December 15, 2017

Drilling and blasting in the 21st Century

Innovation in technology and electronic devices for mine operators and drilling contractors

Cost effectiveness and safety are the catch words in the innovative developments to be found in mining today. Gone are the days where gut feeling and general assumptions were the rule.

With today’s technology the drive in drilling and blasting aims at improving blasting efficiency and mining economies.

Drilling is an inevitable process in mining in order to establish blast holes, to collect samples and to provide drainage, slope stability and foundation testing. This involves drill rigs and rock drills. Here low cost per metre drilled and durability are essential to meet any mine operators demands. There are drill rigs for every occasion however multi-use rigs are gaining in popularity for they will lie idle less often between jobs. Hand drills also need to be of robust construction able to take rough handling while being easy to operate.

Blasting essentially breaks up the rock but in the process is a very dangerous activity. It is considered by some to be more of an art than a science that involves drilling patterns, blasting sequences, load weights, and knowing where the shot materials will end up after the explosions occur. Developments in explosives, detonating and delaying techniques and in the understanding of the mechanics of rock breakage by explosives have moved the process of innovation ever forward. A lot goes into blasting processes in order to ensure safety without which its use would be heavily curtailed.

In this issue we look at the various advancements in drilling and blasting that have led to new and innovative equipments available to the cost conscious mine operator.


Established in 1970, Haryson Engineering Co. is one of India’s oldest and leading manufacturers of high quality pneumatic rock drills for the mining and construction industry.

The rock drills are manufactured using only top quality raw materials using latest CNC machines and advanced production techniques. Haryson products have a high reputation for dependability, high performance and best economy in operation with many satisfied customers around the world. With the best inputs, proven expertise and a skilled workforce, Haryson’s proven drills exceed the customers’ expectations and give best value for every drilled hole. Through research and customer inputs, the company actively seeks ways to continuously improve and further develop new products.

Their drill types include,

  • Tiger drill (hand-held rock drill)
  • Bull drifter (heavy duty rock drill suitable for mining and construction)
  • Fox drill (suitable for smaller jobs in hard to reach places)

Apart from that, the company also manufacture spare parts for the drill to ensure the best performance by the rock drill. The drills also come with airline lubricators to lower friction, protection against corrosion and therefore sealing the machine thus improving performance and increasing the durability of the drills and the spares.

The company recognizes the potential in Africa and are seeking to increase their business by exploring the upcoming opportunities and building partnerships. They have a large customer base in Tanzania and also several customers in Kenya, Zimbabwe and Uganda. As of now, they do direct sells but they also welcome agents and dealers to resell their drills.

Their African customers, like those in India demand high performance, reliability and value for money. They also seek quality and therefore prefer to use products of reputable manufacturers. These same features of Haryson rock drills have made them a success in India and would apply to African countries as well.

Mr. Vishal`s general advice to potential buyers is “downtime is never good, so customers should always look for a reliable product from a quality manufacturer rather than focus on only the price.”

Rockmore International GmbH

Rockmore International based in Austria, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of top quality percussive rock drilling tools. Their high-performance products include drill bits, DTH bits and hammers, extension and tunneling rods, integral and tapered rods, shank adapters and other drill tool accessories. With manufacturing centers in two hemispheres and distribution centers on nearly every continent they provide a wide range of tools to mining, construction, tunneling, quarrying, and water well projects from North America to Asia.

Precise and efficient rock drilling tools are vital in today’s modern global mining environment. Rockmore International has been serving the mining industry for more than 60 years with quality tools to increase production and efficiency in the extraction of gold, silver and other metals and minerals.

Optimal energy transfer is essential and according to one of their products the DTH (Down-the-Hole) Drilling Equipment, drilling efficiency depends on how much compressed air power is delivered to the bit. That’s why they have revolutionized air flow management in the new series high-performance DTH hammers. Their patented SonicFlow technology minimizes backflow and turbulence, enabling the piston to hit the bit harder and with greater frequency. That means increased efficiency, more power, and faster penetration.

Mani Pessiani, the Market Development Manager advices potential buyers to test and consider the cost of linear length being drilled, and see the efficiency of their DTH Hammers compared to their competitors.

He further says that their products are currently available in Africa.

Rock International

ROCK International is a wholly owned subsidiary of the ASX listed company Structural Systems Group, and operates five major divisions DRILL + BLAST, GEOTECHNICAL, ENGINEERING, MONITORING and PRODUCTS. The company provides specialist contracting services and products for mining and civil projects throughout Asia Pacific, Europe and Africa.

ROCK International offers comprehensive DRILLING + BLASTING services by experienced professionals for blast hole, presplit, grade control, depressurization and specialist applications including high reach and on-slope situations.

