Automation to suit the operator

When it comes to better drilling efficiencies, it’s all about going the extra mile; something Cat’s latest rotary blasthole drills have taken to heart.

Suited for Australian mining conditions, the Cat MD6250 provides operators with a sophisticated option for drilling medium blastholes up to 250mm, while the Cat MD6310 is suitable for larger holes up to 310mm. The duo will soon be joined at supplier WesTrac by the Cat MD6200, designed for creating smaller blastholes up to 200mm.

WesTrac WA CEO Jarvas Croome said these drills represented some of the most advanced units in the market, with their electronic control strategies offering operators high levels of fuel efficiency and power.

“Because the MD6250 and MD6310 both feature Cat Product Link Elite, they are able to generate and send relevant statistics on machine health, location and production,” he said.

“This data is sent back to the office in real time and allows for timely analysis, increased productivity and greater uptime.”

WesTrac New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory CEO Greg Graham said in addition to offering advanced Cat technology as standard, both drills were able to be operated autonomously.

“Operators can choose a level of automation that suits them,” he said.

“They are suitable for all types of open cut mining, quarrying and heavy construction applications.”

Endowed with a Cat C27 ACERT engine, the MD6250 is ideal for single-pass 10m to 12m rock benches and can drill holes from 152mm to 250mm in diameter, while also being suitable for both single and multi-pass applications in rotary and down-the-hole modes. With its 11.2m mast attached it can achieve multi-pass hole depths of 53.6m, while the 13.7m mast can achieve depths of up to 37.9m.

The MD6250 can apply bit loads of 22,321kg and 32,655kg respectively for the 11.2m and 13.7m masts and is suitable for angle drilling up to 30 degrees in five-degree increments.

The MD6310 comes with a Cat C32 ACERT engine and is application-built for 12m to 15m bench heights and for hole diameters up to 311mm. The drill is also suitable for both single and multi-pass applications in rotary and down-the- hole modes.

With its 13.7m mast attached the MD6310 can achieve multi-pass hole depths of 62.5m, while the 17.5m mast can achieve depths of up to 48m. It can apply bit loads of 31,640 kg and 42,149 kg respectively for the 13.7m and 17.5m masts and is capable of drilling 30-degree holes for cast blasting.

Unlike other drills that run constantly at high load, the new Cat drills feature variable air volume that provides up to 50 per cent less engine load, reducing operation costs.

Both drills come with world-class cabs featuring large windows for greater operator visibility, a drill depth indicator and virtual head stops and interlocks, protecting the machine and the operator.

“The auto drill assist feature automates part of the drilling cycle – something that has the potential to improve accuracy and efficiency and drive down operating costs,” Mr Graham said.

“Remote control or semi-autonomous drilling can also be achieved through the use of Cat MineStar options.”

The Cat Terrain for Drilling feature uses satellite guidance to increase pattern accuracy by up to four times, while Cat Command automates the drilling cycle, allowing a single operator to manage multiple machines at the same time.

WesTrac is already supplying customers with the MD6250 and MD6310. New variants will be arriving throughout early to mid 2019, with the first MD6200s scheduled to arrive in the country in mid-2019.

Image: The Cat MD6250.

latest news

Adaman ditches the diesel at Kirkalocka

Adaman Resources has signed up Wesfarmers’ EVOL LNG to slash energy costs at the Kirkalocka Gold Mine near Mount Magnet that it is restarting a decade after its last gold pour.

Read more

Rio's train robots get to work on Pilbara tracks

  Rio Tinto is turning its leading minds to new advances for its iron ore trains after completing the rollout of driverless technology across its sprawling Pilbara rail network.

Read more

Adani promises up to 1800 jobs

Adani says there could be up to 1800 ongoing jobs once it starts exporting coal from its central Queensland mine.

Read more

Up to six months to sort Gascoyne collapse

  Administrators for Gascoyne Resources say it could take up to six months for the fate of the collapsed gold miner to play out.

Read more

Resources showcase to shine light on innovation

A robotics industry so sophisticated it has drawn the attention of NASA.

Read more

Students will dig new curriculum

Sabina Shugg, incoming Director of the Western Australian School of Mines, says a new curriculum at the institution will ensure graduates are on top of technological changes in the industry.

Read more


industry insight

A game of attraction

The announcement of major iron ore projects by the big three miners has been heralded by many as a

Products and Technology

Meeting in the middle

As with any aspect of a mine, generating power each day involves a number of different elements coming together at the right time, notwithstanding possible risks, how power needs

People and Projects

Minesite restoration overlooks fauna: study

In early 2017 the Australian Senate started an inquiry tasked with investigating the rehabilitation of mining and resources

Occupational Health and Safety

Neglect maintenance at your own risk

Mining processes and operations are incredibly intensive and risk prone.


Paying the iron price

As ramifications from the Brumadinho dam disaster continue to shake up global markets, the price of iron ore is being tipped to perform stronger for longer – and Australia’s big players are set to...

Read more