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Boomer S2 transforming operations at Sanshandao gold mine

March 13, 2024

The Sanshandao gold mine aims to achieve fully digital operations. Thanks to the Epiroc Boomer S2, the mine has transformed its operations, setting a new drilling record in China.

The Sanshandao gold mine, affiliated with the Shandong Gold Group, is one of the top ten mines with the best economic profits in China. It is the underground gold mine with the highest level of mechanization and overall equipment in China. Due to its geographical location near Bohai Bay, the underground construction faces adverse conditions such as strong corrosion, high humidity, and high temperatures. Therefore, equipment reliability, safety, intelligence, and efficiency are very important. Only equipment that can withstand the working conditions test is approved.


Since the introduction of its first equipment in 1985, and thanks to this equipment’s reliable performance and intelligent innovative technology, Epiroc has become the main supplier of the Sanshandao mine. Here, a number of large-scale intelligent pieces of equipment, including 4-ton capacity underground loaders, Minetruck MT2200 haulers and Boomer S2 two-boom face drill rigs, are hard at work to expedite the building of an intelligent and eco-friendly mine.


In October 2020, as part of its efforts to create an internationally leading intelligent mine, the Sanshandao gold mine successfully introduced its first domestic Boomer S2 automation-ready face drill rig with two booms from Epiroc. It also assembled a deep intelligent mining team, which consisted of technical backbone and specialists from the Shandong Gold Group’s mining department. The miners on the specialist mining team fully utilized the equipment’s advantages of digital transmission, precise positioning, fast drilling speed, and long drill rods. In July 2021, through continuous optimization of drift profiles, hole layout, explosive structure, and blasting sequence, they successfully broke through a 4.5x4.25meter section and achieved a single blast footage of four meters, setting a new record of a single footage of 4.5 meters. 

“Before using the Epiroc’s automation-ready Boomer S2 with two booms, we used a single-boom drill rig with a traditional hydraulic control system. The operation involved manually painting hole positions on the blasting face, which had low efficiency, poor drilling accuracy, short blasting footage, uneven blasting block size, excessive over-excavation, and uneven roof and wall surfaces, greatly affecting the overall mining progress,” said Director Weihua Xu when discussing the challenges faced in mine tunnel development. “In October 2020, with the introduction of the first Boomer S2 in China, we broke the record of a single blasting footage, 4 meters, which not only significantly improved construction efficiency but also opened up new exploration and improvement in underground mining automation, digitalization, and intelligence,” said Xu.


Wei Li, an operator on the specialized team, is conducting rock drilling operations at a working face 960 meters underground. Sitting in a fully enclosed cabin with ROPs and FOPs, he only needs to gently push the control lever and the Boomer S2 will accurately position itself according to the design and start drilling. “Its automation capabilities are very powerful, with precise positioning, long drilling rods, and fast drilling speed. Moreover, the driving experience is more comfortable, and the fault self-diagnosis and intelligent operation assistance functions make our work easier,” said Li. He continues: “There is often a need to move underground, and the Boomer S2 is smaller in size, making it more convenient for transportation compared to other equipment of the same caliber. It also has automatic lubrication and fire extinguishing systems on its carrier, as well as multiple safety functions...greatly improving the safety of our work. It can be our comrade-in-arms, and we are all excited about it.”


Drifts constructed using the Epiroc Boomer S2 have better shaping, greatly reducing loose rock on the working face, reducing the labor intensity of workers for inspection and prying, and further improving the safety level of the working environment. 

The harsh underground construction conditions – high temperature, high humidity, and high corrosion – lead to high drilling tool consumption and equipment maintenance costs. Epiroc’s extensive service effectively addresses concerns at the Sanshandao gold mine, alleviating worries for the mine operators. “Epiroc’s service is very comprehensive. In our mine, resident service engineers are always on standby, providing support services at any time, ensuring the efficient operation of the equipment,” said Xu.


The Epiroc Boomer S2 boasts innovative, automated, and digitalized functions. Not only does it greatly elevate the mine equipment standard, but it is also a huge boost to the goal of transforming Sanshandao into a genuinely intelligent mine. Now, by continuously seeking new breakthroughs in reducing explosives consumption and optimizing smooth blasting, the mine is pushing the limits and contributing to the high-quality development of Shandong Gold Group.


Over a hundred units of equipment are in service at the Sanshandao gold mine, such as rock drills, loaders, and mine trucks. Each Epiroc machine or piece of equipment contributes outstanding strength to the efficient construction and safe mining of the intelligent mine, injecting considerable impetus into the high-quality development of sustainable mining.


Epiroc is continuing its collaboration with the Sanshandao gold mine by gradually integrating new technological applications offered by 5G, the Internet of Things, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence into traditional mining to help Shandong Gold Group successfully build an internationally first-class model mine.

RCS 5 Epiroc Rig Control System, ABC Total Comprehensive Boom Control System.

Rig Remote Access (RRA), Measure While Drilling (MWD) and Underground Manager.

Leading performance:
Equipped with Epiroc’s latest advanced COP MD20 rock drill, which has a maintenance cycle of up to 1 000 impact hours, a drilling speed 15% faster than products in its class, smaller vibrations, and a 30% reduction in drilling tool consumption.

International 2024 Boomer S2 Customer story