Precise drilling with state-of-the-art rig

Epiroc’s Boomer M20 offers the latest in design and technology to enable a more accurate, productive and safer underground drilling operation.

The Boomer range of underground drill rigs is designed for underground mining applications where blast hole drilling is required. 

Epiroc has designed this line of face drill rigs with innovation in mind, with features including battery electric driveline technology for increased efficiency and automation capabilities that enable the drills to be operated remotely.

The company has unveiled its latest edition to the Boomer line-up, the Epiroc Boomer M20, which is designed for the medium segment of the mining market.

Epiroc global product manager Niklas Berggren says the M20 Boomer drill caters towards the Australian mining industry

“Mining customers with standard face drilling development and also this one in particular is tailor made for the multi-role functionality which is used a lot in Australia, it is commonly called drill scale and bolt,” he tells Australian Mining.

According to Berggren, the drill is backed by a robust design that is built for Australian environments. 

Epiroc is confident in its capabilities in local conditions, with the company planning to launch an Australian edition of the drill.

“We are taking the multi-role face drill to the next level, making this application work as a multi-role face drill with internal hydraulics and protected sensors so it can withstand harsh mining environments,” he explains. 

Designed in Sweden, the Boomer M20’s internal hydraulic system ensures no hose breakage occurs. 

This allows the boom itself to deliver increased uptime and productivity, with the drill also featuring a three-row bolting coverage area.

“The highest number of unplanned stops in the mining industry in face drilling is due to hose breakage because there’s a lot of hoses hanging from the boom,” Berggren says. 

“We have seen this issue in the industry, which is why we have focussed so hard to get the hydraulics internal.”

The Boomer M20 also features Epiroc’s high performance drill plans, which provides the ability for the drill rig to create custom, downloadable drill plans at the face of the tunnel that prevents trips between the office and underground mine site. 

Epiroc’s Boomer M20 is designed for Australian mining environments.

“The drill can also be equipped with what we call high performance development, which involves using drill plans during face drilling,” Berggren continues.

“You put the holes exactly where they’re supposed to be, and this means for each blast you will actually pull longer than if you didn’t use drill plans because of how accurate the plans are.

“We have seen from other places that the value of this feature is quite high and we are looking at a total cost saving of around 30 per cent with this solution.”

Epiroc has also installed its Rig Control System (RCS) on the Boomer M20 to provide tele-remote operations to an underground mine through the rig’s local sensors and cameras.

RCS also keeps operators out of the line of fire, allowing them to operate the drill away from the hazards at the tunnel face.

“Safety has been with us since day one. It’s our top priority and we are really happy with what we have done here,” Berggren says.

The Boomer M20 allows operators to keep their eyes on drilling at all times through its unique cabin design that offers optimum visibility.

It features multi-functional joysticks include different modes that adjust the boom speeds of the rig.

The drill rig is also equipped with safe bolting platforms to avoid any operations under unsupported rock, along with noise dampening materials in the cabin that reduce vibration and keep the noise level at just 65 decibels.

Efficiency is also improved with the stage five diesel engine in the Boomer M20, while operators can be trained to control its user-friendly controls through an upcoming simulator that Epiroc is designing.

“We’re expecting a strong response from the global market for this robust drill rig,” Berggren says.

“It is ready for Australian environments and has been designed with Australia in mind.”

The Boomer M20 will go on sale in Australia in the third quarter of 2021, with delivery in the first quarter of 2022.  

This story also appears in the April issue of Australian Mining.

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