Motion Control & Drives


Surface drill rigs for Navachab in Namibia

April 2024 Motion Control & Drives

Epiroc South Africa recently delivered five of six FlexiROC D65 drilling machines to key customer, QKR Namibia Navachab Gold Mine, with delivery of the sixth surface drill rig earmarked for Q4 2024.

QKR Mineral Holdings owns 92,5% of the Navachab open-pit gold mine in Karibib, located in Namibia’s commodity-rich Erongo region. Navachab initially conducted drilling and blasting as an owner operation before moving to a contractor business model. Epiroc has been providing maintenance and cost-per-metre onsite contract support to Navachab since the mining company initiated contractor drilling in 2014.

The findings of an optimisation study conducted by Navachab in 2023 prompted the mining company to make a strategic decision to move away from contractor work and go back to an owner drilling operation. The current positive outlook on gold is expected to provide sustainable growth for both Navachab’s surface operations and also its proposed underground projects. Furthermore, a projected life of mine that extends beyond 2030 shows that Navachab’s operation is extremely stable. On the back of these positive forecasts, coupled with the shift back to owner drilling, Navachab has committed to capital expenditure on necessary equipment as part of its future planning strategy to support successful long-term business sustainability.

The rugged and robust FlexiROC D65 surface drill rig provides the perfect balance between productivity and efficiency. The machine has a proven reputation for being a premium quality, highly dependable rig for down-the-hole drilling in mining and large quarrying applications. Epiroc has built this multi-functional machine to take on the toughest drilling demands, seamlessly delivering high performance and efficiencies.

Epiroc’s service scope of supply to support the customer’s FlexiROC D65s includes a vendor-managed inventory agreement, which comprises particle size distribution, site support and assistance from the organisation’s Drilling Tools & Attachments Division.

Riaan Rust, country manager of Epiroc Namibia, lauded the outstanding work conducted by the Epiroc surface team in collaboration with their Namibian team to support the agreement through product and service deliverables. “We pair our onsite support via the service level agreement with second line support from Epiroc Namibia’s Windhoek branch,” he said. He adds that the onsite technical representative provides further guidance and assistance to the Navachab technicians.

In line with Epiroc’s customer-centric ethos and high service values, operator and technician training and safety remain top priorities. “Correct operation of equipment is fundamental to optimum performance, efficiencies and reliability,” noted Rust. “Subsequently, Navachab will receive two weeks of operator training and one week of technical training with each machine delivered.

“We are proud of our long-standing partnership with Navachab in the delivery of effective and productive mining solutions and wish to express our sincere appreciation to Navachab for their continued support and trust in our ability to deliver premium equipment that assists in optimising their mining operations,” concluded Rust.

Upon receipt of the machines, the managing director of Navachab, George Botshiwe said: ”The acquisition of the drill rigs is a strategic imperative to de-risk our operations and ensure sustainability of our endeavours.” He said that the decision to procure the FlexiROC D65 drill rig was based on an in-depth cost analysis and productivity considerations, and is confident that the drill rig will improve productivity.

For more information contact Sthembiso Mnisi, Epiroc South Africa, +27 821 9000, [email protected], www.epiroc.co.za




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