Derbyshire-based Longcliffe Quarries Ltd has made a significant investment in a second drill rig for its calcium carbonates quarrying operation, delivering major improvements in efficiency and sustainability.
The Epiroc rig will be based at Brassington Moor Quarry where the company has access to one of the highest purity limestone sources in the country. Here Longcliffe operates an in-house drill and blast system to extract this material for use in a range of industrial powders for products including animal feeds, fertiliser, glass production and adhesives.
Previously the company’s one drill rig was used for both this quarry and its Ryder Point Quarry, two miles away. The rig had to ‘track’ between the quarries, taking up valuable time (around half a day each time), and using large amounts of fuel. This new, second rig will prevent the need to move rigs between quarries, enabling Longcliffe to achieve improved efficiency, reduce fuel use and save on the cost of replacement tracks.
Longcliffe’s Brassington Moor Quarry Manager, Jon Murgatroyd said: “This investment will deliver significant improvements on our operational efficiency and environmental impact. In addition to achieving savings on time and fuel, the rig will also help us with better utilisation of the rock on the ground.” The new rig will be operated by the highly experienced, locally-based in-house team of driller, Paul Hadfield; and shotfirers Nick Taylor, Dwain Redman, Harry Wanford and Chris Ogden. The process for blasting in the quarry begins with laser profiling the faces, then blast designs using 3D modelling. Finally, a comprehensive GPS system is used by the driller to position the rig to pinpoint shot locations to match the computerised plan.
Longcliffe Managing Director Paul Boustead added: “We are pleased to take delivery of this second drill rig. We are continually looking for ways to increase the sustainability and efficiency of our operations. Moving our original rig between sites was challenging and costly and we can see already the benefits of having a dedicated rig in each of our quarries”.