As the mining industry continues to focus on automation and IoT in its ongoing pursuit of optimized productivity and better safety, drilling contractor JSW Australia has been quietly building on its capabilities in the drilling technology space.
With a goal to make the very latest technological advancements available to clients, JSW has been steadily upgrading its fleet with fully customized solutions and automation.
Behind this enhanced capability is its strategic partnership with sister company and technology innovator IDAT (Intelligent Drilling Applications & Technology). Through strategic alliances with large German manufacturers Bauer and BBURG, IDAT has been working to solve problems faced by Australian miners when drilling in the challenging local conditions.
IDAT’s solutions bring together the latest advances in automation, IoT and engineering to develop fully customized, intelligent and high-performance rigs, designed specifically for the local terrains and operating environments. JSW CEO Warren Fair, says:
“The technology partnership between IDAT and JSW is part of our overarching goal to bring cutting edge, customized and superior drilling solutions to Australian mines to support their objectives to improve productivity. Through IDAT, we can provide a customer-driven approach, tailoring rigs to specific applications.”
Technology partnership proving productive at Solomon
One of JSW’s most recent applications of IDAT technology is its new HD2500RC drill rig, developed by BBURG and customized in conjunction with IDAT, which is currently operating at Fortescue Metals Group’s Solomon mine in the Pilbara.
The rig underwent site commissioning in July and its initial production performance to date has been impressive.
The high-powered, small footprint HD2500RC was designed especially for the challenging terrain at Solomon where the preparation of drill pads is difficult and expensive. Fair says:
“With JSW’s years of experience onsite and first-hand knowledge of the challenges, along with IDAT’s technology expertise and BBURG’s engineering capability, we had a powerful collaboration for the development of the new rig.”
The HD2500RC has the following key features:
• Low footprint with a width of 3.5m
• High power with the capacity to push 32.3cu.m/min of air at 500 psi down the hole
• Rod handler to increase productivity and improve safety
• 330m of rod capacity on board
• Full wireless remote control
Fair said overall the rig was proving to be more productive, safer and quieter than the existing technology on site.
The HD2500RC joins other new technologies in JSW’s fleet including the Equus green drills developed specifically for bauxite mines, and new drilling technology for magnetite mines being developed by IDAT in partnership with Bauer. Fair says:
“IDAT brings the technology, JSW brings the operational know-how. So far, it’s proving to be a winning formula.”