BUCYRUS INTERNATIONAL will soon deliver its 100th 49R Series III rotary blasthole drill to SNIM (Societe Nationale Industrielle et Miniere) for iron ore mining in Zouerate, Mauritania. This new drill (12- to 15-inch hole diameter) joins a fleet of eight 60R and one 45R Bucyrus drills, some of which have operated at the mine since 1972. It is the second model 49R purchased by SNIM. Other Bucyrus equipment at the mine includes 150B, 190B and 290B shovels.
The purchase of this new drill represents part of an ongoing upgrade program within SNIM’s mine operations. From the mine’s inception in 1952, production has steadily risen to current levels of 12 million tonnes/year. Situated 700 km from Nouadhibou port facilities on the Atlantic coast, SNIM has successfully overcome both logistic and harsh climatic conditions to become the major iron ore producer in this region, selling its high quality iron ore products to major European steelmakers.
The new 49R features several upgrades. Fully cleated crawler links with an increased pin bearing area provide smoother operation and longevity. A tubular mast with a forged and machined rack provides a long-lasting rack life and stable structure that resists cracks. A new water injection system provides a cost-effective system with resistance to water contamination. Enhanced DC drives are equipped with filters to prevent failure due to power line harmonics.
Upon completion of factory testing and inspection, the new drill will travel by special vessel to the port of Nouadhibou. It will complete the last leg of its journey by rail to Zouerate, where SNIM’s experienced engineers, with the help of Bucyrus technical support, will erect it.
For readers wanting more information about SNIM, go to www.snim.fr.