FLANDERS was tasked with fully automating a rotary drill to be controlled from a remote command center at the mine. The project was a three-way collaboration involving FLANDERS, AngloGold Ashanti, and the drill owner/contractor, Macmahon. The conversion had to ensure that the drill could effectively operate in broken ground, hard rock, and groundwater; and the hole collaring had to meet the mine standard, without the need for re-drills. FLANDERS achieved a full conversion and in the first month, the auto-drilling control achieved an instantaneous penetration rate 8% higher than manual drilling.
Achieved full conversion from design to installation and commissioning of drill and remote operation center in eight weeks
FLANDERS Product Support Specialists onsite and after-hours remote support for the duration of the trial at 100% availability
Auto drilling instantaneous penetration rate is 8% higher than manual drilling
With the open-cut gold mine in remote Western Australia, the challenge for FLANDERS was to fully automate the latest CAT MD6250 rotary drill and control it from a remote command center at the mine.
The conversion had to ensure that the drill could effectively operate in broken ground, hard rock, and groundwater; and the hole collaring had to meet the mine standard, without the need for re-drills.
Macmahon also expected an instantaneous penetration rate equal to or above that of the manned rigs at the site in similar ground conditions. The project involved a drill relatively new to the market, with down-the-hole hammer mode and multi-pass rod changes being key features of the delivery.
Tropicana is located 330 kilometers east-northeast of Kalgoorlie and produced 512,000oz in 2019. In partnership with AngloGold Ashanti and Macmahon, FLANDERS was able to utilize its proven ARDVARC® drill control system quickly and effectively to fully integrate it with the CAT MD6250. The solution also involved the integration of the drill with the site’s LTE mobile communication network.
FLANDERS achieved a full conversion — from design to installation and commissioning of the drill and the remote command center — in only eight weeks. The FLANDERS team worked with the contractor to ensure that the drill operated effectively in broken ground, hard rock, and groundwater; and the hole collaring had to meet the mine standard, without the need for re-drills.
As part of the service, FLANDERS product support specialists were onsite 100% of the time and were able to offer continual feedback to the development team, as well as provide after-hours remote support for the duration of the trial. All up, five drills were set to be converted by mid-August 2020 — taking a total of only 10 months from start to finish.
One of the reasons contractors seek us out is that FLANDERS can provide an agnostic solution for drill automation and we can customize our systems to suit the contractor’s needs.” -Josh Goodwin, Director of Autonomous Center of Excellence, FLANDERS
- Over a one-month period, the FLANDERS One Touch auto drilling control achieved an instantaneous penetration rate 8% higher than manual drilling.
- On top of that was the obvious benefit of relocating operators away from harsh and potentially unsafe environments and having them remotely operate the drills.
- The Tropicana project was initiated by AngloGold Ashanti and the successful installation is a testament to the benefits of a working partnership based on continuous improvement.
- It involved a staged approach that suited the contractor’s business model and delivers value quickly to clients.
To learn more about FLANDERS controls and automation, click here.