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Sandvik Leopard DI650i drill rigs pack a punch

Sandvik's Leopard DI650i DTH drill rig now supports fully autonomous operation  Sandvik's Leopard DI650i DTH drill rig now supports fully autonomous operation

Company delivers complete autonomous surface drilling solution at Swedish surface mine

LKAB are reaping the rewards of high-capacity production drilling, operational efficiency, and environmentally friendly performance at their Leveäniemi open pit mine in Svappavaara, northern Sweden, thanks to a completely autonomous solution from Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions.  

The order, which has streamlined surface drilling at the site, included: three Leopard DI650i down-the-hole (DTH) drill rigs with AutoMine readiness; My Sandvik Onsite data analytics; rock tools; as well as technical expertise and maintenance services. Sandvik will provide education and training on the new systems, which will be commissioned on an ongoing basis, as well as technicians on site during operation to help ensure high availability. 


‘We have made a strategic choice to implement automated surface drilling technology in cooperation with Sandvik,’ said Anders Nyberg, section manager LKAB Svappavaara. ‘We look forward to continuing testing the latest digital technology in Svappavaara.’

In addition to a Sandvik office, a service workshop will be established on site, equipped with a grinding machine and DTH hammer service tools, to help ensure maximum, cost-effective utilization throughout the service life of the hammers and bits.

‘This full-service agreement ensures that the drill rigs are optimally utilized and that Sandvik service technicians are on site to provide full support year-round,’ said Andreas Östdahl, key account manager, LKAB for Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions. ‘By taking advantage of automation and more efficient DTH rock tools, LKAB can achieve ambitious drill meter targets.’

Sandvik’s Leopard DI650i drill rigs are equipped with Sandvik's iDrill technology, a scalable automation platform that supports fully autonomous operation, streamlining the drilling process and ensuring high-quality results. The technology covers all stages of the drilling cycle, from automated boom positioning and drilling to rod handling and hole finishing.

The new technology provides not only increased productivity but also reduced environmental impact, with the DTH hammers and drill bits complementing the solution.

‘Sandvik drill bits are equipped with our PowerCarbide inserts, which not only provide better drilling productivity but also superior service life,’ explained Mr Östdahl. ‘This, together with our program for circular recycling of drill bits and inserts, supports our common goal towards more sustainable mining.’


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