The company is also the leading provider of customized GEOTECHNICAL services in rock fall protection, slope stabilization, ground support, debris and erosion control for open pit, underground, mine infrastructure and civil projects.

In addition to the services that the company offers, it’s an integral partner for mining, construction and consulting companies in providing an experienced team to deliver geotechnical solutions from concept to design including the ENGINEERING and optimization of works.

ROCK International’s MONITORING division ensures that safety is maintained and risks are controlled through state-of-the-art technology and techniques to accurately monitor, survey and analyze work environments 24/7.

ROCK International manufactures and supplies a wide range of geotechnical ground support PRODUCTS and equipment for the mining, tunneling and civil engineering industries. The specialist supply team also has access to a global network of recognized quality suppliers, providing a range of solutions for all types of projects and budgets.

ROCK International operates at sites in Australia, Asia, Africa and Europe. The foundation of performance by the company employees is driven by safety, integrity, team work, excellence and accountability.

Some of the other services that ROCK offers include practical consultancy, specialist training, project management and onsite supervision to assist in the efficient and effective delivery of site works.

When asked about the most unique features of the company, Eric Gobbert who is the Business Development Manager for ROCK International said, “Our ability to provide a complete mining service solution, allows us to offer the client greater efficiencies. We can carry out the total package of supply, design, install and manage or provide only selected pieces of the program to suit the client’s requirements.”

Gobbert advises that clients have to be sure that they are buying from a reputable supplier, and make sure the installation plan is being carried out by a contractor who understands the geotechnical parameters and has a solid track record and experience. A company’s safety record speaks volumes when it comes to a selecting a contracting partner. ROCK is pleased to have recently achieved a 2 year LTI free record in April 2014.

Padley & Venables Ltd.

Padley & Venables has been established in the United Kingdom for over 100 years and is one of the largest manufacturers of a wide range of quality tools for use in the Rock Drilling, Quarrying, Mining, Tunnelling, Demolition, Construction and Civil Engineering industries worldwide.

The company was originally established in 1911 and has two manufacturing facilities in the United Kingdom, subsidiary operations in Germany and Australia and an international dealer network in more than 50 countries throughout the world.

P&V’s extensive range of rock drilling products includes tunnelling/drifting and extension drilling equipment; Shank adaptors, Couplings, Drill Rods, TC Tipped Drill Bits and Reaming equipment, Integral Drill Steels, Taper Rods and Bits, together with the latest Tube Drilling systems. All major international thread forms are supplied.

P&V has been responsible for many innovations in Rock Drilling. The company originated and developed the manufacture of percussive Button Bits in the mid 1960’s. It established the first facility for overall carburising of Drill Rods in Europe and originated the manufacture of male/female Drill Rods. Today P&V products are in continual use on many prestigious project and worksites, surface and underground. Its reputation for performance and quality is respected around the world.

All P&V products are fully manufactured and treated in its own factories, using the latest processes and equipment. All the facilities operate a Quality Management System approved to ISO9001:2008

Padley & Venables sales director says that one of their most important markets is Scandinavia, which has some of the hardest rock in the world and a good performance there means a good performance anywhere including Africa.

He further says that their products are available in North African countries, South Africa and some Sub-Saharan African countries.


The company Massenza fu Giuseppe boasts almost 90 years of experience in construction and installation of drilling rigs for water research, mineral research, soil investigation, geothermal application and seismic testing.

Massenza is present in more than 40 countries all over the world and in all the continents. In 2013/2014 they widened their market to South America (Peru, Chile and Brazil) and Middle East (Pakistan and Iraq). In Ethiopia in 2012/2013 they sold 20 rigs comprising MI28 and MI45 models and in a few days they will delivery N.2 service rigs complete with mud pump and air compressors on board.

The drilling rig MI8 is one of the new designs. It will take the place of the M.I.6. A new restyling gives the MI8 a new look coupled with many improvements. Besides the mast from 6.5 to 12 tons of pull back by gearbox, they designed a new mast with 8 tons of pull back driven by a hydraulic cylinder. They have just dispatched one MI8 with this special mast to Chile for mineral research by diamond core drilling. This version is equipped with a rotary head with max speed of 1200 RPM. An arm placed at the bottom of the head enables the loading/unloading of the drill pipes. The charging system is controlled by a radio remote control panel that increases the comfort and safety of the operator. A wireline winch (max 600 kg – wire length 302 m – speed 107 m/min) is used for the extraction of the samples and these operations are now faster and easier than in the past. The rig is powered by a diesel engine 156 HP (115 kW).

The technical evolution never stops at Massenza Company. 2014 has just begun and they have already designed, produced and sold 4 new models.

Gabriele Pavan from the Sales department says that, their products are currently available in African countries like; Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Ghana, Cameroon, South Africa, Ethiopia and Nigeria.

