Sandvik Leopard DI650i gets RC sampling capability

Swedish technology and global engineering group Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions is adding a new reverse circulation (RC) sampling option to its Leopard DI650i down-the-hole (DTH) drill rig.

The system is integrated into the Leopard DI650i platform

The system is integrated into the Leopard DI650i platform

Sandvik launched the Leopard DI650i drill rig in September 2018. In June this year, Sandvik added fully autonomous capabilities to the drill rig with its iDrill automation platform. The company plans to showcase the Leopard DI650i drill rig along with a range of its equipment at MINExpo 2021 next week.

The company said that the new RC drilling system, which is fully integrated into the Leopard DI650i platform, offers a reliable and accurate method for ore body identification and grade control in open-pit mining by maximising drill rig utilisation and increase productivity.

Sandvik noted that the ability to drill inclined holes with a boom-type drill rig, such as its Leopard DI650i, will provide an easy and accurate ore body identification method while enabling the use of RC face sampling for grade control in open-pit mines.

It has an isolated sample route from the bit face to the cone splitter unit, which is designed to ensure no contamination. Sandvik added that this makes the Leopard DI650i RC drilling system reliable, productive and extremely accurate.

The Leopard DI650i RC drilling system is equipped with a Metzke RC sampling unit that is integrated onto the rig. The drill pipe setup is either 102mm or 114mm RC pipes.

The Leopard DI650i has a MRH6-RC heavy duty rotary head that is designed for compatibility with Metzke RC components. It also has a longer feed beam and robust boom to ensure maximum support for drilling inclined holes with heavy RC tooling. There is also a hose reel to optimise the routing of the sample hose, and a breakout table has been added to enable bigger hole sizes and easier maintenance.

The RC system works with full-cycle one-hole drilling automatics to improve operational efficiency and safety. In addition, Sandvik stated that the iCab cabin provides excellent visibility for RC drilling. It has a horizontal service position, and it is possible to lower the Metzke cone splitter unit, meaning that maintenance can be performed at the ground level.

The Leopard DI650i RC also comes with iBalance and iFold options as a standard, which manage the added weight of the reverse circulation system and increase safety. The iBalance option monitors the carrier and boom angles for safer tramming, while the iFold option automatically folds the feed to tramming position for optimum balance.

The drill rig can also be equipped with the TIM3D drill navigation system and the Driller's Notes measurement-while-drilling (MWD) option, which allows the operator to add the sample bag number with comments at a specific location and depth to a graphical user interface inside the cabin, which can be analysed later at the office.

The RC drilling is not required, the drill rig can be reconfigured quickly to perform the normal DTH drilling production cycle. Sandvik noted that this is a significant benefit that maximises utilisation of the equipment and offers a significantly faster and more cost-effective way to identify orebodies than traditional methods.

In addition, the company said that the Leopard DI650i with the RC drilling system can be easily mobilised to be relocated, making it a "valuable asset" for streamlining mine operations.

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