Redpath brings smallest raise drill to Australia

MINING contractor Redpath has developed a light and compact raise drill it claims is the smallest in Australia, which has new features to improve safety while working faster in confined underground conditions.
Redpath brings smallest raise drill to Australia Redpath brings smallest raise drill to Australia Redpath brings smallest raise drill to Australia Redpath brings smallest raise drill to Australia Redpath brings smallest raise drill to Australia

Redpath's Redbore 30

Lou Caruana

The Redbore 30 is the seventh drill in the Redpath fleet, with its tiny size designed to fill a gap in the box hole drilling market.

The drill is much lighter and easier to move between sites using an integrated tool carrier, Redpath raisebore general manager Allan Brady says.

“This is a raisebore built by raiseborers with more than fifty years experience and we are confident it will be extremely popular with both new and existing clients for its ability to increase productivity and lower the operating cost for the client,” Brady said.

“Raise drilling is the fastest and safest method of developing raises, provided you have the infrastructure and power in place and at Redpath we are committed to consistently improving our raise drills to make them safer and more productive at every opportunity.”

While the size of the Redbore 30 contributes to greatly improved set-up times, another innovation is the new base called the “Octopus”

According to Brady the Octopus saves on time and set-up costs by allowing the drill to be locked into the side walls and removing the usual need to first pour a concrete slab for the drill to sit on.

Mainly designed in Australia in conjunction with Redpath’s Canadian raisebore design engineers, the Redbore 30 has been developed specifically for block-cave operations but can be used on any box holes.

It measures just 3.9m in height, is 1.4m wide and has a total weight of only 4.1 tonnes for the actual rig, while the drill’s hydraulic motor produces 133 kilonewtons of force for pilothole drilling and 444kN for reaming.

The Redbore 30 was designed after a group of drillers and mine owners put forward their “wish list” of features for the ideal raise drill, which also included being able to operate the drill remotely while keeping a safe distance away during use.

Another additional safety feature of the Redbore 30 is the scissor-styled deflector plate which is stronger and can take more weight, increasing safety for the drill operator by providing greater protection from falling rubble.

It also folds flat when not in use so it is easy to transport.

The drill can create raises up to 20m in length to a diameter of 1.06m, with a back height of less than 4.5m, making it an excellent choice in tight conditions.

“Previously when the dimensions of a drive became too small for a drill to enter, the operator would have to resort to handheld rise mining, which can be quite risky, or simply enlarge the space at a greater financial cost,” Brady said.

“Now our clients can design smaller drives which can be easily accessed by the Redbore 30 because of its compact size and ease of transport on an integrated tool carrier, saving money and removing the need to get more personnel involved.”

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