Prime Drilling GmbH

Prime Drilling GmbH with headquarters in Germany is specialized in the development and manufacture of Horizontal Directional Drilling Rigs. They are known worldwide for being highly competent with continuous innovation in the engineering and development of HDD (Horizontal Directional Drilling) rigs. Only top quality materials are used in order to develop a low- maintenance and robust drilling rig with an above- average service life.

International sales and service director Ralf Kiesow says that their rigs are all custom made. Prime Drilling has an in-house design team that takes care of exactly what the customer requires and can even recommend designs that are more suitable where necessary. In terms of recent contracts, they sold two machines in Australia that are used for coal seam gas drilling that were specially designed for the client. They also built a machine for Nigeria that is able to sail natively. It is a drilling rig that does not need a separate barge to work in swamps because it can float and maneuver itself. It is the first one they have made and possibly the first one in the world. Another of their drilling rigs – the Horizontal Directional Drilling Rig PD 350/150 RP -C – supplied to Nigeria is advantageous because it can be converted to the Prime Pipe Pusher at any location and at any time with minimal effort. With the Prime Pipe Pusher, push force is transferred via a number of tensioning chains, which are installed into chain housing onto the pipe to be pulled in. Every single tensioning chain fully encloses the product pipe and thus transfers a force of 100 tons.

Prime Drilling’s bespoke approach means that innovation is at the very heart of its business. It ensures the machines are mechanically simple, for example, so that clients can find replacement parts in their local market and repair the rigs themselves without requiring too much assistance from the manufacturer. This has become an increasingly significant feature because the company’s quality and service has drawn attention from all corners of the world, resulting in Prime Drilling rigs located on every continent.

Ralf also says that they have a certain standard with respect to quality, on the rigs recently sent to Australia, for example, they even had a third party carrying out non-destructive testing (NDT) on the welding seams so that everything was tested and reported to the quality expected by the customer. From 1999 to date all the rigs produced by Prime Drilling are still working, which illustrates the quality of the materials they use.

Herrenknecht AG

Headquartered in Schwanau (Southern Germany), Herrenknecht is represented by 78 subsidiaries and associated companies worldwide. Through its worldwide network of Group companies, for all products and projects around the globe Herrenknecht offers tailored service close to the customer and the project.

The Raise Boring Rigs have proven themselves worldwide in a variety of projects since the first use of a prototype in 2010 for the Vianden hydropower plant in Luxembourg. They have demonstrated their efficiency both in drilling of production and ventilation shafts in mines (copper, coal, tin) as well as in infrastructure projects (pressure shafts for hydropower plants, ventilation shafts for road tunnels).

The Raise Boring Rig (RBR) developed by Herrenknecht is designed for the construction of shafts in hard rock down to depths of 2,000 meters. Reaming shafts with RBRs is safer, less labor intensive and more cost effective than conventional shaft sinking, which was previously the only possible method beyond 1,200 meters.

With its compact design, the RBR offers high flexibility even in confined spaces and is therefore suitable for a variety of applications in the mining industry. It creates shafts for the transport of muck or ore, haulage shafts, pressure shafts for hydropower plants and supply shafts for energy, water and air. It has proven itself in use generally with its modular design and its powerful and highly efficient center-free drive.

Their products are also available in African countries.


Ausdrill was started in 1987 by Managing Director, Ron Sayers, with a single drill rig operating from Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. By 1991 the company had expanded its drilling operations into Africa, and two years later added contract mining to its services.

In 1994 the company was floated on the Australian Stock Exchange and since then expansion has increased and the company is diversifying its services across the mining and energy sectors.

Some of the services that Ausdrill offers to ensure customer satisfaction are: exploration, mine development, surface mining, underground mining, manufacturing, energy, infrastructure and hospitality.

The company’s services are offered through 19 specialized subsidiary businesses across the UK, Australia and Africa.

Some of these subsidiary businesses are: Ausdrill, Ausdrill Northwest, BTP Equipment, Connector Drilling and Min Analytical (clustered together under the banner of Contract Mining Australia).

Contract Mining Africa includes companies such as Ausdrill East Africa, African Mining Services, African Underground Mining Services and MinAnalytical.

Supply and Logistics sector entails companies such as Supply Direct, Logistics Direct and BTP Parts.

Manufacturing companies owned by Ausdrill include Drilling Tools Australia, Drill Rigs Australia, DT Australia and Remet Engineers.

The Energy sector is not left out as you will find Energy Drilling Australia as the main business while Infrastructure has Diamond Communications and Hospitality the Miner’s Rest.

In addition to offering services to clients, Ausdrill ensures that the community is also taken care of properly by taking part in social and corporate responsibility.

