Longcliffe invests in a second drill rig to increase sustainability

Derbyshire, central England-based Longcliffe Quarries has invested significantly in a second drill rig for its calcium carbonates quarrying operation, delivering major improvements in efficiency and sustainability.
Breaking, Drilling & Blasting / July 10, 2023
By Guy Woodford
The team prepares to use the new drill rig at Longcliffe’s Brassington Moor Quarry - left to right: Dwain Redman – explosives supervisor; Gareth Hibbitt – assistant quarry manager; Chris Ogden – trainee shotfirer; Harry Wanford – trainee shotfirer Jon Murgatroyd – quarry manager; and Nick Thomas – explosives supervisor. Pic: Longcliffe Quarries

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 UK. 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 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 moving 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 in 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 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, the driller uses a comprehensive GPS system 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 already see the benefits of having a dedicated rig in each of our quarries”. 

Jason Reilly, area sales manager for Epiroc, the new rig supplier, said: “Epiroc’s ambition is to produce the world’s greenest machines, to enable our partners to mine minerals in the most sustainable way possible, whilst improving safety, productivity, and machine availability even further. So, we are delighted that the team at Longcliffe have ordered another Epiroc FlexiROC D55 in their chosen corporate colours, complete with a ROC-Care service agreement, demonstrating the close working partnership and shared commitment to sustainability between our two companies.”

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