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Surface drill rigs at Zijin Mountain

Improved PowerROC D55 impresses

September 14, 2021

Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd — commonly referred to as Zijin Mining — operates a gold and copper mine located near Longyan City in the province of Fujian. Three PowerROC D55 rigs and one FlexiROC D50 are hard at work here, providing excellent productivity, reliability and cost-effective performance for the customer. The latest addition to this machine park — the third PowerROC D55, which arrived in 2020 — has really impressed Zijin Mining.
The PowerROC D55 is a Down-The-Hole (DTH) rig produced by Epiroc at its production facility in Nanjing, China. This latest version of the PowerROC D55 features numerous improvements and features which can add value and boost productivity even further. 
This machine includes a 12.1 inch (30.7 cm) touchscreen display and new controls. This makes the rig even easier and intuitive for operators to run in tough mining environments.  Furthermore, thanks to engine improvements, this newer rig has a reduced fuel consumption of 6% per meter compared to the previous PowerROC D55 machines working on site. Obviously, this has really made its owners happy!
Zijin Mining is a large scale, multinational mining group which focuses on locating and developing metal mineral resources such as gold and copper. The mine featured here is one of China’s No.1 locations for the production of gold. It’s also the birthplace of Zijin Mining. This vital site provides the benchmark for global operations and helps to financially underpin the entire group — both at home and abroad.

Efficient, high quality drilling.

The Zijin Mountain Gold and Copper Mine is located 1 200 meters (3 937 ft) above sea level. The demanding climate features a high level of humidity making conditions tough for equipment. In a forward-looking move during 2012, Zijin Mining purchased their first PowerROC D55 to operate at the Zijin Mountain site. This assisted Zijin Mining in taking a step towards a more environmentally aware operation. The PowerROC D55 is also an extremely versatile rig which is capable of much more than just pre-split drilling. There were some initial differences in operation methods when bringing the rig into service, but thanks to training and support locally from Epiroc, the introduction went quite smoothly.
Due to excellent and conscientious maintenance by Zijin Mining, they’ve managed to achieve impressive stats. Their Epiroc rigs are working for approximately 4 000 hours per year and feature 90% availability. Each machine drills around 500 meters every day — much higher than equivalent competitor machines in this class.
Usual daily operations in the mine require the drilling of 152 mm (6”) diameter production holes and pre-split holes. The mine features 12 meter high benches and a 28 meter ultra-deep hole in the gob area. Depending on rock conditions, a drilling pattern of 3.8 x 4.8 m (12.5 x 15.7 ft) or 4.2 x 4.8m (13.8 x 15.7 ft) is utilized for production holes. A drilling pattern of 1.5 x 1.5 m (5 x 5 ft) is used for pre-split holes. This achieves a good blast result which helps reduce the need for secondary blasting and also reduces cost down the line with stripping operations and other additional production kept to a minimum.
The latest PowerROC D55 features a 12.1 inch touchscreen. It feeds the operator information about current engine status, warnings, alarms, rig parameter settings and important diagnostic data. The display is easy to understand and helps facilitate daily operations and maintenance. As previously stated, Zijin Mining was pleased to discover that the new PowerROC D55 was even more economical than previous versions as it used 6% less fuel per meter drilled. This is due to its optimized power and control systems.
Project Manager in Zijin Mountain

Chen Chufa, the Project Manager of the Open-pit Mining Project in Zijin Mountain Gold and Copper Mine

Chen Chufa is the Project Manager at the mine. He is very satisfied with the performance the PowerROC D55 is delivering. It’s proving to be a reliable and productive partner.

“When I first arrived at Zijin Mountain, I was given responsibility for this important site. It’s vital that each rig performs during every shift. The Epiroc rigs we run here are extremely cost effective, delivering low fuel consumption and high availability.” 

He adds:

"“I am particularly pleased with the versatility and fuel savings the new PowerROC D55 has brought us. When this is coupled with the great service provided by Epiroc locally – it’s a winning combination for both Zijin Mountain and Epiroc. It gives us extra confidence in the Epiroc rigs we have here.”"

Chen Chufa ,Project Manager of the Open-pit Mining Project in Zijin Mountain Gold and Copper Mine
During 2021 Zijin Mining has taken delivery of an additional four PowerROC D55 mark II rigs. Two of them will be used in projects overseas.

2021 China International Surface PowerROC D55 Surface and Exploration Drilling division Customer story

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