Australia’s CITIC Pacific Mining ordered a fleet of Pit Viper 271 XC blasthole drill rigs, like the above. (Photo: Epiroc)

Epiroc reported it won an $26 million order from Australia’s CITIC Pacific Mining for a fleet of Pit Viper 271 XC blasthole drill rigs. Delivery will begin in 2023.

The rigs have advanced automation features, and will be used to drill for magnetite at the Sino Iron open-pit mine in the Pilbara region in Western Australia. The mine bought three Pit Viper rigs in 2019. Since then, the mine expanded and optimized productivity and safety with the support of Epiroc, leadership for the miner said.

“In the last three years, Epiroc has provided satisfactory after-sale services to help the Pit Viper 351 drill rigs perform to expectation and has also successfully established mutual trust with CITIC Pacific Mining,” said Xianglin Cheng, general manager, CITIC Pacific Mining. “The confidence and trust are the major reasons for us to choose Epiroc.”

Pit Viper drills are manufactured in Texas, U.S.A. Automation features include AutoDrill, which allows for up to 100% of the hole-drilling cycle to be in automatic mode, and AutoLevel, which minimizes the time it takes to level and delevel.

Separately, Epiroc won an $11.7 million order from Gold Fields for MT65 Minetrucks with automation features for the Granny Smith gold mine in Western Australia. Previously Epiroc has sold drills, consumables and the Mobilaris onboard navigation solution to the mine.

The order is the result of a robust, abiding relationship with the miner, Epiroc said. “Epiroc is proud to continue the multi-year partnership with Gold Fields to optimize their safety and productivity,” said Epiroc CEO Helena Hedblom.

The trucks will have Epiroc’s telematics system, Certiq, which allows for remote monitoring of machine performance and productivity. They will also have the Rig Control System, which makes them ready for automation and remote control.

Delivery is expected to begin in early 2023.