At Aitik, a copper mine located one hour north of the Arctic Circle, deposits of copper ore, which contain copper, gold, and silver, are mined 24 hours a day. It is one of the biggest open pit copper mines in Europe. Since February 2020,
Norrbottens Bergteknik has been carrying out “contour drilling”, otherwise known as line drilling, on every level on behalf of mine owner Boliden. Before this assignment got underway, the company invested in four SmartROC D65 rigs of the latest generation from Epiroc. Kenneth Lindberg, Project Manager at Norrbottens Bergteknik, picks up the story.
Why did you decide to buy these new rigs?
“Because they have extra long feeds. The feed is so long that it can handle an eight-meter long drill rod, so despite the fact that the blasting depth is between 15 and 15.5 meters, only one threading is required. Otherwise, two rod changes would be necessary. This saves a lot of time. In addition, because so many mining companies in the region have chosen to invest in SmartROC D65 rigs, there is good access to servicing and spare parts."