The Sandvik CMS was initially tested at the Drayton coal mine Australia’s Hunter Valley where it reduced fuel consumption by 33%.
Cloud Peak Energy signed on to be the equipment supplier’s US test mine and subsequent tests in the Powder River Basin were equally reassuring.
Sandvik retrofitted the CMS onto a 14-year old D75KS rotary drill, chosen because it provided a solid reference point for historic fuel consumption.
After analysing the hole size to be drilled, it was estimated that the CMS would save 23% of fuel.
The CMS was put into operation for 30 days, after which its performance was compared with earlier drilling data, revealing the 26.2% fuel savings.
According to Sandvik, that also saves about 300 tonnes of carbon emissions every year, calling the CMS an innovation that will “tackle the two primary issues facing mines today – increasing productivity and reducing environmental impact”
Sandvik said that following the tests, Cloud Peak purchased two Sandvik rigs with CMS installed.
Cloud Peak asset management director Mark Gilbertson said purchasing the CMS was “a classic no-brainer”
“The CMS will save us thousands of gallons of fuel every year,” he said in a statement.
“As part of our environmental stewardship program we work to reduce fuel use and emissions. The Sandvik CMS will help us do both.
“We understood the science so we believed the technology was going to work.”