Two brand-new Comacchio CXT 15 rigs to join operations in Guinea

Exploration drilling services provider Capital Drilling expands its fleet


Two brand-new CXT 15 will be the first Comacchio rigs to join the operations of Capital Drilling, an exploration and production drilling services provider across Africa, at its operations in Guinea.

These truck-mounted units were developed starting from the client's request for a powerful yet compact exploration drilling rig that could be installed on a three-axle truck. The ability of Comacchio to provide customized solutions taking advantage of the most innovative techniques was put to use to achieve this goal. The result is a combination of innovation and pragmatism that allows these machines to perform diamond coring and reverse circulation drilling on the same platform.

The ease of movement is combined with the possibility of having an onboard air compressor, which makes the CXT 15 the ideal solution for large-scale exploration projects that develop on remote and challenging environments, ensuring the flexibility to mobilise quickly to site and adjust to changes in the drilling programme when needed.

"The project was a collaboration between Capital Drilling, Comacchio and our longstanding Australian dealer Drilltechniques. Starting from a detailed look at the needs and expectations of the customer we have developed the most practical solution to cater to different stages of the exploration programme, including air core, deep hole diamond, diamond core and reverse circulation drilling," explains Emanuele Comacchio, area manager and one of the key players of the project. "As always in Comacchio, we have focused on improving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the equipment while keeping them uncomplicated in the design, reliable and user-friendly, ensuring maximum comfort and safety for the operator."

Importantly, the CXT 15 meets one of Capital Drilling's key objectives to minimise the rig footprint and limit their impact on the surrounding environment when exploration drilling. The self-sufficient rig requires a much smaller operational area as a result of its smaller configuration and minimal auxiliary support equipment required.

The CXT 15 rigs that have joined the fleet of Capital Drilling are mounted on 6x6 trucks and incorporate two engines: a 575hp engine powering the onboard compressor for RC drilling and a smaller engine that is used to power all machine functions when performing core drilling. The powerful compressor is designed to provide up to 555l/sec at 35 bar. The six-gear rotary head designed by Comacchio can transmit up to 1,360daNm torque and reach 900rpm.

Going from diamond drilling configuration to RC requires only minimal adjustments on the rotary head. The rotary head also features a rod-loader arm that can be used for the handling of 6m long rods up to 185mm in diameter. The onboard equipment also includes a 190l/min triplex mud pump and a 1,000m wire winch.

These truck-mounted units are part of the new Comacchio CX line of drilling equipment that was recently launched by the Italian manufacturer to meet the needs of clients specialising in mineral exploration drilling. The new line currently includes five crawler-mounted and four truck-mounted rig models, in the nine to 22 tons weight class.


The vast choice of multipurpose rotary heads and onboard accessories available for these rigs (such as water and mud pumps, duplex and triplex pumps, compressors and wire-line winches) ensures that Comacchio CX rigs can adapt to virtually any exploration drilling application (with either direct or reverse circulation), in all geological formations. CX line drill rigs are designed and built to optimise performance: each set-up incorporates the ability to perform multiple drilling types from the same rig. This operational flexibility results in reduced unproductive time and lower total cost of ownership.

A special focus was put on the development of an array of hands-free rod handling systems that eliminate the hazards associated with manual handling. The CX line also includes a fully automated patented drill rig designed to perform grade control drilling inside the pit. All CX line rigs can be offered with a telemetry system developed by Comacchio to give users real-time equipment status and monitoring all drilling and operational data, thus improving productivity rates, and reducing downtime and costs.


Comacchio is an Italian drill rig manufacturer offering the most comprehensive product range in the industry, covering the full spectrum of drilling activities, including foundations, geotechnics, mineral exploration, water well and geothermal drilling