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Drilling machines & equipment for mining

Royal Eijkelkamp supplies advanced equipment for operators and contractors to be used in various activities within all phases of mining: from drill core sampling in an exploration campaign to measuring groundwater quality in a mine site and monitoring slope stability in a rehabilitation post-mining area.

Mining consists of several stages, all of which require a different approach and equipment. Let's take a look at the life cycle of mining. This cycle, that can in some cases span as many as 100 years, is complex and commodity-specific but can still be generalized into three main phases. 

1. Mineral exploration and discovery

The first prospective activities range from geological mapping and soil and water sampling to geophysical surveys and drill core sampling. A range of tools and techniques are deployed in order to raise data and information aiming to pin out potential deposits and decrease uncertainties in the researched area. Drilling campaigns provide detailed information on the underground rock property, such as composition, structure and layers behavior on surface and at depth. 

To estimate mineral resources and define ore reserves, drill core sample quality is paramount in any exploration project. Thanks to the Sonic drilling technology, rock formations can be penetrated more easily. These Royal Eijkelkamp machines have a relatively small footprint, making them suitable for more sustainable explorative mining operations. 

2. Mine development and operation

Once a deposit is confirmed and its resources and reserves are calculated, the second step is to design the mining site. This is done according to orebody modelling and environmental and financial metrics. Processing plants, support facilities and utility infrastructure are installed to enable production. Orebody model and ore reserves are frequently updated and precisely detailed throughout the mine lifespan thanks to regular data input from mine front through continuously drilling and sampling aiming to control ore grade and production targets. 

In parallel to the mine operation, environmental indicators from mine site and surroundings are continuously monitored through sensors, smart devices and integration data platforms. Surveyed parameters range from fauna and flora survey to air quality diagnose, noise levels, groundwater level and quality and mine waste/tailing dam management. At these times, it's useful to install smart sensors to monitor groundwater level and quality, and sample and research soil to determine properties such as permeability (in case of possible pollution). 

3. Mine closure and land rehabilitation

Once the ore deposit is exhausted, after decades of production, the mine site is shut down and operations are halted. Decommissioning activity takes place where infrastructure is taken apart, and mine waste and utility water is cleaned up through remediation actions. The rehabilitation plan, designed prior to the mine development and operation, is deployed in order to create a new equivalent ecosystem in the area through land infill, soil reposition and growing trees. In some cases, post-mining land use also includes programs for leisure parks, golf fields, farms, residential areas, and more.

Environmental indicators are regularly measured during the closure phase and span through years during the rehabilitation period. Geotechnical parameters such as ground and slope stability are also closely monitored to ensure low risks for new activities planned in the old mine site. 

Challenges of mining

As a sector highly scrutinized by government, society and investors and subject to external influences such as market uncertainties, commodity volatility and shifts in demands, the mining industry faces numerous challenges. Mine operators and service providers are eager to protect and sustain their business by reducing development expenditure and limiting operational footprint while increasing productivity and safety. 

These trends also drive innovation within this business ecosystem where automation, technology integration, predictive analytics, green production and water management are the main topics among R&D teams. Royal Eijkelkamp is also thoughtfully following these trends and translating these challenges into tailor-made solutions for end users within the mining sector.

Expertise of Royal Eijkelkamp

Royal Eijkelkamp relies on an experienced team who made a solid career working as mining professionals in various countries and companies. Our people speak the sector language, and our hands-on approach allows the offering of tailor-made solutions based on specific application needs and project details. Regardless of the application, Royal Eijkelkamp provides holistic solutions for your mining project: This includes the supply, installation, calibration, and maintenance of sensors, always backed by premium drilling technology ensuring efficiency in your operations. Going further, our data services include data collection and web-based data monitoring which provides information for easy interpretation.

Our strong global distribution channels ensure a reliable product delivery network, even amidst the most challenging supply-chain constrains. Our technicians have a flexible schedule and can be deployed into the remotest project for consultancy services or simply to train a team ensuring you have a self-sufficient staff confident enough to operate your brand-new sonic rig.

Always looking ahead, the data-oriented projects in our R&D roadmap includes improvements in the current Measure While Drilling, development of AI geotechnical algorithms to support post-mining engineering plans and the deployment of IoT platform to connect all your sensors and assets in an integrated web solution.

Mining with Sonic Drilling rigs

Royal Eijkelkamp and partner Fraste developed the state-of-the-art in multi-purpose drill rigs for different applications throughout the mining life-cycle: from drilling campaigns (exploration, infill and mine front) and environmental research to geotechnical monitoring of tailing dams and mine sites.

The sonic method of drilling also creates an extremely straight borehole, making it an optimal technology for installing instrumentation and monitoring equipment in a quick and efficient manner. These rigs haven proven themselves as different models were deployed in the most challenging and remote projects around the world, always counting with a team of expert drillers giving online and onsite support whenever is necessary. Anywhere.

Monitoring water with Smart Sensoring

Eijkelkamp Smart Sensoring has the resources, technology and services to produce relevant environmental data for your mine site monitoring plan. Data from which you can obtain valuable information or data for control signals for machines and equipment. We facilitate the data that allow you to shape things to your needs. We do, of course, deliver all the hardware and sensors such as divers and multiparameter water probes, soil drilling equipment, cables and modems you require for this, and provide the necessary advice, as well.

Researching soil behavior with Cone Penetration Testing

Royal Eijkelkamp sonic rigs can also be equipped with Cone Penetration Test system. The combination of these two technologies - SonicCPT - creates the ultimate geotechnical testing method for overburden formations and tailing dam stability investigation. The dedicated Royal Eijkelkamp CPT machines ensure quick and easy determination of geotechnical engineering properties of soils in your mine site.

Our comprehensive portfolio of geotechnical instrumentation ultimately creates a one-stop-shop, offering holistic solutions to engineering challenges in your mine site. Through affordable and smart inclinometers, extensometers, piezometers and tiltmeters, timely corrective actions can be taken based on the real time database system for online geotechnical monitoring. 

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