The northeastern part of South Korea features beautiful mountains and pristine ocean, and crowds enjoy winter skiing and summer beaches. At the same time, there are many cement quarries and underground mining companies in the area, owing to geological features with limestone deposits. Hanil Cement is one of South Korea’s major cement companies, with the main factory located in Danyang. Near the site, Hanil Cement operates a quarry, and in 2018, to solve drilling challenges, the company decided to invest in the intelligent SmartROC T35 surface drill rig, renowned for its fuel efficiency and high productivity. Sang-Gil Lee, Resource Team Manager, elaborates:
What are the main challenges in the drilling process?
“We quarry limestone, the raw material for cement. Our geological structure stems from the Paleozoic era of more than 250 million years ago. Due to underground cavities and dynamic geological effects, constant and accurate penetration is difficult during the drilling process.”
What were your goals when you purchased your first SmartROC T35 rig?
“By replacing old equipment with a new high technology machine, we wanted to reduce repair costs and improve operation rates. Another benefit was safer and more stable quarrying.”
How has the rig performed?
“The operation rate of SmartROC T35 is the highest in our machine fleet. Also, the drilling quality is superior. We get a suitable size of fragmentation and parallel holes at the correct drilling depth. On top of that, diesel costs have gone down.”
The rig is equipped with HNS (Hole Navigation System). What has that meant for operations?
“In the case of our large-scale blasting site, consistent and precise drilling is needed to produce the optimal fragmentation size. The HNS, along with the Rig Control System, allow us to drill an entire pattern in automatic mode, and make it easy to operate equipment even if we don’t have a skilled operator. In the Rig Control System we can visually see during drilling that the work is being done consistently and correctly.”
For the whole machine fleet, the average number of drill meters per operating hour was 26.2 in September 2020. Comparatively, drill meters per hour for SmartROC T35 was 28.6.
The average diesel consumption per operation hour was 27.9 liters for the whole machine fleet. For the SmartROC T35 rig, the average consumption per hour was 17.4.