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Epiroc donates drill rig to Missouri Science and Technology experimental mine

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Global Mining Review,

Epiroc has donated a FlexiROC T20 R drill rig and consumables to the mining engineering programme at Missouri University of Science and Technology (S&T) in Rolla, Missouri.

The FlexiROC T20 R replaces outdated equipment at the school’s nationally recognised Experimental Mine, where students gain valuable hands-on experience with real equipment and mining practices.

The Missouri S&T mining engineering programme provides a broad engineering education with strong expertise in mining engineering and a cultural foundation for the mining industry. At the experimental mine facility, students get first-hand experience in surface and underground methods, blasting, ground control, ventilation, pyrotechnic displays, and extensive research in air blast and ground vibrations. Home to a popular summer explosives camp for high school students, the mine has topped a popular science magazine list of ‘Awesome College Labs’ multiple times.

The drill rig has joined the fleet of equipment used for practical hands-on experience at the experimental mine. The donation was facilitated by Chris Upp, Vice President and General Manager at Epiroc customer Conco Co. and a member of the development board for the Missouri S&T mining and explosives engineering programmes.

The university recently approached Upp, an alumnus of Missouri S&T, about the need to upgrade the old air track drill at the experimental mine. Upp relayed the need to Jerry Enyeart, Epiroc Midwest region district manager. Epiroc was able to help, delivering the T20 R and consumables in April 2019 with the assistance of supporting Epiroc dealer Roland Machinery.

“Epiroc is thrilled to support the next generation of mining engineers at Missouri S&T,” Enyeart said. “It’s an honour to provide such a respected institution with drilling technology that will give students real-world application experience for the future.”

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. 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.

Roland Machinery, a heavy equipment dealer with 17 locations across Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan, sent a technician to the experimental mine to ensure that the drill rig startup and training went smoothly. Moving forward, the dealer will provide the university with parts and technical support for the drill.

“There was a dire need to update our drilling equipment so we could train our mining and explosives engineering students on a machine used in the industry today,” said Kyle Perry, associate professor of explosives engineering at Missouri S&T and director of the experimental mine. “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.”

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