'trial', he stated: "I don't think they're going to get their drill rig back."


The seven-year-old Sandvik DD420 development drill after its rebuild at Sandvik's Kalgoorlie Customer Service Centre.

WITH the mining industry looking to reduce costs across the board, while still maintaining productivity with equipment that remains reliable and continues to perform as required, rebuilding older machines to as-new condition is becoming an increasingly attractive option. But it requires equipment suppliers with the facilities, skills and factory backing to be able to rebuild equipment to as-new, OEM-compliant standards.

This process must be based around mining equipment with the right pedigree of inbuilt durability and product quality to have the potential for a second life.

An example of this is a seven-year-old Sandvik DD420 development drill which recently underwent a major overhaul at Sandvik's Kalgoorlie Customer Service Centre (CSC) in Western Australia that brought it back to as-new condition, including upgrades to latest-technology components.

Sandvik Mining's Kalgoorlie CSC workshop supervisor Nathan Bradshaw says the 11-week rebuild process resulted in a machine that can be expected to work productively for a further seven years if it is operated and maintained in line with Sandvik's recommended maintenance procedures.

In addition, the rig, which had been operated in a Western Australian nickel mine for the past seven years, had to be re-specced to meet the quite different standards of the Queensland silver mine for which it was being rebuilt.

"The two mine sites had widely varying compliance requirements – both are very rigorous, but both are very different," says Nathan Bradshaw.

As a result of the rebuild, the machine is in as-new condition and is covered by a Sandvik Australia 12-month/1500-hour warranty. And the silver mine that it was rebuilt for is getting an updated, as-new development drill for around 70% of the cost of a new machine.

The scope of works for the DD420 rebuild involved stripping the rig right down to its base chassis and components, replacing specified items, and repairing or replacing other parts and components as necessary to ensure everything was back to OEM-compliant condition.

"Following the rebuild, all service, parts and safety bulletins, as well as machine upgrades, will have been completed, so the finished product is as up-to-date as any machine can be – given it is a seven-year-old carrier and drill rig," says Nathan Bradshaw.

"Throughout the process we liaised closely with the customer and the response back from them is that they are delighted with the quality of the rebuild, and the performance and productivity of the rig.

"An important element of the success of a project like this is that the durability and quality is built into these Sandvik underground rigs from the beginning, so that we have solid, strong carrier and drilling module to work with, and which have the strength to continue reliably performing for a further seven years," he says.

Sandvik Mining's Region Australia vice president Jim Tolley says this DD420 rebuild – and others of a similar scope being carried out at Sandvik service centres around Australia – are a prime example of how the mining industry is driving more value from suppliers and equipment.

"Just a few years ago, a drill rig of this age would probably have been retired and replaced with a new one," he says. "Now, with miners looking to better 'sweat their assets' and get more out of them as part of an industry-wide drive to reduce costs, options such as rebuilding older machines to as-new OEM-spec condition are becoming increasingly popular.

"But to do this, they require the combination of product durability, design and reliability to justify the rebuild investment, and the ability of a supplier to bring equipment back up to as-new condition.

"At Sandvik Mining, we are investing heavily in our ability to provide these high levels of machine refurbishment and rebuilding, through our Australia-wide network of Customer Service Centres, and our new-concept Productivity Centres.

"Projects such as this one at our Kalgoorlie CSC are examples of how we can work with our mining customers to reduce their capital equipment costs, while maintaining or improving their required levels of productivity," Jim Tolley says.


The P&H 285XPC rotary blasthole drill from Joy Global.

JOY Global has added to its rotary blasthole drill product offering to provide a wider range of solutions for hard rock applications. The new P&H 285XPC provides up to 53,524kg of bit loading specifically designed for 270mm and 311mm diameter holes, making it well suited for the majority of copper and iron applications.

"This new drill will carry on the P&H legacy for durability," says Joy Global's product manager Eric Wilkinson. "It will feature the same powerful propel structures and robust pull-down systems as our other P&H drills."

The new drill also features the Universal Drill Cab (UDC) utilized on other P&H drills. Eric Wilkinson says this commonality of controls will allow experienced operators to quickly and easily transition to a P&H 285XPC. "The UDC provides the operator with a clear, unobstructed view of the drilling area and the surrounding environment.

"Its expansive windows and video cameras provide the best visibility in the industry and ensure that the operator is able to maintain complete situational awareness while drilling and propelling.

Additionally, the FOPS Level II certified structure combined with shatter-resistant glass protects the operator from harsh mining conditions," he adds.

Joy Global manufactures a full line of development and production drilling equipment for the mining industry. Equipped with the Montabert HC Series drifters and Intelesense II drilling controls, every boom movement is smooth and precise and every hole is accurate. The Joy drilling line is focused on achieving maximum penetration at the lowest cost.

Joy recently announced that it closed on its purchase of certain assets of Mining Technologies International Inc (MTI) for Can$51 million dollars, subject to a working capital adjustment. MTI is a Canadian manufacturer of underground hard rock mining equipment serving the North American markets and a world leading supplier of raise bore drilling consumables.

Joy Global has acquired substantially all of the assets associated with MTI's hard rock drilling, loaders, dump trucks, shaft sinking, and raise bore product lines.

MTI's fiscal 2013 revenues associated with these product lines were approximately US$90 million. Excluding the impact of transaction costs and excess purchase accounting charges, the company expects the transaction to be accretive to earnings in 2015.

"We are pleased that the acquisition of MTI has successfully closed in the third quarter of 2014 as planned. This acquisition furthers our strategy to expand our underground mining product lines into the hard rock markets including nickel, potash, palladium, platinum, gold and copper," says Joy Global president and chief executive officer Ted Doheny.

"We believe that MTI's broad range of complementary products, combined with Joy's proprietary technology, our global direct service team and operational excellence capabilities, will provide significant value to hard rock mining customers and our shareholders."

Commenting on the current market conditions in the company's second quarter report, Ted Doheny said: "The Joy Global team continues to execute well despite significant market headwinds. The continued stabilization of our service business, strong cash generation and a multi-shovel order for the Canadian oil sands were highlights in the quarter.

"Additionally, the recent closing of the MTI transaction will add to our underground hard rock mining growth prospects. As a result, we are pleased with our second quarter performance and the steps we have taken to advance the execution of our business strategy."

Bookings for underground mining machinery decreased 31% in comparison to the second quarter of 2013. Original equipment orders decreased 60%, largely due to a longwall system order received into the US in 2013. Original equipment orders declined in all regions except Eurasia. Service orders increased 2%, led by stronger rebuild activity in all regions.

Bookings for surface mining equipment increased 34% in comparison to the second quarter of 2013. Original equipment orders increased 102%, largely due to a Canadian oil sands multiple shovel order for a greenfield expansion project with deliveries in 2016. Original equipment orders increased in all regions except Africa. Service orders increased 13%, with increases in North America, South America and Eurasia partially offset by reductions in Australia, China and Africa.