OceanaGold’s Haile drill and blast team gets remote tech
The drill and blast team at the Haile Gold Mine is set to use innovative remote technology to aid its blast hole drilling techniques.
The Haile Gold Mine, which is owned by OceanaGold, is set to be the first in the United States to utilise Epiroc’s new remote control drilling technology, known as BenchREMOTE.
Being based in South Carolina, which is subject to extreme weather conditions including heat wind and rain, Haile workers can be exposed to very harsh conditions at times.
Epiroc’s technology is set to provide operators with numerous benefits. It will enhance health & safety as it will require operators to work from safer distances in a better environment, it also has the ability to handle three rigs in parallel. The technology also allows the operator station to be placed up to 100 metres away from the drills.
New drills have also been purchased by Haile, including two Epiroc D65 drills, BD7 and BD8, in 2019, which are all fully compatible with the firm’s technology.
Aaron Kash, Haile Drill and Blast General Supervisor, said: “When we bought the equipment from Epiroc, I reached out to our local ATC trailer dealer and had them bring up the specs of a similar trailer, we made a few changes – making it a little longer, equipping it with a bigger A/C unit to withstand the heat, and upgraded the generator”, he explained.
Although health and safety, and improved working conditions are the main obvious benefits of the technology, Epiroc’s BenchREMOTE is also set to boost productivity within the Haile Gold Mine, as one driller is now able to operate a total of three machines simultaneously.
Kash went on to say: “With the development of the new Haile Pit, we are encountering historic workings. We may want to drill into an area with little cover to see what’s there, but we don’t want to risk putting somebody physically in the drill”.