Lower ore grades and smaller discoveries demand equipment to reach deeper and more complex orebodies. Sandvik is responding to those needs by expanding the DE100 series with the new compact and powerful DE150 core drilling rig. The DE150 can work both underground (where it is Sandvik’s most powerful exploration drill rig) or on surface. The trend in Scandinavia is towards lighter rigs, making less environmental damage, even though they are required to drill deeper and larger holes. Sandvik believes the demand for lighter yet more powerful drills is universal, creating increasing demand for drills of this size globally.The first DE150 prototype was tested in hard crystalline rock in Forsmark, Sweden, by diamond core and raise drilling contractor Drillcon. “We had a suitable project, an assignment for Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management, where we had a chance to see if the DE150 could live up to our expectations and meet the goal we had, namely to drill three holes according to a set standard,” said Mikael Berglund, CEO of Drillcon. As the new prototype was different from previous Sandvik models, Berglund said he was particularly interested in how the machine lived up to the expectations on the technologies most recently developed by Sandvik. Key technologies include the electro-hydraulic power pack, the feed boom and the control panel. “I am happy with the results. It worked well. The new technology was both effective and reliable,” Berglund said.Berglund considers the DE150 to be complementary to the Sandvik range, providing a size of rig that has been missing from the Sandvik range; aimed at a different market to the smaller models. The DE150 is powered by a hydraulic motor producing class-leading torque of 2,000 Nm at 485 rpm. The hydraulic feed cylinder design gives a push and pull capacity of 147 kN. The depth capacity is up to 2,000 m with N size rods. In underground applications, the DE150 is powered by a 110 kW electric power unit giving a maximum working pressure of 250 bar and oil flow of 300 litres/min.The DE150 shares many of the well-proven components used by other drill rigs in the DE100 series. It features a rigid and torsion-resistant steel profile feed boom and a direct coupled feed cylinder with a feed length of 1,700 mm and feed speed of a maximum 0.63 m/s. The feed boom is mounted on a frame with tilt cylinder and mechanical supports. The mounting frame has been specifically designed for quick and easy set-up when fan drilling with a full range of adjustments from vertical down to vertical up. The drill offers great push and pull capacity relative to its weight and size. The steel design also makes it suitable for environments requiring flame-proof drill units. Sandvik’s DE150 torque control enables optimal balance for torque and rotation speed. The control panel has a pilot-operated hydraulic system which gives the operator central control of all drilling operations, including flush pumps, wireline hoist and boom tilt. The system also controls hydraulic system pressure, feeding force, hold back pressure, water pressure and water flow.