Kaunis Iron adds to Epiroc rig fleet

Swedish miner Kaunis Iron plans to use SmartROC D65 drill rigs developed by mining equipment manufacturer Epiroc at a new openpit iron ore project in Kaunisvaara.
Kaunis Iron adds to Epiroc rig fleet Kaunis Iron adds to Epiroc rig fleet Kaunis Iron adds to Epiroc rig fleet Kaunis Iron adds to Epiroc rig fleet Kaunis Iron adds to Epiroc rig fleet

Epiroc rigs handle most of Kaunis Iron’s production drilling

Kaunis Iron has added two SmartROC D65 XLFs (extra long feed models) to its current fleet of four SmartROC D65s, according to an Epiroc blog post.

The rigs will be used in a new openpit mine project planned for 2022.

"The SmartROC D65 is well suited for a small openpit mine like Kaunisvaara, where flexibility is important. Before blasting, we have to be able to move the rigs fast, to limit lost production time as much as possible," said Asa Allan, deputy chief executive of Kaunis Iron.

He added the SmartROC D65 XLF uses less diesel than other rigs, and the long feed translates to "significant" time savings.

Foreman Andreas Finnholm said that although 1,500-2 000 meters need to be drilled per day, the reduced need to lengthen drill rods using the XLFs can increase production by "about 25%".

Kaunis Iron last year produced 2 million metric tonnes of iron ore concentrate from 6 million metric tonnes of ore in the two openpit mines in Kaunisvaara, which is located just outside of Pajala in the northernmost region of Sweden.