Hexagon Mining partners with Phoenix Drill Control, maker of blasthole drill control automation that improves accuracy and prevents hole failure or bit damage. (Photo: Hexagon Mining)

Hexagon Mining signed an exclusive partnership agreement with Phoenix Drill Control, which makes autonomous technology for surface blasthole drilling.

The partnership will further enhance Hexagon’s autonomous capabilities, the supplier said. “Phoenix Drill Control’s simplified, scalable automation platform is commercially available immediately,” said Ryan Hawes, chief operating officer, Hexagon Mining. “It will bring profound benefits to customers, including faster decisions with greater accuracy, improved health and safety, greater efficiency by eliminating errors, and a smaller environmental footprint.”

Phoenix Drill Control’s autonomous drill technology uses AI algorithms to monitor all input signals and take dynamic corrective action, without operator input, before catastrophic hole failure or a stuck drill bit occurs, Hexagon reported. Phoenix’s autonomous drilling platform has a proven production track record demonstrating that it outperforms the industry’s existing automated drills.

The technology is scalable and platform-agnostic, making it a good match for Hexagon solutions, Hawes said. “This ensures data is accurate, without operator-induced noise, and does its best work, arming customers with a feedback loop that points the way to a safer, more productive and sustainable future.”

The partnership will propel autonomous drilling to the forefront of the industry, Phoenix Drill Control said. “Drilling is at the beginning of the mining process and, done right, the entire value chain benefits,” said Mark Baker, president, Phoenix Drill Control. “We’re excited to partner with Hexagon and we believe our collaboration will benefit miners.”