OceanaGold integrates remote drilling technology at US gold mine

OceanaGold has become the first mining company in the US to utilise equipment manufacturer Epiroc’s remote technology for drilling at the Haile Gold Mine in South Carolina.

Epiroc’s BenchREMOTE system will be used with two of Oceana’s three Epiroc drills at Haile. The technology is set to provide several advantages for Oceana’s drill and blast team in the often harsh South Carolina weather conditions.

BenchREMOTE enables operators to work from a safe distance in a comfortable environment, handling up to three rigs in parallel. This advanced technology allows the operator station to be placed up to 100 metres away with a line of sight to communicate with the drills.

The package also includes the operator station only, so installation design is determined at the operator’s discretion allowing for a customisable end-product.

The addition of remote technology provides a significant safety advantage, particularly with the development of a new pit at Haile where the Oceana team is encountering historic workings.

We may want to drill into an area with little cover to see what’s there, but we don’t want to risk putting somebody physically in the drill,” said Haile’s drill and blast general supervisor Aaron Kash.