Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions has added an option for reverse circulation (RC) sampling to its Leopard DI650i down-the-hole (DTH) drill rig.
The RC sampling option enables more reliable grade control and ore body identification in open-pit mining.
Fully integrated into the DI650i platform, this capability can increase availability and productivity of the rig compared to its original factory standard.
“An isolated sample route from the bit face to the cone splitter unit ensures no contamination and makes the Leopard DI650i RC drilling system reliable, productive and extremely accurate,” Sandvik stated.
The drilling system uses a Metzke RC sampling unit which has been proven in the industry and optimised for the DI650i, with either 102-millimeter or 114-millimeter RC pipes available.
Sandvik has taken everything into account on the DI650i as it upgrades the rig to suit a range of applications.
“To manage the added weight of the reverse circulation system and to increase safety, Leopard DI650i RC comes with iBalance and iFold options as a standard,” the company stated.
“iBalance monitors the carrier and boom angles for safer tramming, while iFold automatically folds the feed to tramming position for optimum balance.”
The announcement came less than three months after Sandvik added autonomous capabilities to the DI650i in the form of the iDrill autonomous platform.
In June, Sandvik surface drilling product manager Jari Läntinen said giving the DI650i the iDrill function was another step the company was taking in automation.
“The latest development is a major step on Sandvik’s DTH drill rig automation journey,” Läntinen said.
“This means shifting from individual automated tasks and sequences towards a genuine ecosystem of automation platforms and operating with a connected fleet of automated mining equipment.”