Trendsetters in the Australian wilderness

December 9, 2019

In remote Western Australia, trendsetters Ozland Drilling and Blasting Services are taking an innovative approach to drilling and mining. When the company begin using Epiroc's updated SmartROC D65 drill in late 2019, this forward-looking team will take the next step in the evolution to automation.

Since their founding in 2010, Ozland has been involved in a wide variety of mining and civil construction projects across Western Australia. Ozland offers customers a full suite of modern drilling and blasting services, and one tool that's at nearly every job site is Epiroc’s SmartROC D65.

"We've been using the SmartROC D65 since 2010 and now have around 18 units in the field," shares Greg Morris, Director at Ozland. "Whether it be gold, lithium or iron ore, the SmartROC D65 is versatile enough to work at any mine in Australia."


Flexible in terms of both form and function, the compact SmartROC D65 rig can work in tight areas where larger machines won't fit, and once onsite, it is ready to handle a variety of jobs. In addition to down-the-hole drilling, Ozland use the SmartROC D65 for reverse circulation and depressurization drilling.

It isn't just smart, high-performance machines that have made Ozland fans of Epiroc. The sales and service teams that stand behind Epiroc products also play an important role.

"Epiroc is well established in Western Australia," says Greg Morris. "Having the agent nearby with parts and backup is critical for our uptime. With offices in the Pilbara and Goldfields region, Epiroc provides us with personalized service that other vendors can't match."

Having found so much success with the SmartROC D65 over the years, Greg and the Ozland team are looking forward to working with the new updated model, which comes with increased tele-remote control and automated functionality.

"Epiroc listens to their client base. The new SmartROC D65 gives operators like us the ability to improve both safety and production, which ultimately gives us a competitive edge."

Greg Morris, Director at Ozland Drilling and Blasting Services

Semi-autonomous and remote-control drilling equipment provides solutions

to many of the challenges one finds in the inhospitable conditions where mines and construction projects are often located. In Western Australia, one such challenge is the electrical storms which occur like clockwork nearly every afternoon towards the end of the year.

 

During the rainy season, the risk of lightning strikes has traditionally caused a lot of stoppages for Ozland. With remotely operated drills, work can continue through the storm, with operators controlling up to three SmartROC D65 drills at once, all from a safe, remote control centre.

For Ozland, increased automation doesn't mean shedding employees. By using innovative techniques, the company hopes to expand their client base and continue to provide plenty of work for current personnel.

As one of the first companies to run semi-autonomous rigs in Australia, Ozland is bringing safer and more efficient work models to job sites – a strategy which is sure to help them achieve their goals for growth. By embracing the future with gear including the new SmartROC D65, Greg Morris and his colleagues are proving that not all trendsetters are found in the big city.

Australia-Oceania Australia Surface mining & quarrying Drilling rigs Epiroc International SmartROC 2019 SmartROC D65 Surface drill rigs Surface and Exploration Drilling division Customer story