The Ausdrill Group of Companies considers the effective management of Safety, Training and the Environment to be an integral part of our business.

Ausdrill strives to be an influential and responsible corporate entity at all levels of the company, wherever undertaking activities, and to exert strong and positive influence on clients, service providers, suppliers, company personnel and the community.

Doofor Inc.

Doofor is a fast and flexible supplier to a number of equipment manufacturers around the globe. They also offer tailor made special product for customer special needs. Doofor is situated in Nokia, Finland where the rock drills are designed and manufactured using the strong metal industry knowledge of the Tampere region in Western Finland. They manufacture Doofor brand rock drills and original and high quality Doofor replacement parts.

They have recently launched a new version of its popular Doofor DF550L rock drill. The DF550L-EXT is equipped with an extractor or back hammer, which enables the easy breakage of the drill strings and helps to extract drill steels from fissured rock. The DF550L-EXT is a 17kW hydraulic rock drill designed for drifting and tunneling as well as general excavations and it has a low overhead profile for effective tunneling.

Mr. Bernd Müller of Sachtleben Bergbau says that the rock drill has been very helpful in demanding mountain rock conditions.   He added that the problem of drill steels stuck in the rock has disappeared completely and they are quite satisfied with the product. They are drilling a variety of hole sizes with the DF550L-EXT and the drill hole diameters range from 52mm to 102mm.

Their products are currently available in South Africa.

Herbst SMAG mining Technologies GmbH

HERBST SMAG designs and develops state-of-the-art mobile mining equipment for drilling, transportation and material handling in harsh underground environment.

With their 40 years tradition, their company has a successful track record in this industry and delivers innovative, high quality and reliable solutions to its partners all over the world, from their plant in Germany. The substantial service and representative network ensures fast technical support and spare parts availability.

HERBST SMAG manufactures and sells automated special bohrwagen especially for white mining. The company has experience in the combination of heavy steel with hydraulic and electronic controls which are fully operational.

Drilling with the SMAG is primarily used for the extraction of salt, potash, and gypsum. On white mining, the machines are increasingly used for oil shale extraction.

Their bench drill carriage ensures a straight face and after blasting and detonating an effective result by a computer-controlled drilling depth monitor. Electronic leveling allows explosives savings, reducing the hole number and a high reduction efficiency.

William Stanley, Sales and Service Manager, says that their machines are built for working in harsh environments, their machines have proven themselves in German mines where the closed working ambient temperature reaches 54°C, or for example in Russia where the working temperatures are between -14 to -18°C and this proves that they are fit and unique for the African environment.

Advanced Mining Production Systems (AMPS)

With over 20 years experience in mining systems and procedures, AMPS provides open pit & underground (drill & blast) production engineering procedures to the global mining industry.

The company also provides ongoing mining engineering systems and services to their various clients. AMPS is able to carry out a huge range of services for both start-up operations and established mines. Having expert personnel has enabled the company to design and implement a wide range of procedures and systems to add significant value to the different operations.

Some of the services that the company offers include Drill & Blast Designs whereby a potential client can send site parameters to AMPS so stope designs and drilling plans can be created by the highly skilled staff at AMPS. The company’s engineers can also help in Drill & Blast Audits to identify potential areas of improvement and assist in implementing them on site.

The company offers production engineering training courses in Perth or customized training on site.

Companies looking for contract work can get it from AMPS with the aid of experienced production engineers. The engineers have significant site based experience, proficiency with multiple software packages, experience with different mining methods and knowledge of varying mineralization types.

Systems provided by AMPS include technical department gap analysis, process mapping, employee responsibilities and accountabilities, writing of technical procedures for all disciplines, creating industry best practice standards and templates, cite specific drill & blast guidelines and in addition the company’s experts offer Drill & blast reporting systems.

According to Brendan Parker who is the Principal Engineer for AMPS, services provided by AMPS can easily be completed either internally on site or externally from their Perth office. The company’s technical procedures and systems make it very easy for mine sites to follow a standard process and ensure that all statutory checks have been completed prior to releasing all types of plans. This provides consistency across the entire site.

Mincon Group PLC

Mincon Group PLC is a manufacturer of Hard Rock Drilling products for use in the Mining, Construction, Water Well, Geothermal and Oil & Gas Industries.

Mincon has grown its global business substantially over the last fifteen years through its strategy of ensuring that their drilling tools consistently compete at the highest end of the market for performance, reliability and longevity which has made them “The Drillers Choice” worldwide. Their high performance tools are manufactured at their three plants in Ireland, the United States and Australia.

According to Mincon West Africa’s managing director Martin van Gemert, currently the Mincon Group PLC is fully focusing in the African market since they have their three subsidiaries namely Mincon Southern Africa (Johannesburg, South Africa which cover all countries up to the Northern border of the DRC and the east up to Kenya), Mincon West Africa (Dakar, Sénégal which covers all French speaking West African countries including Mauritania) and Mincon Rockdrills Ghana (Accra, Ghana which covers Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria).

