IN response to customer requests for a different approach to the raise drilling and blasting sequence, Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology’s describes its highly mobile Rhino 100 ‘plug-and-drill’ raiseborer as a leap forward in mobility and drilling speed.
According to Saltiel Pule, Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology’s business line manager for underground drilling in southern Africa, the key to the Rhino 100’s mobility is being self-sufficient.
“This unit carries all its own components, from rods and cables to hydraulics and the raiseboring head. Pulled by a specially adapted double-axle John Deere tractor, no other transportation equipment is needed to move the rig,” said Pule, adding that fast set-up times and high drilling productivity made the Rhino 100 is an integrated solution that allows mines to meet ambitious drilling targets.
“Outriggers stabilise the machine so there is no requirement for a concrete pad before setting up. This means that the machine can be set up in as little as 10 minutes, compared to the few days it takes to cast and cure a concrete pad before use.”
He said no roof bolting is required as the Rhino 100 is equipped with an inclinometer that provides the operator with the necessary x and y coordinates, which the surveyor can confirm before drilling starts.
Its productivity is further enhanced by its high drilling speed; with penetration rates of about two metres per hour, it can progress drilling at more than double the rate of conventional methods.
“The rod-handling arm enhances health and safety underground, especially by preventing back and finger injuries. By carefully manipulating and changing rods without them needing to be placed on the ground, the automated arm also avoids dust and rock chips getting into the threads. This helps maintain the workflow and keep the whole process running efficiently.”
The 52-ton Rhino 100 – at 3,1 metres wide and 3,4 metres high – has been designed to fit comfortably into a standard mine haulage, with easy mobility from one tunnel or stope to the next. Pule said that, judging by the number of enquiries from major mining players, the unit looks to have a promising future in southern Africa’s mining sector.