Cubex Quarterly Newsletter – Q2, 2010
URANIUM EXTRACTION TRIGGERS INNOVATION
Cubex recently launched the Scorpion drill, designed specifically for a freeze hole drilling application in a Canadian high grade uranium mine. Launching this product required Cubex to
invest significantly in its development. The drill was successfully commissioned in April 2010.
- Radio‐active leaks and high ground water pressures in a high grade uranium were creating a dangerous working environment.
- Previous Cubex freeze hole drills were set up to effectively drill angled down– holes, but not able to complete the necessary upholes. As the mine progressed, the Cubex 6200’s did not have the flexibility to position the feed adequately to the changing drilling applications.
- Diamond drills used for these holes were slow. Mobilization/demobilization could take over 2 days for one hole.
- Cubex began working with the Cameco McArthur River uranium mine to develop a system to safely and effectively drill freeze holes.
- A tracked boom drill was designed for improved feed positioning.
- WassaraTM water hammer drilling allowed for hole ranges from 2.5 inches to 6 inches.
- To minimize the use of LHD’s, and for easier machine setup, the unit was designed with a high pressure on‐board water booster (95 gpm at 2600 psi), and on‐board diesel engine.
- The flexibility of the feed has eliminated the need to move the drill with each new hole. During commissioning, 24 holes were accurately drilled without moving the carrier.
- Due to the extendable boom and multi‐access pivot of the feed, more holes may be possible without moving the carrier.
- Utilizing WassaraTM water hammer technology, the Scorpion is more efficient over the previous diamond drilling method by a factor of 5 times.
- Safety is greatly improved, with the feed able to be well positioned for loading pipe.
- Hole setup is measured in minutes, instead of days.
- Cubex will be heavily involved in the next freeze drill program at Cameco, McArthur River.