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Media / Application stories / U6 Core Drilling Rig Show Their Excellence in Banshi Mining

U6 Core Drilling Rig Show Their Excellence in Banshi Mining


Banshi Mining was founded in 1958 and its main business is iron ore mining, with annual output of 1.2 million tons of fine iron powder and 3.8 million tons of iron ore.U6 rig developed high productivity in Banshi, and reduces the exploration cost effectively. Finally we win customer trust and acceptance.

"Atlas Copco U6 core drilling rig are imported into Banshi Mining mainly for the task of follow-up exploration, including underground prospecting and rock core drilling. We’re fully confident in the performance of U6 drills.” This is what Mr. Chen Xiuyou, Manager of TISG Banshi Mining Geological Exploration Co., expects from U6 core drilling rig.

Banshi Mining was founded in 1958 and its main business is iron ore mining, with annual output of 1.2 million tons of fine iron powder and 3.8 million tons of iron ore. After 50 years, Banshi Mining has developed into a medium sized mining enterprise and became a major raw material production base for Tonghua Iron & Steel Group. Since 2008, Banshi Mining started a new round of mineral resource exploration. Banshi Mining Geological Exploration Co. carried out exploration operations. In 2008, the company drilled 24,000m and reported new iron ore reserves of 22 million tons. In 2009, it drilled 26,000m and reported new reserves of 18 million tons. These deep mining operations lay solid foundation for the future development of Banshi Mining.
To do a good job, one must first sharpen one's tools. Deep mining poses higher requirements on equipment. To meet the demands of the new round of exploration tasks, Banshi Mining bought U6 core drilling rig in June 2009.
Flexible Angle Control

Banshi Mining mainly uses two kinds of exploration – underground exploration and surface exploration. Today, Most of its exploration operations have turned to underground. Ore deposits at Banshi are relatively thick, from 2m to 50m, with angles of inclination between 75° and 80°. The amount of work would be enormous and it would be difficult to control the angles if the deposits were to be explored from the ground surface. The exploration will become easier if holes with 20°-40° inclination are drilled from underground. In general, drilling rigs made in China can only drill holes of 75°-90° inclination in vertical shaft drilling due to their limitation in drilling angles.  When used in underground exploration, home made drilling rigs have to drill at least to the depth of 500m and no doubt it will increase the amount of work and exploration cost.

"Atlas Copco U6 core drilling rigs have evident advantages in angle control. U6 may drill from the angle of 26°, 40°, 60°, 80°, and even any angle within 360°. And under the same geological conditions, U6 needs only to drill to the depth of 400m. Therefore, in terms of accuracy, easiness, cost control, and work amount, U6 is very suitable for underground drilling operations,” said Mr. Chen frankly.

As for drilling deviation, it shall not exceed 1.5° per 100m for angled holes and 1° per 100m for straight and vertical holes. On-site survey has shown that U6 fully meets such drilling requirements. So far, the total penetration of U6 has exceeded 2,000m and the drill has shown nice performance.
Lower Exploration Cost

Besides the advantage in angle control, U6 may also effectively reduce exploration costs. In this respect, Mr. Chen gave very positive comments. For example, when working in an underground chamber, U6 can carry out the underground work with ease and drill 4 holes in one chamber. So, throughout the exploration, the amount of work has been lowered not only in tunnels but also in chambers. In other words, the amount of rock excavation is lowered.

According to Mr. Chen, the use of U6 saved about 9 million yuan in terms of exploration costs in Shangqing mining area alone. This is one of the reasons why Banshi Mining finally made the decision to buy U6. Although the drill is not cheap, in the long term it can save exploration costs, improve drilling quality and bring higher productivity. And U6 can also play a role in the follow-up deep mining.
Considerate Service

Presently, the U6 core drill is put into operation for the 400m-deep exploration tasks at 4#, 5#, and 6# sites of Shangqing mining area. The ore reserves at these sites account for 60% of the total reserves at Banshi. The exploration tasks are required to be finished within 1 to 1.5 years. And the quantity of drilling in the design amounts to 12,000m and the new reserves to be reported are expected to be 30 million tons. So the exploration task is very pressing.

The strata at Banshi mine are quite complicated. The rock hardness coefficient ranges between 5 and 10. Such hardness differences pose high requirements on drill bits. When the Geological Exploration Co. started the use of U6 in core drilling, the first batch of drill bits did not show satisfactory drilling performance. After knowing this, Atlas Copco carried out careful studies on the special needs of Banshi Mining and supplied drill bits that can adapt to different rock conditions. Now the problem has been solved. One drill bit may drill 300-400m and even as deep as 480m. In the following service, Atlas Copco will analyze typical rock cores provided by Banshi Mining and try to manufacture special-purose drill bits suitable for the geological strata at Banshi in order to enhance the productivity of Banshi Mining.

The company assigned 10 workers for the U6 drill – 3 workers in one shift, 3 shifts per day, plus 1 drill foreman. All equipment operators and managers attended basic traininig and technnical training of Atlas Copco and only the best trainees were selected for the drilling work.  “What impressed me the most is that all the trainers from Atlas Copco can give very clear explanations on operation procedures and safety precautions of the equipment and they are very skilled. Our operators, though not very well-educated, grasped the operation skills very well through the training. In the follow-up service, Atlas Copco’s techncial support personnel always appear at the site to give solutions as soon as there is a problem,” said Mr. Chen. “Meanwhile, U6 is easy to operate and not much strength is needed in its operation. And it has evidently lower rate of drilling failure than the traditional vertical shaft drills. These advantages have guaranteed the smooth progress of our work.”

In the next three years, Banshi Mining plans to realize an annual output of 1.5 million tons of fine iron powder and 4.5 million tons of iron ore. The goal poses stricter and higher requirements on the work of exploration. In 2010, the major task of Banshi Mining is the deep exploration at 4#, 5#, and 6# sites of Shangqing mining area and at the 17# site of the west open-pit-to-underground mining area. The next three years will aslo see mutual trust and win-win cooperation between Banshi Mining annd Atlas Copco. Chen said: “we choose U6 because we trust Atlas Copco. U6 has reached our exploration requirements since it was put into operation in 2009. From 2010, the drill will work at underground sites. We also hope that U6 will exert all its potential power in underground operations, successfully complete the exploration tasks, and contribute to better and quicker development of Banshi Mining.

For further information, please contact:

  • Caroline He
    Marketing Communication Specialist 
    Atlas Copco Mining and Rock Excavation Technique
    Phone: +86 10 6528 0517     

Atlas Copco is an industrial group with world-leading positions in compressors, expanders and air treatment systems, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. With innovative products and services, Atlas Copco delivers solutions for sustainable productivity. The company was founded in 1873, is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 170 countries. In 2010, Atlas Copco had about 33 000 employees and revenues of BSEK 70 (BEUR 7.3). Learn more at

Atlas Copco’s Mining and Rock Excavation Technique business area provides equipment for drilling and rock excavation, a complete range of related consumables and service through a global network. The business area innovates for sustainable productivity in surface and underground mining, infrastructure, civil works, well drilling and geotechnical applications. Principal product development and manufacturing units are located in Sweden, the United States, Canada, China and India.