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A look at some of the latest news, technologies and services from the great mining suppliers of the Nordic region. While maintaining their markets worldwide, some of the region’s technology leaders are increasing their presence in the BRIC countries

ince this focus last year, mining and processing suppliers the world over have gone through the wringer. Thousands of jobs have been shed from some of the major players and hopefully they have come through stronger and better. Going forward, the recovery in mining appears to have come sooner than many feared. Commodity demand growth has already started and should really resume in 2010, and the commodity price outlook appears favourable for investment. Looking forward to 2012 when we could be back to a boom scenario, there will have been under investment in mine capacity in 2009 and 2010. In both underground and surface mines the average fleet age remains high. In fact, the equipment replacement cycle was not completed during the last upturn at many mines. As IM has already stated, the next upturn (boom) will most likely see even worse equipment and skill shortages than were seen in 2007/2008. S

Atlas Copco Secoroc says its all-new Secoroc TRB drill bit range is “the latest in soft rock drilling. Aimed at production drillers, this unique drill bit offers a greater penetration rate than any other bit - a penetration rate that is also sustainable throughout the bit’s service life.”

The new bit design has full-ballistic buttons and deep vertical grooves. This involved digitally simulating the air flow through the bit and

thereby being able to fine-tune the design. This generates rock chips rather than cuttings and allows more space between the rock face and the bit head. There is now ample space for the large rock chips to be cut and easily flushed out. Secoroc TRB bits are available in three diameters: 76 and 89 mm with T38 and T45 threads; and 102 mm with T38, T45 and T51 threads.

Also, Atlas Copco has introduced a completely new hydraulic rock drill - the COP 3060MUX - for use in underground long holes. “Our top priority when developing the COP 3060MUX was to optimise hydraulic efficiency”, says Fredrik Öberg, Product Portfolio Manager at Atlas Copco. “In this rock drill, we utilise the installed power that is fed to the drill in such a way that has never before been possible.”

The region's equipment goes far and wide. This issue also includes an article on KGHM in Poland where this low-profile Sandvik bolting machine is in operation at the Polkowice-Sieroszowice mine

Thanks to a new manufacturing technique, Atlas Copco designers have been able to minimise losses in the hydraulic flow by optimising the design of the channels and spool valve. This results in very high efficiency. “We don’t know of any other manufacturer on the market that has managed to reach this high efficiency in a rock drill,” says Öberg.

With the COP 3060MUX, Atlas Copco has also increased the service interval to 600 percussion hours, while still maintaining drilling at high power. The key to this is the design of the hydraulic system, which prolongs the service life of the internal seals.

In addition, all wear parts have been optimised for longer service life. For example, the splines of the driver and shank adapter have been given a new shape which significantly reduces wear on the driver – thus saving costs.

Devico reports exciting times: “The number of directional core drilling projects has reached

new heights as geologists aim to reduce drilling costs by controlling borehole deviation and reducing the number of drill metres in their exploration programs. With an increased number of service providers and

30 International Mining NOVEMBER 2009

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