Drilling Down: Case Study – Styrud Arctic, Sweden
In this edition of ‘Drilling Down’ , we take a look at how the Azimuth Aligner significantly reduced rig-down time at the world’s largest underground iron ore mine; some 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle!
Location: Swedish Lapland
Specialisation: Underground Diamond Drilling
Styrud Arctic (SA) is a renowned European drilling contractor working for State-owned LKAB Mining in Sweden. The Kiruna mine is the world’s largest underground iron ore mine, located in some of the most challenging conditions on the planet – some 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle.
Issues on Site:
The close proximity to the magnetic North Pole, coupled with freezing cold temperatures, meant that SA had always found it difficult to gain accurate readings from traditional gyroscopic measurement devices.This would lead to holes having to be re-drilled; a costly and time-consuming exercise – particularly given the overall size of the mine (over 330km of underground road). Rig down-time was unacceptably long whenever holes had to be re-located. For example, surveyors may not be able to arrive on-site for between 3-5 hours. This impacted significantly on productivity for the drilling contractor. Meanwhile, the mine was forced to wait overtime for core samples – leading to delays further down the track into production.
Minnovare’s Azimuth Aligner (AA) is the most accurate drill alignment technology in the world (+/-0.2°); Minnovare’s engineers joined a team of (understandably) sceptical geologists and travelled to the most magnetic parts of the mine to survey the AA’s accuracy.
In every situation the AA performed better than expected – providing the most accurate down-hole alignments ever recorded at the mine, despite the highly challenging conditions.
Initial drill rig set-ups were completed in just five minutes, with no assistance required from surveyors – all thanks to the Azimuth Aligner.
The vastly improved accuracy ensured the drill teams achieved minimal deviation from the plan. And with rig set-up achieved in minutes, the potential for extended down-time was effectively eliminated. The gains for Styrud Arctic have been dramatic:
The AA immediately helped increase the average metres drilled per shift and revenue per operating rig (ARPOR). For the mine, core sample delivery times were slashed and the cost-per-drilled metre reduced.
All of which translates to a significant bottom line increase for both the contractor and the end client.
“The Azimuth Aligner saved us a lot of time. It performed exactly as promised, which is not always the case!”
– Joakim Kemi (pictured), Managing Director, Styrud Arctic
For more information on this case study and/or the Azimuth Aligner, contact Minnovare on +61 8 6381 0076 or firstname.lastname@example.org