Laserbond sees positive DTH hammer drill trials

Laserbond had seen positive results from its Down-the-Hole hammer and drilling component trials.

According to the company, independently supervised field trials of its new class of hammers "demonstrated a major life extension of these high wear components, resulting in substantial reduction in overall drilling costs".

Last year the company completed patented application for its new laser processing methodology, allowing for innovations in product development, with the first being the DTH hammer for mining and exploration.

Laserbond stated that "the new DTH hammer design overcomes premature failures due to high wear rates in hard, highly abrasive ground conditions typically found in drill and blast mining operations".

Following the field trials, which compared the new DTH hammer and associated technology with other existing commercial alternatives, independent supervisor Xtega said: "The results of the trial conclude that there is a decrease in the rate of abrasive wear."

The study found an average of 3514 metres were drilled with industry standard hammer before failure occurred, whereas the ones incorporating Laserbond technology drilled more than double before seeing failures occur – with an average of 8578 metres achieved.

"Laserbond technology had an average life approximately 2.44 times greater than the standard components," Xtega said.

"Give that the trial environment provided drilling conditions which would be considered to be particularly abrasive, it is quite possible that the Laserbond technology could exceed the performance reported during this trial in other production environments and applications."

Laserbond added that it is now focusing on increasing this average lifespan to around 2.85 times that of other equipment.

Xtega also investigated the likely impact on operating costs for the equipment.

It found "in these mine conditions the average extended DTH hammer life yielded a 7 per cent saving to the total drilling costs.".

Laserbond went on to state that it is now signing a number of drilling operator test partners in Australia to trial the equipment on a wider sample of 'aggressive' ground conditions.

The trials should be completed within three months, after which the company willl look to release a limited product range.