SLASHING world records in underground drilling is becoming a way of life for leading Australian contractor, Byrnecut Mining. Jim Ward writes.
The Perth-based firm, which now operates in six countries, claimed a new world record of 61,764 metres drilled in a single month in March this year, and then promptly broke its own record. Twice!
The March figure, achieved at Birla Nifty, was topped in June by Byrnecut’s Telfer crew, who recorded 62,500 metres, only to see their mates at Nifty immediately reclaim the title with 63,726 metres drilled. These figures were all the more impressive for being racked up in a 30-day month.
The common denominator in this succession of world’s best performances was the drills used by the crews at the two mines – Sandvik DD420 – 60 twin-boom jumbos.
Byrnecut managing director, Steve Coughlan, said the first drill the company purchased when it was established, 20 years ago, also came from Sandvik, an early forerunner of today’s world-beating jumbos.
“That drill gave us excellent service, and we’ve stayed with the brand ever since, with outstanding results. We’ve stuck with Sandvik, and have worked with them to develop the Axera in Australia,” he said
Coughlan said that, while world records made interesting headlines, the important thing to Byrnecut and its clients was consistency of performance.
“We don’t get paid for headlines. We make our money by promising excellent results and then delivering the goods. We have more than 40 of these drills operating around the world – over 30 right here in Australia – and they are consistently producing more than 5,000 metres a month, in most cases with minimal down-time.
“For my money the DD420 – 60 has proved it’s the best drill in its class in the world,” he said.
Byrnecut Mining’s Project Manager at Nifty, Paul Scholz, said the record-breaking drill was exceptionally reliable, averaging only 30-40 hours’ down-time a month, including scheduled servicing.
“That’s pretty good for a machine that’s nearly three years old, and is working flat out every day. It also says a lot for the parts and service back-up that we get from Sandvik,” he said.
The DD420 – 60 is a high performance twin-boom electro-hydraulic drilling jumbo, capable of developing headings up to 60 m². The twin TB60 booms deliver 18 to 22kW of power to the rock drill units, which can be used for crosscutting, drifting and bolt hole drilling.
The powerful four-wheel drive, centre articulated carrier ensures optimum manoeuvrability, good balance and safe tramming speed of up to 7.2 kmph.
For the operator, the drill provides easy access for maintenance and mobility, noise and vibration insulation, built-in diagnostics, ergonomic cabin and instrument design and a range of innovative safety features.
*Jim Ward is the principal of Wardholt Corporate Communication Consultants. To contact Jim, email: firstname.lastname@example.org