OceanaGold’s Haile drill and blast team gets remote tech
The drill and blast team at the Haile Gold Mine is set to use innovative remote technology to aid its blast hole drilling techniques.
The Haile Gold Mine, which is owned by OceanaGold, is set to be the first in the United States to utilise Epiroc’s new remote control drilling technology, known as BenchREMOTE.
Being based in South Carolina, which is subject to extreme weather conditions including heat wind and rain, Haile workers can be exposed to very harsh conditions at times.
Epiroc’s technology is set to provide operators with numerous benefits. It will enhance health & safety as it will require operators to work from safer distances in a better environment, it also has the ability to handle three rigs in parallel. The technology also allows the operator station to be placed up to 100 metres away from the drills.
New drills have also been purchased by Haile, including two Epiroc D65 drills, BD7 and BD8, in 2019, which are all fully compatible with the firm’s technology.
Aaron Kash, Haile Drill and Blast General Supervisor, said: “When we bought the equipment from Epiroc, I reached out to our local ATC trailer dealer and had them bring up the specs of a similar trailer, we made a few changes – making it a little longer, equipping it with a bigger A/C unit to withstand the heat, and upgraded the generator”, he explained.
Although health and safety, and improved working conditions are the main obvious benefits of the technology, Epiroc’s BenchREMOTE is also set to boost productivity within the Haile Gold Mine, as one driller is now able to operate a total of three machines simultaneously.
Kash went on to say: “With the development of the new Haile Pit, we are encountering historic workings. We may want to drill into an area with little cover to see what’s there, but we don’t want to risk putting somebody physically in the drill”.
Axora launches global challenge for digital technology
Axora is launching the world’s first international competition to discover new cost-saving digital technology for industrial companies, which can produce rapid benefits within a year.
The Metals & Mining and Oil & Gas sectors have recently experienced budget cuts of 20% on average, driven by a variety of factors including the global pandemic, slump in demand and price wars. The Axora Cost-Saving Technology Challenge aims to transform these industries by discovering innovative, digital solutions that reduce cost fast and pay for themselves, whilst achieving the same or improved productivity, health and safety and sustainability standards.
“While digital solutions can help to get work done quicker and more cost-effectively, they typically require a three-year ROI, and if there’s no flexibility in the budget, a full budget planning cycle is needed to get things moving”, said Dr. Nick Mayhew, Chief Commercial Officer, Axora.
“Yet, extra financial cost is often incurred in delaying digital projects, so customers have asked us to highlight solutions that can have an ‘in year payback’ whereby the cost spent on the solution and deployment will be more than recovered within the budget year - this accelerates the timeline and drives positive business impact, quickly.”
The Axora Cost-Saving Technology Challenge
Axora is keen to learn of any digital cost-saving innovation which: meets the 12-month payback timeframe; can be deployed in any part of the value chain including upstream, downstream or midstream oil and gas, metals processing or mining; and is ready for market. The Axora Cost-Saving Technology Challenge is open to entrepreneurs, start-ups, academics and sector leaders across the world. The competition will be judged by a panel of leading industry experts.
“We’re passionate about supporting our industries and customers through all forms of digital transformation and the cost-saving solutions we are searching for could also provide a lifeline to many mining and metals and oil and gas companies in the current economic climate,” added Dr. Mayhew.
Improving productivity, safety and sustainability
Up to ten finalists will be chosen to pitch their solutions at a digital pitch day later this year, after which Axora will validate the ROI models and vet the solutions. The winner will receive the ‘Axora Market Accelerator’ sales and marketing package worth £10,000. This includes a two-hour workshop, promotion through Axora’s thought leadership content and inclusion into its digital demand engines, providing the opportunity for the winning solution to benefit thousands of industrial companies. Entries are open until May 31. Full details of the competition including terms and conditions can be found here.
To learn more about the Axora B2B digital solutions marketplace read our feature in the latest issue of Mining Global magazine.