New drilling standards in Estonian mines

When an Estonian mine operator needed an underground rotary drilling rig Mine Master was able to supply a unit that operated beyond expectations.
New drilling standards in Estonian mines New drilling standards in Estonian mines New drilling standards in Estonian mines New drilling standards in Estonian mines New drilling standards in Estonian mines

Mine Masters’ Face Master 1.7OR rig is able to drill vertical holes 30 seconds quicker than specified by the Estonia customer buying it

The underground drilling rig Face Master 1.7 OR, produced by Mine Master, has been created specifically as an underground machine for rotary drilling. It was designed for a customer in Estonia and has been adjusted to the specific requirements requested by the client during the pre-order discussions with manufacturer Mine Masters.

Poland-based Mine Master has been delivering drilling equipment to the mining industry in Estonia since 2007. Today, the 24 drilling and bolting machines currently working in underground mines in the country prove the reliability and efficiency of Mine Master drilling equipment in the unique mining conditions, which occur in Estonian's mines. Mine Master also states that this long-term cooperation has also resulted in an authentic partnership with its customer and has paved the way for developing a newly upgraded drilling rig for rotary drilling, which suits the specific needs of the mine.

Faster drilling

Mine Master's Face Master 1.7OR underground drilling rig has been equipped with a telescopic feeder for drilling 2.1m holes for bolting in galleries at the height of 2.9m as well as for drilling blast holes 2.7m in length. This allows the Estonian customer to stop working with the currently used auger rods and to start implementing the HEX28 rods, which, thanks to the specially designed bit, are far more efficient.

The order requirement was 52 seconds for drilling vertical holes - and first tests show that the new system allowed the holes to be drilled in a maximum of just 22 seconds Mine Master described that as a great success, taking into account that the layers in the roofs are not only oil-shale but they are combined with layers of hard rock.

Mud and dust along with the issue of water supply were also problems highlighted by the operators specifying the requirements of the new rig. To overcome these concerns, Mine Master has developed a new solution, which helps to control dust during drilling. It is a two-way air-mist system, where air mist goes through a rotary bit and via two dust suppression nozzles significantly reducing mud and dust and keeping the drilling area clear and clean. An in-built 1000L water tank on the drilling rig eliminates the need for water from an external source. This water is also used for the wear slide cleaning system, where the mist of water coming from drifter cradle helps to reduce dirt on the slides, thus preventing them from wearing out too quickly.

In oil-shale mines, as in Estonia, one of the problems which have a big impact on operator comfort is the cold and moisture. To help alleviate these problems and increase the comfort of the user, the Face Master 1.7OR underground drilling rig has been designed with a closed cabin complete with a heating system. The system maintains the optimum temperature and controls evaporation in the cabin to significantly improve visibility from inside the cabin.


In order to maximise drilling results, the Mine Master's rig for Estonia has also been equipped with FGS monitoring system. This system allows for drilling according to a drill plan and helps to control and monitor drilling parameters. The operator can see the visualisation of the drilling pattern and feeder position on the monitor in the cab. The system provides drilling reports with drilling parameters, which can be transferred via wi-fi or USB.

The underground Face Master 1.7OR for rotary drilling also features some additional and very useful elements for during day-to-day operations. These additions include an extra 230V power outlet and an additional hydraulic connection. The 230V power outlet can accommodate auxiliary devices such as a welding machine. Thus, simple welding works can be carried out without the need to transfer the machine to a specialist underground mechanical workshop. Similarly, the supplementary hydraulic connection may be used for powering auxiliary tooling without the need to supply an additional power unit.


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