THE MAGDALENA MINE, which opened in 2014, is located in the Iberian Pyrite Belt in the municipality of Almonaster la Real. It is considered the largest mine in Spain and to have one of the highest concentrations of sulfides in the world. Insersa, the main contractor, has been carrying out exploration work with Epiroc equipment since the mine opened.
Underground exploration work is done via two access ramps through primary and secondary chambers. The accesses and the characteristics of the terrain pose challenges for the team. “It is difficult to tram and position safely at the desired pace. Therefore, Insersa needed to find a solution that make it possible to be faster and more agile without compromising security and efficiency,” says Eva Hernandez, Business Line Manager Surface, Epiroc Iberia, adding: “Thanks to Epiroc’s longstanding relationship with Insersa, we wanted to find a way forward together.”
E PIROC SUGGESTED Diamec Smart 6M, a strong mobile version of the successful Diamec rig. The solution fits well with Insersa’s innovative vision. “I would say this model meets the customer’s requirements. They had also heard about the positive results of the Diamec Smart 6M rig in Australia and realized that the investment would be worthwhile. Insersa is the first companyin Europe to work with this model and the first to receive a CE-certified model,” says Hernandez.
THE MOBILITY OF THE RIG and the fast setup were key selling points for Insersa with Diamec Smart 6M. The classic skid-mounted Diamec rigs already feature an advanced design, but Diamec Smart 6M further enhances this by complementing the design with significant advances in mobility. The rig is based with the popular Boomer S2 carrier, which has well-proven efficiency. The time lost between holes is reduced thanks to fast and safe positioning. “Safety always comes first in mining operations, but it’s clear that the work can be a lot more efficient with an automatic drilling process, and the rig makes the process of positioning much faster. Improved efficiency also saves money,” explains Hernandez.
Diamec Smart 6M is equipped with the advanced Rig Control System, enabling automation. Drilling parameters are set and monitored from the touch screen on the control panel. Automated features, such as AutoDrill, can drastically improve bit life compared to manual drilling.
T HE KICK-OFF FOR the equipment at the Magdalena Mine was held in March 2021 for the large team of professionals and technical staff from both Insersa and Epiroc whose attention to detail ensured that the project progressed flawlessly. The exploration team has been operating its new rig for about two years, and team members are very satisfied with the results. Insersa has not only the high efficiency of a Diamec core drill, but also the mobility and stability of a carrier designed for underground use.
Thanks to Diamec Smart 6M, Insersa has made the work safer, faster, and more cost-effective. The rig also enhances this flexible design by adding mobility. It is a lot easier to position – even at the most difficult of angles. The articulated carrier allows it to bend around difficult contours whilst the highly maneuverable boom allows the drill to be positioned in exactly the desired location. “Insersa could quickly confirm that the exploration work is now faster, safer, and more profitable. Productivity has increased significantly. For us, it feels great that all expectations have been met and even exceeded. We look forward to continuing our cooperation,” says Hernandez.