Safety is our first value at MMG and our approach is based on avoiding any harm to our people.
In drilling operations, up to 95% of injuries are directly related to people handling drill pipes. When Rosebery was looking to award the contract for underground drilling services in 2017, all tendering companies were asked to supply a hands-free solution for drill rod handling, in-line with our vision for an injury-free workplace.
The successful company, Titeline, was the only tender that presented a viable solution to hands-free drill rod loading and unloading. While the drill rigs proposed as part of the tender were still in an early concept phase, MMG believed Titeline would be able to deliver on the proposal. The brief was to ensure the drills on site were performing before starting their hand-free proposal, and within six months of commencing their contract Titeline’s in house designed drill rigs outperformed the previous contractor. The team quickly turned to focus efforts on developing a robotic hands-free solution. For a year and a half, they planned, learnt and built the hands-free solution that is now installed on Rig 9 at Rosebery. The resulting drill and the ancillary rod buggy carrier is a world-first for underground diamond drilling, with the results presented at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention in Toronto early 2020.
The machine is still being tested on site to identify potential improvement opportunities, and we will share updates from this world-first development into the future.