DTH revolution

07 August 2008

Sandvik DI500

Sandvik DI500

UAE drill and blast specialist contractor Empire Rock Engineering has taken delivery of the region's first Sandvik DI500 (formerly Titon 500) down the hole (DTH) drill rig along with Sandvik DTH hammers and bits to offer a new drilling concept for quarry owners.

The region's quarries have traditionally relied on the top hammer rigs for drilling hole diameters of between 64 mm to102 mm and a maximum 15 m depth. Beyond this depth, according to Empire's Jeff Ridley, the method tends to lose accuracy and the penetration rate falls. In contrast, DTH drilling, which is used widely in Europe, can be used for depths of up to 30 m using a 152 mm drill bit.

Although only formed in 2006, Empire is gaining recognition for its quality operations and to-date has almost 20 drill and blast or drill only clients in quarries across Fujeirah and Ras al Khaimah. Its philosophy of introducing European standards and techniques is endorsed by the delivery of the first DI 500.

Following delivery, the DI500 has been used extensively to drill 17 m deep holes at the Unimix quarry in Taween, close to Dibba, Fujairah. A limestone operation, the quarry experiences up to 40% silica content particularly on the mountain ridges and Beccia zone.

"The Sandvik DTH rig and hammer combination is able to achieve a constant penetration over the complete depth of each hole and still maintain accuracy," confirmed Mr Ridley.


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Andy Brown Editor, Editorial, UK - Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786224 E-mail: [email protected]
Neil Gerrard Senior Editor, Editorial, UK - Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 7355 092 771 E-mail: [email protected]
Catrin Jones Deputy Editor, Editorial, UK – Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 791 2298 133 E-mail: [email protected]
Eleanor Shefford Brand Manager Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786 236 E-mail: [email protected]