For the first stage of the muckshifting operation, specialist contractor Precision Blast Hole Drilling is using three Atlas Copco ROC F7 drills to sink blastholes. The A$36.6M contract is due for completion in September, but Precision currently expects to finish ahead of schedule.
The company purchased its first ROC F7 unit in 1997, the first Atlas Copco rig in the company's fleet. Coowner Andrew Lyall says choice was based entirely on the technical features of the machine and adds that the rig's 'performance, combined with the technical service and support has more than justified our choice'.
And he adds: 'Precision drilling is very important in minimising the possibility of dust and rock falling into the water supply.'
Currently each rig is achieving up to 750m in a single shift.