New drills for Queensland dam project

Queensland blasting contractor Donnelly Blasting Services has recently switched to Sandvik drill rigs for the extraction of around five million tonnes of rock for the construction of Stage 3 of the Hinze Dam project, on Queensland?s Gold Coast.

Donnelly Blasting Services is responsible for drilling and blasting works in a quarry adjacent to the dam project, before it is excavated and trucked to the dam site.

After many years of operating another brand of blast hole drills, company owner Jason Donnelly has in the last six months purchased DP1100 drill rigs and a DX800 rig to work on the quarry site.

Mr Donnelly is a no-nonsense operator and does the job to the best of his and his team?s abilities. He did not seriously consider a switch until late in 2007.

?Up until the start of this year, I?d been operating another brand of drill rigs and hadn?t really given much thought to other makes on the market,? he said. ?I?d come to know the pros and cons of the equipment we were operating and the levels of service and support we were receiving.

?Then someone suggested I look at Sandvik?s drill rigs. We bought our first DP1100 in January, a second mid-year and the DX800 recently. We evaluated each machine before we purchased them and the performance of the equipment and the price were the deciding factors,? said Mr Donnelly.

He said availability was also a factor in the sale, as Sandvik had the machines in stock, and he was impressed with Sandvik?s back up and support mechanisms. ?We have to drill and blast two million cubic metres of rock on this project so the performance of the rigs is critical,? Mr Donnelly explained.  ?There were some initial teething issues which Sandvik was quick to address, so I?ve been really pleased with the way things have gone.?

Mr Donnelly said the new drill rigs were also popular with his operators. ?The operators really enjoy the equipment and since we introduced the rigs to this job we?ve pretty much had zero sick days. They can be long days in the rigs – up to 11 hours a day, Monday to Friday – so operator comfort is a key issue,? he said.

Donnelly Blasting Services operates three surface drill rigs on the Hinze Dam Stage 3 project.

The DX800, fitted with a HL800T hydraulic top hammer rock drill, can drill vertical, inclined or horizontal holes, with diameters of 64-127 mm.

Both the rock drill and articulated boom are mounted on a rotating superstructure, giving a drilling coverage of 17.6 m2 (which can be extended to 26.4 m2) – giving increased productivity and versatility in tight or poor underfoot conditions.

The larger DP1100 drills 89-140 mm vertical, inclined or horizontal holes using 51 mm and 60 mm extension rods, or 102-140 mm holes with 76 mm and 87 mm rods.

In difficult ground conditions, Rock Pilot tube drilling, where a 76 mm or 87 mm special tube replaces the first rod, gives significantly improved results.

This rig is equipped with Sandvik?s HL 1010 hydraulic top hammer rock drill, featuring high rotation torque, proper flushing and the Rock Pilot control system, allowing the rig to handle a wide range of rock conditions. A telescopic boom allows fast hole spotting and set up of the feed.

Both rigs have large, roomy, full-vision ergonomically designed cabins with low-effort joystick controls to increase operator comfort and efficiency – and which exceed all safety and environmental standards for an operator-working environment.

These cabs are fully ROPS and FOPS certified, with laminated safety glass and noise levels of less than 80 dBA.

Optimum visibility to the drilling spot is achieved by locating all controls on the seat armrests and side panels of the cabin.

Source: Spitfire Communications/Sandvik Mining and Construction

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