LONGEVITY OF CURRENT MINES – THE ISIDINGO DRILL DESIGN CHALLENGE
Drilling was identified to be the most constrained activity in the mining cycle in conventional underground mines. To this effect, the Department of Science and Technology, through the SAMERDI programme, assigned the CSIR to undertake a project named the Isidingo Challenge. This project was initiated in order to encourage manufacturers to design and develop a safer, lighter and faster drill machine.
The project entails the innovation challenge being sent to the public and challenge winners selected based on the submitted concept designs. The project also involved the development of the drill prototypes and subsequent surface testing, underground testing and monitoring of the prototypes.
In the 2019/2020 financial year, two drill prototypes were developed for monitoring and testing. The aim of this was to select the drilling unit that best fits or exceeds the criteria developed by industry.