September 27, 2021
Since 2014, Jared Webb has used Diamec Smart 6 core drills as the backbone of
Webdrill, a thriving underground diamond-drilling business. Starting with just one skid rig, Webb slowly expanded his fleet and now operates another eight mobile Diamec Smart 6 MCR rigs in mines across Australia. Along the way, he worked with Epiroc
to customize the rigs to better suit Webdrill’s needs.
Mining & Construction caught up with Webb to talk about Webdrill’s
experiences with the Diamec Smart 6 MCR, his close working relationship with Epiroc, and what he expects from the MCR’s successor, the brand-new Diamec Smart 6M.
Why did you go for the mobile, MCR, version of the Diamec Smart 6 back in 2014?
“When I started Webdrill, I went to Sweden and had a look at Diamec Smart rigs in action. I was immediately impressed with the automation, the integrated rod handler, and the control panel with its touchscreen. We took a Diamec Smart 6 skid rig with a rod handler to Nicolson’s Gold Mine in Western Australia, and within 12 months we were planning on taking our first MCR. We requested 28 modifications for that rig, which Epiroc helped us with. With rig three, we collaborated on a few more modifications, and from there each successive rig just got better and better.”
Has the rig performed according to your expectations?
“We obviously had a hand in customizing the MCRs we operate, but we wanted the smallest, most powerful underground mobile carrier rig for the Australian market. With our modifications, it delivers outstanding performance for our needs. Together with Epiroc, we made some adjustments to perfect the rig for our needs, such as adding a larger water pump for directional drilling jobs. We’ve got rigs out in the gold sites where we cut in 60 or 70 meter averages which is huge. It can drill fast grade control, and then it can go and sit on a deep directional hole, drill 1 000 meters deep, and put three daughter holes off it, as well. It’s the one rig that can do it all.”
Your relationship with Epiroc feels much more like a partnership than a straight supplier-customer arrangement. Fair comment?
“If Epiroc say they’re going to do something,they do it. Not a lot of companies create that kind of trust, and that comes from working so closely together for over half a decade.”
You’re about to receive your first next-generation Diamec Smart 6M rig. It’s billed as the best of both worlds – a Diamec core drilling rig combined with a robust carrier. What are your expectations?
“It has everything you need. It has the power. It has a 20-year service life. And it has what I think is the best rod handler on the market.”