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Redpath raisedrill off to Australia

The Redpath Group’s Redbore 100, the world’s most powerful raisedrill, is scheduled to arrive in Perth, Australia in June.The Redbore 100, which completed the fourth largest raise hole ever undertaken at the Westwood Project in Quebec last year, has the capacity to deliver up to 3.5 million pounds of thrust and up to 750,000 foot pounds of rotational torque. In the right conditions, it’s able to drill an eight-metre diameter raise up to a depth of 1,000 metres – more than any other raisedrill on the planet.More than 50 shipping containers were required to transport the rig and its specially designed drill rods.

The Redbore 100 will change the way Australian mines are designed, predicts Allan Brady, Redpath Australia’s general manager of raiseboring.

“Instead of doing a raise in two passes, companies can now pull it in one, minimizing the costs associated with the multiple mobilization and installation that other rigs require,” he said. “This gives mining companies an unprecedented number of options in how they design and structure their mines.”

The Redbore 100’s compact design, standing at just 7.54 metres in height, and its ability to be broken down into smaller components, allows it to be moved underground for additional raises with smaller excavations required.

“We designed the Redbore 100 to make sure that it was not only the most powerful in the world, but one of the simplest to manage and maneuver,” said Brady. “Other raisedrill designs with smaller capacities can be 10.5 metres in height without the ability to come apart easily, so underground drilling requires extensive excavation which is very costly and takes time.

“Its variable speed drive computer-aided drilling system allows each drill rod to be torqued to the correct amount, reducing overtorque to the drill pipe. This can prevent the loss of expensive reaming heads while also allowing the Redbore 100 to run on a third of the power of smaller raisedrills.”

Redpath has already sent several people to North America for training by the Canadian team responsible for operating the rig for the past three years. The team, with a combined total of 100 years drilling experience, will be accompanying the drill to Australia in June.

“We are hitting Australia running with one of the most experienced raise drilling teams ever assembled to ensure that any personnel using this machine are completely briefed and capable of running it safely,” said Brady.

“The Redbore 100 will be one of the first production raisedrills in the world to utilize mounted cameras and diagnostic equipment that continually communicates with headquarters in real time, so any operator working on a remote site in Australia will never be alone,” he added.

The Redbore 100 is Redpath’s seventh Australian-based raisedrill. The company plans to have nine raisedrills in the country by the end of the year as part of its planned expansion into the Australian raiseboring market.

“Our raiseboring division is growing from strength to strength and we have big plans for the future with a number of exciting developments in the coming years,” said Brady. “We are already in discussion with several mining houses about the Redbore 100.”

Redpath, based in North Bay, Ontario, provides contract mining and engineering services to the underground mining, coal and civil sectors.

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