“These Epiroc rigs are very easy to operate and ergonomically friendly,” Saxby says. “All the controls are right at your fingertips … The [noise-silenced] T45 is a great rig. It hits hard and punches a hole down fast.”
Roc-drill plans to eventually have 11 noise reduction kit-equipped drills on site, which Deveth reckons will be the largest fleet of silenced drills in the world.
“To work with a fleet of silenced rigs, it’s been challenging,” says Roc-Drill Project Manager Corey Poulson. “There’s a lot of external parts. But they’ve run well, availability’s been great, and with the support we get through Epiroc, we’ve been able to keep the rigs running a good 90+ percent of the time.”
But Ravenswood Gold and its contractors’ care for the surrounding town doesn’t begin and end with hitting a bunch of environmental KPIs.
“That’s really important, but then there’s the engagement with the community,” says Ravenswood Gold Mining Manager David Plowman. “We’re guests here. Roc-Drill has been really good in that regard, helping us raise funds for the school raffle, along with other projects.”
It makes sense. Deveth’s personal history with Ravenswood dates back to 1983, when his father was a manager for North Queensland Gold, which mined mullock heaps left over from an earlier era of underground prospecting. Winning the contract to blast drill in Buck Reef West was a case of coming full circle.
“Community, for us, is very important,” Deveth says. “It’s about giving jobs to local people or helping them up-skill, and there’s a lot of school engagement. We have a box at the rugby stadium and raffle tickets … If you’re going to be in this community, you need to give back to this community. It’s just the socially right thing to do.”
“Companies like Roc-Drill are willing to support the community and the school, whether that’s with raffles, or building billykarts for a recent billykart derby,” says Parents and Citizens member Bianca Byers, a longtime Ravenswood local. “You’re never short on support and helpers. That could be everything from helping with weed management through to coming along to our events.”
“We can be that central point that connects off to, say, the community garden organization or the historical society, so it’s really exciting when Roc-Drill and other companies want to get onboard and strengthen that community.”