Underground mining contractor PYBAR Mining Services has recently increased its raise bore capability in shaft construction with the acquisition of one of the most powerful raise bore rigs in the market - the Herrenknecht RBR600-VF.

The majority of raise bore rigs in Australia have a maximum diameter potential of 6 metres or less. The RBR600-VF has the capacity to construct shafts from 2.4 metres up to 8 metres in diameter and 1000 metres in length, making it one of only two in Australia with greater than 6 metre capacity.

The RBR600-VF, developed by German rig manufacturer Herrenknecht, is one the most powerful raise boring rigs currently on the market and the second largest in Australia. Drilling shafts up to 1000 metres with large diameters of up to 8 metres requires rigs with high torque and high thrust forces. The RBR600-VF delivers this with a thrust force of 10,000 kN, or sufficient capacity to lift a 1000 tonne weight under the rig.

The RBR600-VF is designed for construction of shafts in hard rock to depths of 1000 metres. With the industry increasingly seeking non-entry mining solutions, reaming shafts with the RBR600-VF is safer, less labour intensive and, depending on the application, more cost effective than conventional shaft sinking.

Further, the rig is one of the most efficient on the market due to its variable frequency drive. Whether utilizing mains power or generators, its power consumption will be half of that of an equivalent capacity machine with hydraulic drive, potentially saving clients thousands of dollars on power bills.

With its track-mounted mobile and compact design, the RBR600-VF offers flexibility even in confined spaces and is therefore suitable for a variety of applications in the mining industry, minimizing the investment required in access roads and underground chambers. It can be used to create shafts for ventilation, access and haulage, as well as pressure shafts for hydropower plants.

In Europe it has proven itself in use generally with its modular design and its powerful and highly efficient centre-free drive. The rig can be mobilized by conventional load road transport (quad axle float) or overseas by ship in standard sea containers.

PYBAR’s CEO Paul Rouse said the acquisition of the rig cemented PYBAR as a significant player in the underground mining space. “There are very few contractors with this level of rig capability. It provides us with the capability to service the largest underground mining projects in Australia with a full suite of services. We’re building a solid reputation in the market for exceeding productivity targets and this latest investment will ensure we continue to add value to our clients and out-perform on project schedules.”

PYBAR’s new RBR600-VF rig will arrive in Australia in March.

Headquartered in Orange, Central NSW, and privately owned, the PYBAR Group has established infrastructure and operations in NSW, Queensland, WA and Victoria.