Company officials said the rig replaces outdated equipment at the school's experimental mine. It will now be part of a fleet at the university used to provide first-hand, hands-on experience in surface and underground methods, blasting, ground control, ventilation, pyrotechnic displays and extensive research in air blast and ground vibrations.
The donation was facilitated by Chris Upp, who serves as vice president and general manager for longtime Epiroc customer Conco Companies. Upp is a development board member for the school's mining and explosives engineering disciplines.
"The compact and highly versatile FlexiROC T20 R drill rig is an ideal fit for the experimental mine site, where vertical and horizontal drilling needs vary depending on the surface or underground application," Epiroc noted.
"The consumables utilised with the T20 R differ from those used with the outgoing air track drill, so Epiroc provided some of its rock drilling tool technology to get the university off to a productive start with the new rig."
A technician from Roland Machinery visited the experimental mine to make sure the FlexiROC T20 R start-up and training went smoothly. Going forward, it will provide any needed parts and technical support.
Missouri S&T associate professor and experimental mine director Kyle Perry said the need to update the university's drilling equipment was dire, and gives students now a chance to train and learn from a machine currently used in the industry.
"The FlexiROC T20 R drill rig will make a night-and-day difference compared to what we have been using. The equipment, training, and support we have received is well beyond expectations, and we are truly grateful for everyone's generosity and support of our programme."
Missouri S&T, one of about a dozen US universities offering a programme in mining engineering, has been nationally recognised for its experimental mining operation.