April 11, 2013
Atlas Copco’s PowerROC T45 tophammer drill rig, formerly known as ECM 660, is rapidly gaining ground in the Russian construction and mining industries.
In the Chelyabinsk region, about 150 km north of the border with Kazakstan, the PowerROC T45 rig is being used to produce aggregates for road massive construction and maintenance.
Simultaneously, another PowerROC T45 is being used to drill for gold in the Magadan region in the eastern part of Yakutia and Chukot.
For more than 70 years, the state-owned company Chelyabinskavtodor has been managing the task of constructing and maintaining the roads in the Chelyabinsk region which amount to 18 000 km.
The company meets the challenge by working together with several quarries in the area to secure reliable supplies of aggregate stone, and here the PowerROC T45 tophammer drill rig has proved itself to be a major asset.
As the rigs are based on a straightforward design system to provide quarries with trouble-free operation in the quarries, the operators were quick to appreciate the continuous high availability and level of performance.
Drilling 115 mm holes to depths of 10 to 15 m, they report that the PowerROC T45 is substantially faster than the other drill rigs being used, describing it as “a high-performance, mobile and reliable partner.”
Besides improving performance in the quarries, the company says it values the rig for its high mobility and maneuverability as it enables the operators to tram effortlessly and quickly from one bench to another.
This is largely due to the triple grousers on the rig’s crawler tracks giving superior traction and less tramming vibration, in combination with hydraulic track oscillation and two-speed drive.
The PowerROC T45 is also appreciated for this consistent, high performance in the severe conditions of the Russian far east.
After securing private investors in 2011, the Kolymavzryvprom company, a market leader in emulsion explosives and detonators, embarked on an ambitious plan to become the leading drill-and-blast contractor in the Magadan region. To assist in reaching that goal, the company purchased a PowerROC T45 and put it straight to work at the Matrosov gold mine.
It was a tough test of endurance in this permafrost region where the average annual temperature rarely exceeds -15 degrees Celsius, and where the ground is as hard as it is mineral-rich.
Kolymavzryvprom has two PowerROC T45 rigs in operation. Drilling 102, 115, and 127 mm diameter holes in hard-to-very hard rock (12 on the Protodyakonov scale), they achieve an average penetration rate of 0.6 meters per minute.
Aleksey V. Olshevsky, General Director of Kolymavzryvprom OAO NPK, comments: “After using this rig for more than four months, it proved itself to be very good. It is easy to use, has good manuverability and moderate fuel consumption.”
The mine, which has been in operation since June 2012, aims to excavate more than 2.5 million cubic meters of rock annually and to reach full production during 2013. As a result, the fleet has been also expanded with additional Atlas Copco surface drill rigs.
Stanislav Resheten, Business Line Manager for Atlas Copco in Russia, explains: “The PowerROC range has quickly gained popularity among construction companies and drill-and-blast contractors due to their ease of operation and reliability. For this reason these rigs have become a favorite choice.”
Footnote: The name of the rig was changed from ECM 660 to PowerROC T45 in 2010.