JSW pioneers application of advanced drilling technology

HD2500RC in operation using IDAT wireless remote control.

JSW Australia has joined forces with technology innovator Intelligent Drilling Applications & Technology, and German manufacturers Bauer and BBURG to emerge as a contender in the drilling technology realm.

As the mining industry continues to focus on automation and the Internet of Things (IoT) in its ongoing pursuit of optimised productivity and better safety, drilling contractor JSW Australia has been quietly building on its capabilities in the drilling technology space.

With a goal to make the latest technological advancements available to clients, JSW has been steadily upgrading its fleet with fully customised solutions and automation.

Behind this enhanced capability is its strategic partnership with sister company and technology innovator IDAT (Intelligent Drilling Applications & Technology).

Through strategic alliances with large German manufacturers Bauer and BBURG, IDAT has been working to solve problems faced by Australian miners when drilling in challenging local conditions.

IDAT’s solutions bring together the latest advances in automation, IoT and engineering to develop fully customised, intelligent and high performance rigs, designed specifically for the local terrains and operating environments.

“The technology partnership between IDAT and JSW is part of our overarching goal to bring cutting edge, customised and superior drilling solutions to Australian mines to support their objectives to improve productivity,” JSW chief executive Warren Fair says.

“Through IDAT, we can provide a customer-driven approach, tailoring rigs to specific applications.”

Technology partnership proving productive at Solomon

One of JSW’s most recent applications of IDAT technology is its new HD2500RC drill rig, developed by BBURG and customised in conjunction with IDAT, which is currently operating at Fortescue Metals Group’s Solomon iron ore mine in the Pilbara.

The rig underwent site commissioning in July and its initial production performance to date has been impressive.

The high-powered, small-footprint HD2500RC was designed especially for the challenging terrain at Solomon where the preparation of drill pads is difficult and expensive.

“With JSW’s years of experience on site and first hand knowledge of the challenges, along with IDAT’s technology expertise and BBURG’s engineering capability, we had a powerful collaboration for the development of the new rig,” Fair says.

The HD2500RC has a low footprint with a width of 3.5 metres; high power with capacity to push 32.3 cubic metres per minute of air at 500 psi down the hole; rod handler to increase productivity and improve safety; 330 metres of rod capacity on board; and full wireless remote control.

Fair says overall the rig is proving to be more productive, safer and quieter than the existing technology on site.

The HD2500RC joins other new technologies in JSW’s fleet, including the Equus green drills developed specifically for bauxite mines, and a new drilling technology for magnetite mines being developed by IDAT in partnership with Bauer.

“IDAT brings the technology, JSW brings the operational know-how. So far, it’s proving to be a winning formula,” Fair says.

This article also appears in the November issue of Australian Mining.

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