The Debswana (OLDM) Orapa Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines have acquired two P&H 250xpc rotary blast hole drill machines worth P38 million as part of continued quest to boost production.
The giant drilling machines, which were procured from Joy Global, an international company which deals with mining solutions, are meant to supplement the existing old drilling machines at the mine.
The machines comprise of new generation technology specifically designed for heavy-duty blast hole drilling for the toughest hard rock and high production mining operations in the world.
Giving a keynote address during the handing over of the machines on Friday, General Manager of OLDM, Dr Adrian Gale, said that the last time they bought drilling machines was in 2008. He added that budgetary constraints have always hampered their plans to buy the new machines.
“I must admit that drilling is in fact one of our challenges that we are currently facing and that is why we had to push for approval to acquire these machines by the Debswana board,” he said.
Gale said lack of critical machinery such as drills, negatively impacts on production targets. He added that Debswana is determined to ensure that its mines are equipped with world class machinery that will enable its operations to deliver optimum results for shareholders and ultimately make positive transformation to the lives of the people of Botswana.
He said that they have an obligation as a responsible diamond company operating mines in Batswana to continuously ensure that the world class equipment that they procure complies with international safety standards and provides comfort for those who will be operating it.
“This machinery will greatly assist us in delivery of what we have set for ourselves as one of the largest diamond operations in the world. The drills are capable of drilling up to 250 mm diameter blast holes at a depth of up to 20 meters and at a penetration rate of 19 t0 25 meters per hour for waste hard rock and 35 meters per an hour for soft rock,” he said.
The General Manager implored the OLDM employees and Joy Global to commit and ensure that the drills are maintained to world class standards. He said that it is very important that the machines should be used to the best possible safest way and to ensure that their expected lifespan of over ten years is met.
“I want to urge our team to use the machines in the best possible way as this will ensure that their expected lifespan of ten years is met and that the business derives maximum value from the machines,” Dr Gale said.
Senior Sales Manager of Joy Global in Africa, Ian Williams, said their vision is to be recognised as the preferred mining solutions partner in Africa. He said his company’s objective is to sustain profitable growth through excellence in their products, people, services and operations.
“Be assured that Joy Global will be here in support of OLDM to ensure that the new drills perform to their full capacity in the shortest possible time and achieve good consistent results,” he said in conclusion.
Early this year, Debswana also procured a giant hydraulic shovel worth P80 million as part of its efforts to boost production.