Poland’s Copper Belt Mines

Table of Contents

Introduction
An Evolving Challenge
Atlas Copco Offers Solution
Serviceable and robust
About Atlas Copco

Introduction

The Boomer M1 L was launched in the year 2011, is based on the Boomer S1 L model, and has been designed along with Polish mining group KGHM to enable operations on a new path. This development has been highly successful, hence Atlas Copco and KGHM are discovering other ways of collaborating in order to improve mining technologies.

Atlas Copco and the mining group KGHM have introduced the new co-designed Boomer M1 L in Poland’s copper belt mines. The Rudna mine situated in the southwest region of Poland called Lower Silesia, stands as a highly significant copper deposit in Europe.

It is also a resource base for one of the country’s largest exporters, the mining group KGHM Polska Mied. KGHM is presently the largest silver producer and the ninth largest producer of copper in the world with core operations extending throughout the area typically known as the Legnica-Glogów copper belt.

Better by design: The new Boomer M1 L offers robustness, more power and maneuverability, with improved access to service parts.

An Evolving Challenge

KGHM is the largest employer in Lower Silesia with 18,000 people directly involved in the mining process and around 10,000 working for its subsidiaries with its properties spanning an area of 467 000 km¬2. These mines include Rudna, Lubina and Polkowice-Sieroszowice mines, as well as two copper smelters, a concentrator, a wire rod plant and various auxiliary units.

The Rudna mine was commenced in 1969 and mining is done round-the-clock over four shifts. 30 Mt of ore are extracted by KGHM each year with copper content of 1.8 % and 46 g per tonne of silver, taking equipment and miners deeper and deeper into narrower drifts.

Rudna is divided into 13 mining sections, has 11 shafts in operation ranging from 950 to 1250 m depth. Atlas Copco’s Boomer S1 L low profile, hydraulic face drilling rig has been used here by KGHM and operators and engineers have been delighted with the performance.

As conditions become more challenging and with plans to increase the working depths at Rudna over the coming years, KGHM requested Atlas Copco for a new drill rig. Atlas Copco has worked in close tandem with KGHM to offer service, sales and support for machines at all three mines and stepped up to the new challenge.

Atlas Copco Offers Solution

At the Rudna mine, room and pillar mining methods are used by KGHM, working at increased ambient temperatures because of heat generated by rock mass and machines. Parts and service manager for Atlas Copco, Andrzej Szoltysik stated that the older models did not meet up to customer expectations and it was difficult to mine narrow deep seams and hence options for a new model were being explored.

Szoltysik and his colleague Boguslaw Holda started working on plans for a new rig prototype in 2005 at Atlas Copco’s service base in Polkowice. KGHM sent three engineers to join the design-and-build team as part of the project.

Szoltysik expressed that it was an excellent example of teamwork and this level of co-operation indicated that the requirements of the mine were perfectly understood and results were excellent. He added that the Boomer became a significant part of their product range and it will remain a key offering in the coming years.

Due to the global financial crisis in 2008, the project was temporarily shelved, plans were revisited and in 2009, the Boomer M1L was developed at the Atlas Copco’s facility in Sweden. On November 15, 2010 after two years of development the prototype rig was delivered to Rudna mine.

After a trial period that lasted for six months, the Boomer M1 L prototype had completed nearly 800 operational hours and drilled over 32,000 holes averaging 3.2 m in length.

The Boomer achieved 90% availability and 75 % utilization with several maintenance stops during this period. After the trial, a comprehensive test report was compiled which included the opinions of operators and the management team along with operating statistics.

Manager of Rudna’s mechanical division, Leszek Szewc stated that they are satisfied with the positive design and test of the unit and their goals were met. While certain improvements were made to operator controls, electric components and the location of rear-view cameras, the prototype success meant that KGHM purchased four Boomer M1 L units in 2011. A fifth unit was delivered in March 2012 and KGHM has since placed orders for a further 15 to be delivered through 2013.

Serviceable and robust

Szewc added that KGHM and Atlas are currently working together to optimize the number of machines used across the organization and to improve their utilization. He added that the ore body at Rudna is constantly declining and the older areas are mined out so that they work very low-profile drifts. At 1,100 m depth the drifts are of height 2 to 2.5 m and operations at Gloglow Deep Industrial will be deeper than 1,200 m so it is very important that our equipment is up to the task.

Boomer M1 L goes to work: The rig is pictured here in the 2–2.5 m high drifts at Rudna mine.

Robustness and serviceability were two of the main focuses during the rig’s development.

Measuring 13.6 m length and 1.8 m height, the Boomer M1 L is suitable for drifts of over 2 m and provides face coverage of 5.8 m height and 8 m width without having to move the rig.

The Boomer M1 L has a modular design where around 80–90% of the electrical and hydraulic components are the same as on the Boomer S1 L. A major feature of the M1 L is the new, enclosed, air-conditioned operator cabin. Operator Mariusz Gawronski demonstrated the prototype as a revelation, when compared to the Boomer S1 L and other rigs, it is much more comfortable. The air-conditioning makes a huge difference and since the cabin is enclosed, it is much quieter hence concentration is higher.

Birdseye view: KGHM’s Rudna mine in southwest Poland is one of Europe’s most important copper deposits.

About Atlas Copco

In close cooperation with customers and business partners, and with more than 130 years of experience, Atlas Copco innovates for sustainable productivity.

  • The products and services include compressors, expanders and air treatment systems, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems.
  • Atlas Copco's customers are located almost everywhere on the globe. To them, Atlas Copco is a local company; at the same time, the Atlas Copco Group is a global enterprise with worldwide resources.
  • Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, the Group’s global reach spans more than 170 markets, with its own sales operations in more than 80 countries. In the other countries, the products are marketed through distributors and service networks.
  • The Group has production facilities in more than 20 countries. Manufacturing is mainly concentrated in Belgium, Sweden, Germany, the United States, India and China.

The objective of Atlas Copco’s corporate responsibility work is to be a good corporate citizen in each market. This is done by making a positive impact in economic, environmental and social aspects, and through employee pride in the Group’s values.

Atlas Copco’s vision is to become and remain First in Mind-First in Choice® for its stakeholders, which is also the driving force of the Group’s corporate responsibility strategy

With a tradition of innovation dating back to the Group’s founding in 1873, the core business remains much the same, with today's equipment delivering an unparalleled level of efficiency.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Atlas Copco.

For more information on this source, please visit Atlas Copco.

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