Master Drilling automation strategy progressing

Master Drilling automation strategy progressing

As specialised drilling services group Master Drilling embarked on a new raiseboring project for Sasol Mining, executive director Koos Jordaan said that the newly JSE-listed firm was progressing its drilling automation strategies.

Master Drilling automation strategy progressing

Publication: Mining Weekly
Source: www.miningweekly.com
Journalist: Natasha Odendaal

As specialised drilling services group Master Drilling embarked on a new raiseboring project for Sasol Mining, executive director Koos Jordaan said that the newly JSE-listed firm was progressing its drilling automation strategies.

Master Drilling was undertaking a four-phase project to enhance site safety, increase efficiency and lower the costs of raiseboring shafts.

The initiative would bring down the number of workers on site to a minimum and advance and intensify upskilling of operators.

The efficiency of raiseboring was expected to be 30% higher, while productivity, based on results from the group’s first live automated project in South America last year, could potentially double as mechanisation and automation progressed.

It also enabled increased drilling depths, up to 14 m, a day.

The company this week started raiseboring at Sasol Mining’s Riversdale shaft at the Syferfontein colliery, near Secunda.

The project included the raiseboring of two ventilation shafts about 73 m deep and 7.1 m in diameter.

Last year, Master Drilling achieved record directional drilling at Lonmin mine with a 1 070 m deep, 5.5 m diameter ventilation shaft.

The Sasol ventilation project, which was expected to be completed by the end of August, would also use a remote-controlled shotcrete robot to line the shaft.

The automation process would develop as Master Drilling progressed its in-house technology, with the next phases’ development currently under way, enabling the implementation by year-end of fully automated insertion and removal of the drill rods and automatic remote controlled spanners, besides others.