Partnership expands to offer surface drilling solutions

A PRODUCT used in the underground space is being rolled out into the surface mining industry thanks to a partnership between Sandvik Mining and Construction and Canada-based Cubex.
Partnership expands to offer surface drilling solutions Partnership expands to offer surface drilling solutions Partnership expands to offer surface drilling solutions Partnership expands to offer surface drilling solutions Partnership expands to offer surface drilling solutions

Falling under the auspices of a global partnership launched in November last year that involved Sandvik becoming the Australian distributor of Cubex underground mining products, the partnership has recently been expanded to incorporate the Canadian's QXR down-the-hole (DTH) surface drills.

These will be distributed and sold via Sandvik in Australia.

According to Cubex regional product line manager Neil Emery, the QXR series is an ideal addition to Sandvik's range of dedicated surface mining drills.

"As a result of this agreement, we are now able to offer a far broader range of products to our customers to meet their surface mining drilling requirements," he said.

"The integration of the QXR drills into our product offerings, combined with Sandvik's global customer support, will represent huge benefits for our customers.

There are more than 25 Cubex QXR rigs operating in Australia, in both mining and quarrying applications, in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Founded in 1972, Cubex is a major designer and manufacturer of DTH drills for the underground and surface mining sectors.

Cubex president Kitch Wilson said the QXR range was a proven productivity leader in DTH drilling.

"Now, with the global support of the Sandvik organisation, we believe these drills will be increasingly popular in all mining and large quarry operations for a variety of drilling applications," Wilson said.

Cubex's QXR drills are fully self-contained, diesel-powered, high-pressure DTH drills, crawler-mounted and with tilting booms and feeds for maximum flexibility.

QXR rigs are used in a range of mining drilling applications, including blast hole production drilling and pre-split drilling, as well as pioneering and pit dewatering work.

More recently, they have been increasingly used in reverse circulation (RC) drilling for sampling and grade control.

Designed to meet the needs of tough mining applications, the rigs are matched with high-power compressors giving them the capability of drilling with 500psi air.

A full range of engine and compressor configurations allow the machines to be used with 4, 5, 6 and 8-inch DTH hammers.

A recent application of QXR high-performance drills was at Newcrest Mining's Hidden Valley operation in Papua New Guinea where a QXR 1120 machine was used for initial RC drilling and horizontal dewatering at an altitude of more than 2700m.

The rig was reported to have had plenty of spare capacity to operate at that altitude without any modifications.

Elsewhere, Rio Tinto purchased another QXR 1120 in October last year for the Brockman 4 mine, situated at only 607m above sea level in the Pilbara.

The machine is used for 165mm pioneering, production and pre-split work.

Recent figures have also shown that 90% of the QXR 1120s and 1320s sold within the past two years have been used at altitudes of less than 2000m.

The rigs come into their own at mines that have random and complex geology, thereby creating a situation in which long, straight holes are difficult to drill.

According to Cubex, by using the QXR high-pressure drills, drilling in difficult ground conditions becomes much more feasible and economical.

Also, the flexibility of the new Generation V QXR series has also been well received by some of Australia's major drilling contractors such as Brandrill, Rock (Australia) and Hughes Drilling.

These are used for applications where high drilling performance and increased machine flexibility are required when using DTH drilling tools.


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