Amidst lacklustre global commodity prices, Zambia’s largest copper mine, Kansanshi, has opted to renew its fleet of blasthole drill rigs.
Rob McMaster, Key Account Manager for First Quantum Minerals at Sandvik Zambia, says First Quantum Mining & Operations (FQMO) has taken a progressive step to ensure improved efficiency and reliable production by renewing its DR500 fleet with Sandvik D25KS and DP1500i drills that are easier to maintain and operate on site.
Kansanshi has opted to renew its fleet of blasthole drill rigs with more efficient and reliable Sandvik D25KS and DP1500i drill rigs.
He adds that Sandvik has entered into a buy-back agreement with FQMO to trade in the company’s 11 Sandvik DR500 series rigs that are used for blasthole and pre-split drilling and replace them with nine new Sandvik D25KS rigs and four new Sandvik DP1500i rigs. The bundled deal makes the transaction more affordable and is in-line with FQMO’s overall objectives.
“We work closely with our customers to ensure operations are run optimally at all times,” he continues. “When circumstances change and a mine’s requirements are altered along with them, then we do our utmost to restructure equipment and fleets in such a way that the customer’s new needs are met. This is precisely what we have done at Kansanshi where we are proud to deliver a solution that is tailored to Kansanshi’s current and changing future requirements. The new Sandvik D25KS and DP1500i drill rigs are machines that will require less maintenance and specialised care than the predecessors.
“They will be joining a number of other Sandvik D25KS drill rigs, as well as the larger Sandvik D45KS and Sandvik DP1500i top hammer drills. The standardisation will in many ways simplify maintenance, stock holdings of spares, rock tools and parts to make the operation easier to manage.”
Thanks to its compact size, proven design and durable power groups, the Sandvik D25KS blasthole drill is a very stable and highly manoeuvrable surface drill for surface mining and large-scale quarrying.
It is a down-the-hole (DTH) hammer drill with a high pressure air compressor, air-line lubricator and fine feed control. It is commonly used in large mining operations globally with a choice of hole sizes from 127 mm to 172 mm.
One of the biggest selling points is its speed and fast set-up with effective pipe handling of 9,14 m length pipes with pipe sizes in diameters ranging from 89 to 140 mm. Pipe loading is controlled from the operator’s cab with the effective handling of drill pipe contributing to shorter cycle times and getting more holes drilled.
The Sandvik DP1500i is an intelligent, self-propelled, self-contained, crawler based surface drilling rig equipped with a cabin, movable boom and a rod changer. It is designed for production drilling in large quarries or open-pit mines and construction work sites but is also well suited to wall control (pre-split drilling) and development works.