Martin also added that their products are made of high quality steel and simple robust designs that can be used by all levels of operator skills in Africa.

The Mincon MQ Range of DTH hammers launched in May 2014 offers many advantages to Drill & Blast operations. Recent developments with rig manufacturers are for larger compressors increasing the horsepower of DTH hammers. Failure of the foot valve is increased due to heat buildup at higher performance levels. The Mincon MQ range of DTH hammers has eliminated the need for the foot valve while maintaining use of the industry accepted drill bits. Additional design features have been incorporated into the range increasing performance over their standard range of DTH Hammers. Testing in Australia and the United States showed performance increases of up to 10%.

In the early 2000’s Mincon saw huge opportunities in the African continent and has invested heavily in the last 10 years in establishing sales and service facilities in key locations like Southern Africa and Western Africa.

Mammoth Technologies

Mammoth Technologies (Mammoth) is a Design and Manufacturing Corporation within the Mining and Drilling Industry, creating a dynamic presence in the International Market. Development and product refinement and improvement are a continuous process in the business.

The Company’s product development drive has been shaped and guided by the requirements, needs and frustrations gleaned from clients in the global Market. This has led to the development of a reasonably priced range of durable, cost effective products in various sectors of the mining industry. Products ware designed for improving safety, simplifying operation and lowering maintenance costs.

The Mammoth Breakout Wrench drew global market attention when it was first introduced in 1999.

Mammoth Technologies takes responsibility for all the phases of the process including conceptualization, market research, design, manufacturing and testing, through to distribution. All manufacturing including process manufacturing is done in-house.

Some of the services offered by the company include problem solving, hydraulic design, electrical design, application of specific hardware and software design, process manufacturing, reverse engineering, patent searches and processing, CAD drawings, R&D and product marketing solutions.

In addition to all the services, Mammoth management ensures that all their products get appropriate servicing and repairs. There is also a breakout bench for breaking of tight joints, straightening and repair of drill rods.

Because of Mammoths uncompromising commitment to safety, quality and functionality it is essential that only approved genuine parts and consumables are used on the Mammoth product range.

Mammoth Technologies offers Drill Rig assessment. These assessments will assist in identifying; training and developing your needs as required in the different areas of your drilling operations.

According to Graham Brandling who is the Marketing Manager for mammoth technologies, the company has focus on the African market and you will find their products in Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, DRC, and Ghana.

Brandling added that their product durability is key to the African market and every potential buyer should invest in training their personnel.


Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The company also is a leading services provider through Caterpillar Financial Services, Caterpillar Remanufacturing Services and Progress Rail Services.

They provide mine-specific product and service solutions that help their customers enhance safety, improve efficiency, increase productivity and reduce cost per ton. Caterpillar offers a broader range of equipment for mining than any other manufacturer.

In March this year, Caterpillar announced the first of the C Series track drills—the MD5150C. The MD5150C offers a choice of three different rock drills, patented carousel rod changer, ergonomic cab and many other features that boost productivity and reduce operating costs. Caterpillar is the only manufacturer offering hydraulically powered rock drills designed to be serviced on site—to reduce downtime and control costs.

Caterpillar has also enhanced their rotary drill line with the next generation of its top-selling MD6420 Rotary Drill, the new MD6420B. A new hydraulically operated bit basket smoothes bit changes, and the advanced drill control system makes the drill easier and more comfortable to operate.

Caterpillar also has updated its top-selling electric rotary drill, the MD6640. The new Cat 390 excavator undercarriage enhances tramming and turning capabilities and track tensioning while reducing operating costs.

Africa is among Caterpillar’s largest distribution regions. Cat drills are designed for reliable and dependable performance and exceptional durability, which make them suitable for the African market. Independent Cat dealers throughout Africa provide unmatched product support services for the entire line of Cat mining and construction products. To find your local Cat dealer, go to:

Drill King International

Drill King International was founded in 2004 by Randy Broseh in Arlington, Texas, and acquired by his brother Larry in 2005. The brothers used their extensive drilling industry knowledge to create a unique company with great customer service in mind. Drill King added two new CNC machines to expand its existing percussion hammer and bit business so the company can provide extensive machining services to better serve the growing demand from the mining and oil & gas industries.

Drill King provides specialized air drilling products to customers around the world from Europe to Asia, Africa and Australia, to North and South America. The company manufactures down-the-hole percussion hammers and hammers bits for numerous drilling industries, including mining, quarry, oil & gas, construction, geothermal, and water well.

