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Sandvik longhole drill makes Australian debut at IGO’s Nova Operation

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Global Mining Review,

IGO’s Nova Operation in Western Australia has become the first Australian mine to commission a Sandvik DL422iE battery-electric longhole drill, as part of its commitment to cleaner, safer mining.

Sandvik longhole drill makes Australian debut at IGO’s Nova Operation

Leading contract miner Barminco provides development and production mining services to IGO at the nickel-copper-cobalt mine, which is located about 360 km south-east of Kalgoorlie and produced 26 675 t of nickel, 11 483 t of copper, and 982 t of cobalt in FY2022. Both companies have been trailblazers in terms of trialling electrified mining technologies and, like Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, are a part of the Electric Mine Consortium.

Barminco purchased the Sandvik DL422iE, which was commissioned and put to work in July.

“Accelerating decarbonisation is one of our sustainability priorities and there are clear benefits to using battery-electric vehicles in the underground environment,” said Darren Kwok, Head of Mining Electrification and Technology at Barminco. “Reducing or eliminating diesel emissions improves working conditions for our people and also has the potential to improve efficiency and profitability. We’re very excited to see the benefits that this new Sandvik rig can provide.”

The Sandvik DL422iE is a fully automated, battery-powered top hammer longhole drill designed for underground mass mining in 4-by-4 m or larger production drifts. It can drill vertical and inclined fans and single or parallel Ø89-127 mm longholes up to 54 m in depth using ST58 and ST68 tube rods. The drill’s electric driveline includes a battery package and electric motor, which allow for zero emissions while tramming, as well as reduced thermal load. Sandvik DL422iE also features Sandvik’s patented Charging While Drilling technology for reduced battery charging time without the need for additional infrastructure.

“At IGO, we believe in a clean energy future, and that extends to our underground mining operations where the electrification of our fleets will create a safer, greener and more productive operation,” said Chris Carr, Head of Technical Services and Acting General Manager Nova at IGO. “The arrival of the new Sandvik drill is an important step towards our commitment to be net zero across our direct operations and projects by 2035, if not sooner.”

Sandvik DL422iE is part of the Sandvik 400iE series of drill rigs that together provide a battery-electric solution to just about every underground drilling challenge. Sandvik DD422iE jumbo was launched in 2016 and has since logged more than 4 million m of drilled holes and over 18 000 km of zero-emissions tramming. Sandvik DS412iE rock bolter, launched in 2021, is rapidly transforming mines across the world.

Both IGO and Barminco are excited by the prospect of increased electrification of mining equipment.

“Electrification/decarbonisation is a key priority for Barminco and one of the most important trends in the sector at the moment, alongside automation,” Kwok said. “For this reason, we’re delighted to have Sandvik as a technology partner who is providing industry-leading solutions to the challenges we face.”

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