FLANDERS to automate drills at Anglo’s Mogalakwena mine

FLANDERS has signed a deal with Anglo American to incorporate its innovative, fully autonomous drill system (ADS) on all new, and existing drills at Anglo’s Mogalakwena mine, in South Africa.

The deal involves FLANDERS converting diesel and electric drills to autonomous operations and providing ongoing service support.

The rollout will utilize the expertise of FLANDERS’ personnel in South Africa, the USA, and Western Australia; the Centre of Excellence for ADS.

“We are pleased to be working with Anglo American,” said the VP of International Operations for FLANDERS, Willie Van Ryneveld.

“We’re committed to enabling Anglo to be a autonomous drill world leader, allowing standardization of equipment for greater safety and productivity through autonomous drill control.”

He said FLANDERS’ ARDVARC® autonomous drill control system improves drill productivity by up to 30 percent and provides a safer working environment for site personnel who operate in hazardous conditions.

The introduction of autonomous technology adds siginifcant environmental gains for diesel machines, reducing fuel consumption and CO2 by up to 7.3% in comparison to a manned operation.

With its autonomous operating technology, FLANDERS helps its customers pro-actively optimize drilling and increasing plant availability.

“Our clients have successfully drilled millions of holes for operations worldwide,” Mr. Van Ryneveld said.

“Using ARDVARC®, Anglo’s operators will be able to control the autonomous drills from a remote, safe location.

Global leaders

FLANDERS is a global leader in ADS and operates from 15+ strategically located facilities around the world. No matter where our client’s operations are, a local expert is never far away to assist and support ARDVARC®.

“One of the many benefits of ARDVARC® is that it is OEM agnostic, which means the technology provides the latest features and functionality to all makes and models of drills and converting an OEM machine to an advanced autonomous system,” Mr. Van Ryneveld said.

“We transform a client’s mixed fleet of manually operated drills ,to a state-of-the-art synchronized, remotely operated fleet, providing greater drill accuracy and the ability for one person to control up to eight drills.”

Mr. Van Ryneveld said, another benefit of ARDVARC® is that it allows mining operations to standardize drill fleets globally.

“[This deal will] allow Anglo American to tap into the global FLANDERS network and its advanced engineering expertise, design, custom manufacturing, tooling, automation, and service capabilities,” he said.

Anglo American is a major producer of iron ore, diamonds, copper, nickel, and coal. Contributing around 40% of the world’s output, Anglo is the world’s largest producer of platinum.

Premium ore

Mogalakwena mine, in South Africa, is the largest open-pit platinum mine in the world. Implementation of the ARDVARC® ADS started in 2022 at FLANDERS’s state of the art workshop in Middelburg Mpumalanga. The inital four brand new Epiroc 271 drills, destined for Anglo’s Mogalakwena mine will be completed over the next 5 months. Completion of the of full drill automation project is due by the end of 2024.