With over 150 years of combined experience, the Drill King team is committed to excellence utilizing the latest technologies in engineering to produce cutting-edge designs and break-through innovations. Drill King custom-designs its products to meet the needs of each individual customer and takes pride in being one of the US-manufacturers with a diverse line of DTH (down-the-hole) bits, as big as 42 inches in diameter and for use with almost all hammer shanks available on the market today. What is more, DK’s line of air hammers is specifically engineered with the drilling professional in mind. The unique airflow design of the DK hammers helps maximize performance by offering the power needed to drill deeper and faster.

The company has already made sales in Africa. The countries include South Africa, Ethiopia, Algiers, Tanzania, and Morocco. Drill King takes pride in their products’ aeronautical quality steel, premium US-made carbide, and the ability to customize to clients’ requirements. Customers are advised to choose down-the-hole products based on quality as this makes a big difference in the long run.

WOLF Rock Drills Ltd

WOLF Rock Drills Ltd is the most important manufacturer of rock drilling machines in Brazil. Since 1974 they have been manufacturing, developing and selling drilling machines and their parts for application in quarries, mines and similar types of application around the world.

The Wolf Industry has as its main goal to design and produce rock drilling machines, providing clients the best product and customer service with the highest technology while optimizing the cost.

They offer to customers and partners all sorts of drilling tools, also called extension drilling tools, such as Button bits, steel rods, shank adapters and coupling sleeves. These offer high performance and durability in every kind of environment.

Their hydraulic crawler drill FOX series is an excellent option for rock drilling equipment that can be applied in Quarries, Open Cast Mining, Drilling Service Contractors and others. These equipment guarantee high productivity with low maintenance cost, and 100% of Brazilian technology, being offered in three different models.

Their MW-3500 – Attachment Hydraulic Kit for Excavators mounted – 20 ton is a product highly recognized in their segment, as an effective drilling solution in hydraulic productivity withstanding hard drilling conditions and low acquisition / investment and maintenance costs.

Wolf’s agile and powerful Air Tracks MW5000 is perfect for quarries, mining and civil jobs where durability and trust is required. It is designed for high performance, versatility and easy maintenance and works with Top hammer or Down the hole (DTH with Rotary head).

Comacchio Srl

Comacchio Srl, based in Riese Pio X (Italy), is among the first companies nationally and internationally to produce machines for small and medium diameter drilling.

Over the past 25 years the company has grown from a small family-run company to a key equipment supplier for the drilling industry, operating worldwide through a network of dealers and agents. At present, about 30 foreign partners manage the sale and after sales support of Comacchio products worldwide.

One of the strengths of Comacchio in terms of design and production is the ability of its technical and sales staff to incorporate all the issues and job site requirements expressed by the customers. These requests are then processed to create solutions and finished products that meet the specific needs of the customer, putting the Comacchio product at the top of the industry for technology and innovation.

To meet all customers’ needs the company has a range of over 50 drilling rig models of various sizes. The Comacchio production has been recently expanded with a special product line dedicated to the mining industry.

According to Comacchio Srl’s African Territory Manager Mr. Emanuele Comacchio they have participated in a number of trade fairs in Kenya, Angola, Ethiopia (this year), South Africa (last year) and also sold their drilling rigs to companies in South Africa, Mozambique, Angola, Congo, Mauritania, Senegal, Morocco, Guinea, Libya, Tanzania and Burkina Faso.

The rigs of the EX line can be used to perform continuous core drilling to great depths with wire line techniques as well as rotary drilling with reverse circulation and DTH. The flagship of their EX line is the MC-T 20 EX, a truck mounted unit suitable for continuous core drilling up to a depth of over 1000 meters, safe and fast in the handling of the equipment thanks to some optional accessories, such as the rod loading system, which allows operators to load automatically rods of 6 meters in length and 130 kg in weight, freeing the operator from the fatigue and the risks of this operation.

MREL Group of Companies Limited

MREL is a technology-based company established in 1973 that provides unique explosives-related products and associated technical services to qualified customers in the blasting, bomb disposal, defense, explosives, humanitarian demining, industrial mining, and police communities.

MREL’s Blasting Instrumentation Department manufactures the world’s most popular and proficient family of continuous explosives velocity of detonation (VOD) recorders.These rugged and reliable instruments are used throughout the world by blasters at mines and explosives experts to test the performance of industrial explosives, as well as deck to deck and hole to hole delay times. They are easy to use and one can choose a particular VOD recorder that meets their needs and is within their budget.

Mining is important to Africa therefore MREL’s blasting instrumentation is important to those mines using explosives to blast rock. MREL’s blasting instrumentation products have been sold to many customers in Africa including those located in Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Morocco, Namibia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Zambia.

The unique features in MREL products that make them suitable for the African market include durability, operational temperature range, and dust and water resistance. Ease of use and portability.

