This year’s Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) will showcase US drill rig specialist Schramm, which built some of the drilling rigs involved in the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners in late-2010.
Schramm sales manager John Little told the South Africa’s Mining Weekly that truck- and track-mounted hydraulic top-head drive, reverse-circulation drilling rigs will be showcased at booth 1324.
“After three years of applying, we were able to obtain a booth for the 2010 show. “Many of our international customers also attended the show and we were able to network for new prospects,” Little said.
Schramm is a century-old Pennsylvania manufacturer and global supplier to the hydraulic drill industry, focusing on land-based applications.
They specialise in mobile, top-head hydraulic rotary drilling rigs and supply to companies in the mining, energy, geothermal and water sectors worldwide.
Currently, more than 75% of its revenues come from export sales, with its global reach including major market positions in China, Chile, Brazil, Australia, Russia and South Africa.
“However, we have had some success providing equipment for coring in the Canadian oil sands sector and we believe our expected growth in the Canadian market will be related to oil sands exploration and energy,” says Little.
The company’s drilling rigs played a pivotal role in the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped 200 metres underground on August 5, at the San Jose gold and copper mine in Chile’s northern Atacama desert.
The Chilean government called in drilling professionals to determine appropriate steps and after examining the mine’s layout and emergency procedures suggested one possible area beneath the collapse where survivors (if any) might gather. A mechanics room was located about 700 m deep.
One of the obstacles of the rescue effort was a granite boulder weighing about 700 000 t, which had shifted and caused the collapse about 488 m from the surface.
High-speed exploration drilling rigs were called from neighboring mines to begin drilling.
Of the nine exploration drilling rigs involved in the initial search for survivors, four were Schramm T685WS rigs, which are truck-mounted top-head drive rotary units and said to be one of the best reverse-circulation exploration drilling rigs in the world.
The T685WS is commonly used for angled penetration, enabling exploration drilling as great as 45˚ off vertical. This capability permits not just the initial discovery of a deposit, but also an estimation of its shape and size in sub-sequent (angled) borings.
The T685WS can also drill to a depth of about 762 m, which placed the hopeful survival areas that were beneath the granite boulder (including the miners’ work area) well within the range of the rig.
Also very important, this rig type is capable of drilling with reverse-circulation down-the-hole hammers.
For probe holes and bore-holes through the high-density granite, they perform faster, better, and safer than any other configuration.
Source: Mining Weekly