One of the more difficult rock reinforcement tasks in underground mining and tunnelling operations is how to install long-term rock bolts in poor rock conditions. As a result of this, rock bolting is often the bottleneck within the drill and blast cycle, leading to difficulties to predict work task scheduling.
Blocky or friable ground often leaves drilled bolt holes blocked or partially blocked, which slows down, or in the worst case, prevents the introduction of bonding agents such as cement grout or resin cartridges into the bolt hole. The Epiroc and LKAB solution will allow a faster, more reliable and cost-effective bolting alternative for long-term rock reinforcement in difficult ground conditions.
"An important factor to achieve a workable rock reinforcement solution is to have a system where the bolt design, bonding agent and bolting rig all work together to provide a robust and reliable bolt installation", said Peter Bray, global product manager, Epiroc. "To this end, Epiroc has worked hand-in-hand with a leading bolt and chemical supplier to create a bolting system that addressed the issues faced with long-term bolting in poor ground conditions," continued Bray.
The result of this work is an integrated, pumpable two-component resin system that can be used with a self-drilling anchor style bolt in tougher ground conditions or alternately with a two-step hollow bolt in more moderate ground conditions.
"Having the ability to choose a long-term rock bolt that suits the ground conditions means that customers are able to achieve an optimal rock reinforcement regime in terms of function and budget," Bray concluded.
The integrated pumpable resin system from Epiroc is designed to be used on the mechanised bolting machines Boltec M and Boltec E models.