Customers are spending hard earned money on explosives and blasting accessories, MREL suggests a potential buyer consider easily testing those products for quality and performance under the mine’s unique operational conditions.

Today’s miners are technically savvy and have keen interest in utilizing technology to optimize revenues from operating mines. Bill Bauer, the Marketing Manager, thus sees the trend of successful implementation of reliable, useful technologies continuing. He states that the trend will continue to provide mine operators with the information they need to make profitable operational adjustments at their mines.

MREL is a part of the International Society of Explosives Engineers ( which enables them to maintain professionalism and the deliverance of quality products.


DRILLMEC, part of the TREVI GROUP, is an international leader in design, manufacturing and distribution of drilling and work over rig and equipment for onshore and offshore applications.

Drillmec is the pioneer in manufacturing hydraulic-automatic drilling rigs for oil & gas and geothermal application. Since 1996, about two hundred Drillmec HH rigs (Drillmec patented Hydraulic Hoist system) have been working all around the world in all environmental and weather conditions, always delivering high safety and drilling efficiency.

Based on HH Series experience and field results, Drillmec has developed a new generation of fully automated drilling rigs called AHEAD (Advanced Hydraulic Electrical Automated Driller).

The AHEAD Series represents the results of a strong focus on innovation, automation and continuous improvement of technology that leads to an enhancement of the key parameters in oil & gas drilling activities, highest Safety operation level, environment protection, highest performance in drilling and moving operation with substantial cost saving.

The AHEAD design allows about 50% of footprint reduction compared to a conventional land rig, the visual impact is drastically reduced thanks to the special telescopic mast design and fast moving operation is possible thanks to trailer mounted components , the substructure is a sling shot type granting safe and fast rig up procedure without crane operation .

AHEAD is also equipped with a new fully automated Off-line System designed to make up and break out double stands of API Range 3 DP (or triple stands API Range 2 DP) directly on mouse hole.

Gian Maria Barborini, Sales Area Manager says that Drillmec equipment are suitable and are working in all different environmental conditions, from Arctic to desert. They have different and fast moving possible configuration that can make transport easier and faster in desert or jungle typical of Africa’s environment, together with a very compact solution with reduces foot print and allows less negative environment impact (i.e deforestation) and work in sensitive area like natural reserves.


Fractum, based in Denmark has established itself as a leading developer and supplier of innovative, reliable, efficient, safe, and cost-effective solutions for the breakage of rocks, recycling of steel slag and moulds, and crushing of reinforced concrete.

Their impact breakers are used in various industries around the world including mining, quarrying, the steel mill sector and demolition.

Depending on the model, their impact breakers are developed to efficiently crush oversized boulders weighing over 150 tons. Fractum’s breaking solutions are able to fragment hard material such as Bauxite, Granite, and Basalt rocks in a mere few strokes. The harder the rock, the easier it is for their breakers to do their job. This significantly improves productivity levels at opencast mines and quarries.

Their free-fall breaking technology allows for efficient, safe, and cost-effective processing of materials. Their impact breakers can be taken directly to where they are needed. This eradicates the need for secondary blasting equipment. Other advantages of their mining and quarrying breakers include low wear and tear, increased user friendliness and precise flexibility.

Their products are available in South Africa.

Becker Varis

Communication, automation, and service; these are what Becker Varis has been supplying to the underground mining and tunneling industries since 1996. The dedication to quality in this ISO 9001-2008 certified operation, combined with the success of the design and performance of the products has allowed Becker Varis to gain a strong presence worldwide. As a result, the company is constantly breaking into new markets and continues to thrive with its industry leading Smartcom Leaky Feeder system, which is the backbone for their Smartblast system.

First introduced in underground mines in 2004, Smartblast has since been proven to be a safe, reliable and cost efficient tool implemented by mines around the globe.   Capable of electronic and shock tube detonation, Smartblast enables all personnel to be on surface and out of harm’s way during blasting. Its two-way communication monitors the system to ensure the blast is not missed or delayed and indicates confirmation of the successful initiation. Smartblast’s cost savings can be measured in reduced maintenance alone as it eliminates the need to maintain a separate central blast cable system.

The company has operations in South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, and Ghana. Their products are robust with a hassle free installation and operation. Consumers are advised by the Customer Support Manager to buy quality products always.

First Drilling

First Drilling is the dynamic merger between Sanderson Drilling in Australian, Connors Drilling in the United States and multinational Tarn Drilling. With the financial backing of Resource Capital Funds, First Drilling operates in Australia, North America, South Africa and Greenland.

THE CUBEX 5200N Drill Rig

The Organization has been in operation since the 1950’s and offers a comprehensive range of drilling services, from surface exploration drilling to underground diamond and reverse circulation (RC) drilling.

