Engineering & Mining Journal

SEP 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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BLASTHOLE DRILLS SEPTEMBER 2018 • E&MJ 39 smoother, safer and more efficient blast- ing," Scott said. "Terrain also provides pro- duction monitoring and strata reporting." Cat Terrain leverages high-precision global navigation satellite systems. It "takes into account the orientation of the machine's drill string in relation to the designed drill-pattern to ensure the rig touches center mass of the hole tar- get with the bit, regardless of mast an- gle, out to 30° for angle drilling," Jim Peterson, mining technologies, applica- tions specialist, Caterpillar, said. "It also monitors machine pitch and roll while on tracks, and it calculates trajectory of the bit when the machine is leveled to ensure the machine can position over-the-hole perfectly without having to lower back to tracks and make minor adjustments." Other optional automation functions include Cat Command for drilling, which offers semiautonomous operation capabil- ity and line-of-sight remote control of mul- tiple rigs by a single operator, and Operator Mission assist, which "allows the operator to select a row of holes for the drill to nav- igate from hole to hole and auto-drill all holes in the select row," Scott said. Cat Command requires the same in- frastructure as Terrain. "If a site already has a robust site network built around the Terrain system, there are little to no infrastructure changes that need to take place to incorporate autonomy into their operation," Peterson said. Both rigs are designed for deployment to sites located in extreme environments. "The power trains are designed to handle high altitudes, and optional hot weather and cold weather or arctic packages are available from the factory," Scott said. Thus, the rigs are suited for a range of sites and customers, "from large open-pit mining operations in both hard rock and soft rock, to the individual drill contrac- tor for the same or for specialty drilling projects, including, but not limited to, pioneering, mine development and bench- ing," Scott said. The MD6310 can be eas- ily paired with electric rope shovels and applications with taller muck piles "be- cause of the possible hole depth," he said. Missing from the list of adjectives is a more abstract term. The rigs are of historical significance. They represent a subtle change over time in philosophy at Cat, Scott said. "Instead of focusing on optimizing single machines, Cater- pillar considers the entire mining pro- cess," he said. "Caterpillar works hand- in-hand with Cat dealers and customers to ensure we optimize not only the indi- vidual drill operation, but rather the en- tire mining cycle." That focus on the cycle is not new, but has evolved and intensified incrementally with the changing demands of customers. The rigs can therefore also be described as a response to them, Scott said. Again, the field results prove it, he said, with the typical response being "the new genera- tion of Caterpillar rotary blasthole drills is 'what we've been asking for.'"

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