Komatsu invests in expansion of surface drill solutions

Komatsu is accelerating the development of smaller drills for surface mining applications.

The original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is expanding its P&H product line to include articulating boom track drills, furthering its commitment to be a full solutions provider to the mining industry.

Komatsu’s first machine in the series, the 44XT, is being tested at the company’s Arizona Proving Grounds prior to release this year. The 44XT is capable of drilling 4–8 inch (102–203mm) diameter holes using down-the-hole (DTH) percussive hammers.

Brian Fox, Komatsu Mining’s vice president of product management and technology, said the development of the XT series of DTH track drills complements its plans for the new XR series of rotary blasthole drills, led by the 77XR that’s also operating in Arizona.

“These programs, combined with our accelerated effort on drill automation enabled by Komatsu’s experience and resources, demonstrate a strong commitment to building our drill portfolio,” Fox said.

Komatsu introduced the 77 drill model at MINExpo 2016 and has since renamed it the 77XR to reflect its versatility for the rotary blasthole market. The 77XR was designed to accommodate the largest spectrum of blasthole drilling from coal to hard rock applications.

The 44XT machines in development will be used in surface mines and quarries, and are ideally suited for pre-split drilling applications. They can also be used for production drilling in smaller mines and large quarries, opening a new market segment for Komatsu.

“The 44XT drill delivers upon what you would expect from a P&H machine,” Komatsu Mining product director – drills Matt Collins said.

“It starts with a safety-focused ergonomic machine layout that sits on a robust core design. We matched structural integrity with increased horsepower and compressor capacity, translating into higher torque and speeds for optimal drilling performance.

“The 44XT’s configuration versatility, and increased range of motion, give users a large range of options for percussive hammer drilling.”

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