With operational bases in Perth, Kalgoorlie, Montrose Colorado, Elko Nevada and Anchorage Alaska, the First Drilling Group employs over 450 people and has a fleet of over 60 drill rigs to support the client’s needs.

First Drilling is committed to Health & Safety Management and sound environmental management practices.

First Drilling can provide both underground and surface drilling services from its locally based fleet. Fully integrated, the company offers a complete drilling package to their clients with the underlining economies of scale and extensive experience base that comes with such integration.

The company has internal resources to design, build and deploy purpose built or modified drilling equipment to take on the unique drilling requirements encountered in the various regions in which it operates.

It can offer higher capacity underground drill rigs including the Atlas Copco U8DH Diamond drill rig, their in house Underground Mobile Core Rig (UMC), with HQ depth capacity up to 610m or the dual purpose mobile drill rig

The company has extensive experience in deep hole and directional diamond drilling programs. This has been achieved through the retention of highly experienced senior drillers and supervisors who are well versed.

First Drilling is committed to supporting local communities, businesses, and people within the regions in which we operate.

According to Matthew Duckworth who is the Business Development Manager of First Drilling Group, the company’s products are found in the South African market and are very Compliant with Environmental Legislation.

The company is a member of The Australian Drilling Industry Association.

Unique drilling fluid, Inc

Unique drilling fluids incorporated is a global oil and gas chemical manufacturer and service supply company based in the Dallas metropolis. They support upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas activity.

The company’s international presencehas grown to areas that include Nigeria, Australia, Venezuela, Libya, SaudiArabia, Argentina and several other countries.Their capabilities are unlike most service companies. Not only do they formulate, produce and supply drilling fluid systems, cement slurry’s, fracturing fluids, etc. expert’s research and develop specialty chemicals, field portable equipment, and laboratory equipment and provide services specifically to meet your needs.

The company has capabilities to characterized shale, well water analysis, specific chemical analysis, corrosion analysis and any other analysis which is critical to have success in the hydrocarbon extraction process. At UDF the client is the focus.

Unique drilling fluids, inc. spend countless hours making sure they provide clients with the right product for their application. The company’s high quality control standards are non-negotiable.

Products include oil based drilling chemicals; water based drilling chemicals, oil well cementand additives, stimulation chemicals, production treating/refinery chemicals, fracturing chemicals, commercial chemicals, laboratory supplies drilling fluid and cement testing equipment, corrosion inhibitors, completion chemicals and packer fluids, specialty products and lubricants.

Unique drilling fluid, inc. is a firm believer that all accidents are preventable.

UDF takes pride in delivering excellent products in a timely fashion and serving their clients with brilliant customer service in its entirety.

According to Gianni Clemons from Unique drilling fluid, Inc, future trends will see fracking emerging all across Africa and obviously this technology allows the company to discover oil and natural gas in places they have never thought, resulting in the use of fracking chemicals to accomplish this emerging phenomenon.

The company is involved in a project that requires them to formulate a high pressure- high temperature corrosion inhibitor and corrosion rate monitoring system with a firm in Saudi Arabia to improve Saudi Aramco’s pipeline system.


Haryson Engineering Co.

Vishal Sajnani

Marketing Manager


Rockmore International GmbH

Mani Pessiani


ROCK International

Eric Gobbert

Business Development Manager


Padley & Venables Ltd.

Glyn Storey



Gabriele Pavan



Kiesow, Ralf


Herrenknecht AG




Doofor Inc.

Kalle Kuusento


Herbst SMAG mining Technologies GmbH

Stanley, William


Advanced Mining Production Systems (AMPS)

Brendan Parker

Principal Engineer


Mincon Group PLC

Gerry O’Connor

Mincon West Africa

Martin van Gemert


Mammoth Technologies

Graham Brandling

Marketing Manager,,


Mark Sprouls

Editorial Services for Caterpillar Trade Press Relations


Leo Goranov

Marketing Manager

Drill King International, L.P.


WOLF Rock Drills Ltd

José Carlos Falleiros


Comacchio Srl

Emanuele Comacchio


A.W. (Bill) Bauer, M.Sc., P.Eng.

Blasting Instrumentation Department




Gian Maria Barborini – Sales Area Manager



Thorkild Stokholm


Becker Varis

Steve Burton

Customer Support Manager


First Drilling

Matthew Duckworth

Business Development Manager


Unique drilling fluid, Inc

Gianni Clemons

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  1. Kourtney Jensen

    I appreciate how you explained what drilling is, that it’s a process in mining where a hole is drilled so samples can be retrieved from it. My cousins are all in the mining field so I heard a lot about the stints they have, but never the actual work. It seems like an intricate process, and with out the drilling part, nothing could happen!


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