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ALROSA automates drilling in underground mines

  • Published in Economy
DL421ALROSA will test the technology that allows to increase the accuracy of drilling operations and minimize the participation of people in underground mines Udachny and Aikhal

Currently, new models of drilling rigs - Sandvik DL421 - have been put into operation at underground mines, designed for drilling vertical, inclined ring, parallel and single wells with a diameter of 64 to 115 mm and a depth of up to 54 meters. These wells are used for explosives in order to extract kimberlite rock, which is then transported by the loading and delivery machines.

In order to minimize the risks associated with finding people in the face of the quarry, to perform drilling with high accuracy on a pre-planned grid, the Company plans to apply the so-called "electronic drilling passport” that contains all the necessary parameters for drilling operations. High accuracy of drilling will improve the quality of the rock mass cutting by blasting, minimize the time for drilling rings, thereby increasing the productivity of drilling rigs. It is planned that such passports will be pre-formed using a special program based on data pre-compiled by engineers, geologists and mine surveyors of the Company. After that, the electronic passport will be transferred to the drilling rig using a conventional USB flash drive.

"By itself, drilling wells is one of the most technologically complex processes in underground mining. After the formation of electronic passports, in which the drilling tasks will be described, the work of the operator of the drilling rig will be minimized. In fact, the system will help the operator fully concentrate on managing and servicing the machine in the face. All the commands for drilling wells will be given automatically. This should improve both safety and accuracy of drilling operations,” explains the deputy chief engineer for underground mining works, the head of the underground mining department of the Udachny Mining and Processing Plant Aleksandr Kovalyov.

If the results of the experiment are positive, ALROSA plans to start a wider application of the new drilling technology.


Sandvik DL421 drilling machine is equipped with hydraulic puncher, drilling module, telescopic boom, TAS drilling control system. The chassis of the machine ensures fast and safe movement in narrow mine workings.

Formation of electronic passports is carried out using the MicroMine program.
Tagged under ALROSA, Udachny, Aikhal