The Asia Miner

SEP-OCT 2014

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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September/October 2014 | ASIA Miner | 75 WITH the mining industry looking to reduce costs across the board, while still maintaining productivity with equipment that remains reliable and continues to perform as required, rebuilding older machines to as- new condition is becoming an increasingly attractive option. But it re- quires equipment suppliers with the facilities, skills and factory backing to be able to rebuild equipment to as-new, OEM-compliant standards. This process must be based around mining equipment with the right pedigree of inbuilt durability and product quality to have the potential for a second life. An example of this is a seven-year-old Sandvik DD420 development drill which recently underwent a major overhaul at Sandvik's Kalgoor- lie Customer Service Centre (CSC) in Western Australia that brought it back to as-new condition, including upgrades to latest-technology components. Sandvik Mining's Kalgoorlie CSC workshop supervisor Nathan Brad- shaw says the 11-week rebuild process resulted in a machine that can be expected to work productively for a further seven years if it is oper- ated and maintained in line with Sandvik's recommended maintenance procedures. In addition, the rig, which had been operated in a Western Australian nickel mine for the past seven years, had to be re-specced to meet the quite different standards of the Queensland silver mine for which it was being rebuilt. "The two mine sites had widely varying compliance requirements – both are very rigorous, but both are very different," says Nathan Bradshaw. As a result of the rebuild, the machine is in as-new condition and is covered by a Sandvik Australia 12-month/1500-hour warranty. And the silver mine that it was rebuilt for is getting an updated, as-new devel- opment drill for around 70% of the cost of a new machine. The scope of works for the DD420 rebuild involved stripping the rig right down to its base chas- sis and components, replacing specifed items, and repairing or replacing other parts and compo- nents as necessary to ensure ev- erything was back to OEM-com- pliant condition. "Following the rebuild, all ser- vice, parts and safety bulletins, as well as machine upgrades, will have been completed, so the fn- ished product is as up-to-date as any machine can be – given it is a seven-year-old carrier and drill rig," says Nathan Bradshaw. "Throughout the process we li- aised closely with the customer and the response back from them is that they are delighted with the quality of the rebuild, and the per- formance and productivity of the rig. "An important element of the success of a project like this is that the durability and quality is built into these Sandvik underground rigs from the beginning, so that we have solid, strong carrier and drilling module to work with, and which have the strength to continue reli- ably performing for a further seven years," he says. Sandvik Mining's Region Australia vice president Jim Tolley says this DD420 rebuild – and others of a similar scope being carried out at Sandvik service centres around Australia – are a prime example of how the mining industry is driving more value from suppliers and equipment. "Just a few years ago, a drill rig of this age would probably have been retired and replaced with a new one," he says. "Now, with miners looking to better 'sweat their assets' and get more out of them as part of an industry-wide drive to reduce costs, options such as rebuilding older machines to as-new OEM-spec condition are becoming increasingly popular. "But to do this, they require the combination of product durability, design and reliability to justify the rebuild investment, and the ability of a supplier to bring equipment back up to as-new condition. "At Sandvik Mining, we are investing heavily in our ability to provide these high levels of machine refurbishment and rebuilding, through our Australia-wide network of Customer Service Centres, and our new-con- cept Productivity Centres. "Projects such as this one at our Kalgoorlie CSC are examples of how we can work with our mining customers to reduce their capital equipment costs, while maintaining or improving their required levels of productivity," Jim Tolley says. The seven-year-old Sandvik DD420 development drill after its rebuild at Sandvik's Kalgoorlie Customer Service Centre. Sandvik rig rebuild reduces costs

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