Drilling in the Valley of Gold

epiroc gold mine quebec

Canada’s first Epiroc Boomer S2 C arrives in Val d’Or, Quebec

In English, Val d’Or translates to the “Valley of Gold,” and the city in Quebec has certainly lived up to its name.

For example, the historic Lamaque and Sigma mines in Val d’Or have produced more than 10 million ounces of gold in their time.

About 2.5 km south on the same property, sits Eldorado Gold’s Lamaque Project, which consists of the Triangle Gold Deposit.

The maiden gold reserve at Triangle is about 893,000 ounces of gold at an average grade of 7.3 grams per tonne. Eldorado Gold expects to ramp up production at the site to reach an annual production of 135,000 ounces per year.

Part of the plan is Epiroc’s Boomer S2 C face drilling rig. Eldorado Gold Lamaque was the first mining company in Canada to receive the new rig, which went to work at the gold project in January.

“There is no other rig like it,” said Ghislain Macameau, Epiroc account manager. “It’s the only computer-optimized jumbo of its size in the world right now.”

The size of the Boomer S2 C face drilling rig makes it ideal for mining or narrow tunneling applications up to 56 square meters. With BMH 6814 feeds, the four-wheel drive articulated rig is 12.2 metres long and 2 metres wide with a 42-degree turning radius. Optional BMHT telescopic feeds are available for bolting operations.

Coverage area at the face with BUT HD29 booms is 45 square metres, reaching up to 6.2 metres high by 9.3 metres wide. Optional, true top-mounted robust BUT S booms give the Boomer S2 a reach of up to a 6.6 metres by 9.4 metres with faster boom and feed movements. Top-mounted booms are easier to position, improve operator visibility, offer better crosscut functionality and reduce over-break and costs.

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The carrier is powered by a powerful Deutz 90 kW TCD 3.6 Tier 4 Final diesel engine.

Eldorado Mine superintendent Gilbert Bouffard said the smaller rig gives the two-year-old project versatility for both ramp development as well as production blasthole drilling.

“Technology is continuously revolutionizing the mining field,” Bouffard said. “And this generation of Epiroc face drilling rigs can play a huge role in helping a mine like Eldorado reach its objectives.”

The Boomer S2 C operates on Epiroc’s proprietary Rig Control System, currently RCS 5.

“RCS 5 is simpler for the operators to learn and use. The modern GUI with touch screen allows operators to adjust drilling patterns on the fly and onboard manuals really help customers get more meters of advance every day,” said Blaine Vatcher, Epiroc Canada’s product manager of underground equipment.

Automated options include ABC Regular drill plan handling, enabling precise control over drilling and the use of longer feeds for longer rounds; measure while drilling (MWD) for logging and analyzing drill data; Bolt View; and Rig Remote Access.

Blasthole engineers create patterns at the surface that are exactly reproduced by the drill at the face. Precision ground control helps mines establish and maintain a high-quality cut-off value, minimize over-break, reduce waste and dilution. It also creates smooth, competent walls and ceilings that require fewer rock bolts to control ground movement. The result is significantly increased productivity and efficiency.

“The Boomer S2 was designed to update the Boomer 282 with features and benefits for today’s demand for improved accuracy and efficiency. The automation options can also assist when skilled manpower is at a premium,” Vatcher said.

Although other rock drill models are available, the Boomer S2 C rig comes standard with the new COP MD20 underground hydraulic rock drills, designed for blastholes of 43 mm to 64 mm in diameter on T38 rods.

The 20 kW MD20 rock drills not only give the Boomer S2 C the power of a larger drill without larger electrical motors, they also run longer between servicing thanks to improved hose life, sealed mating surfaces and fewer housing parts.

A 1,000 percussion-hour recommended service interval means more time is spent drilling. Holes are drilled with up to 10 to 15 per cent faster penetration rates than the nearest competitor.

The Boomer shares the same operating system as larger Epiroc rigs, making training and cross-training easier for operators of any generation or experience level.  Simulator training for underground rigs is available through Epiroc