Our customer - an Alaskan gold mine using a competitor's drifter - wanted to lower consumable cost and improve penetration rates and safety. Joy Global drill experts were brought to the site to investigate potential solutions that would allow the mine to achieve and exceed its targets.

Solution design 

After comprehensive, application-specific investigation and analysis, Joy Global proposed that POGO trial the Montabert HC95 drifter, which was designed for ease of drifter conversion, and to provide the penetration rates improvements and lower consumable costs of legacy Montabert drills. The mine agreed to validate the HC95 in regards to drill times, operating costs, maintenance and safety.

POGO was initially skeptical as they had previously tested competing drifter solutions that required significant time and modifications to install. These modifications also created a nuisance for the operator, as they were visually limiting during the drilling cycle and overall performance was found to be lacking.

The Montabert HC95, by comparison, was easily adaptable to POGO’s existing jumbos and able to be installed in eight hours. Throughout the test period, the jumbo never went down due to drifter-related maintenance issues; they did not need to recharge the accumulator and water seal replacement was minimal.

The operator and maintenance teams on site said they liked that the drifter was easy to install and maintain. The replacement of the shanks was handled by the operator instead of mechanics. There was no daily maintenance required to the drifter. The drifter performed at a high rate and noise levels were noticeably decreased.

Results

The Montabert HC95 conversion met and exceeded the performance benchmarks: improving penetration rates and reducing consumable costs.

  • Penetration rates increased by 33% The competitor’s drifter’s drill time averaged 3:22 per hole and the Montabert HC95 is achieving an average of 2:13 per hole (holes are 14 feet)
  • Consumable cost decrease of 23%
  • Maintenance intervals reduced by 33%
  • Noise levels decreased Improving the safety of the operating conditions and extending the amount of time employees can safely work with the equipment

The experience, knowledge and support provided by Joy Global further established the industry-leading Montabert product line. The HC95 drifter is allowing the mine to meet increased productivity requirements while lowering its costs. The customer is now in the process of converting its jumbo fleet for a total of 13 HC95s, with the potential for more in the future. These conversions will be supported by Joy Global’s worldwide service capabilities and expertise.  

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