FlexiROC D65 surface drill rigs from Epiroc for QKR Navachab in Namibia

FlexiROC D65 surface drill rig from Epiroc (002)

Epiroc South Africa, a leading global productivity partner for the mining, infrastructure and natural resources sectors, recently delivered five of six FlexiROC D65 drilling machines to key customer, QKR Namibia Navachab Gold Mine, with delivery of the sixth surface drill rig earmarked for Q4 2024.

QKR Mineral Holdings operates in the gold commodity and owns 92.5% of the Navachab open-pit gold mine in Karibib, located in Namibia’s commodity-rich Erongo region. Navachab initially conducted drilling and blasting as an owner operation before moving to a contractor business model. Epiroc has been providing maintenance and cost-per-meter on-site contract support to Navachab since the mining company-initiated contractor drilling in 2014.

The findings of an optimisation study conducted by Navachab in Q3 2023, prompted the mining company to make a strategic decision to move away from contractor work and go back to an owner drilling operation. The current positive outlook on gold is expected to provide sustainable growth for both Navachab’s surface operations as well as its proposed underground projects. Furthermore, a projected LOM (Life of Mine) that extends beyond 2030 attests that Navachab’s operation is extremely stable. On the back of these positive forecasts, coupled with the shift back to owner drilling, Navachab has committed to capital expenditure on necessary equipment as part of their future-planning strategy to support successful long-term business sustainability.

The rugged and robust FlexiROC D65 surface drill rig provides the perfect balance between productivity and efficiency. The machine has a proven reputation for being a premium quality, highly dependable rig for DTH (Down-the-hole) drilling in mining and large quarrying applications. Epiroc has built this multi-functional machine to take on the toughest drilling demands, seamlessly delivering high performance and efficiencies.

From left to right: Riaan Rust, Country Manager Epiroc Namibia, Marcus Carlson, Regional General Manager, Epiroc Southern Africa, Dewald Louwrens, Manager: Projects & Maintenance at QKR Navachab Gold Mine, George Botshiwe, Managing Director at QKR Namibia Navachab Gold Mine, Helena Hedblom, President/CEO Epiroc and Ingo Schneider, Chief Financial Officer at QKR Namibia Navachab Gold Mine

Epiroc’s service scope of supply to support the customer’s FlexiROC D65’s includes a Vendor Managed Inventory Agreement (VMI) which comprises Particle-Size Distribution (PSD) site support as well as assistance from the organisation’s Drilling Tools & Attachments Division (TLD).

Riaan Rust, Country Manager, Epiroc Namibia, lauds the outstanding work conducted by the Epiroc surface team in collaboration with their Namibian team to support the agreement through product and service deliverables. “We pair our on-site support via the Service Level Agreement (SLA) with second line support from the Epiroc Namibia’s Windhoek Branch.” Rust adds that their on-site technical representative provides further guidance and assistance to the Navachab technicians.”

In line with Epiroc’s customer-centric ethos and high service values, operator and technician training and safety remain top priorities. “Correct operation of equipment is fundamental to optimum performance, efficiencies and reliability,” notes Rust. “Subsequently, Navachab will receive two weeks operator training and one-week technical training with each machine delivered.”

“We are proud of our long-standing partnership with Navachab in the delivery of effective and productive mining solutions and wish to express our sincere appreciation to Navachab for their continued support and trust in our ability to deliver premium equipment that assist in optimising their mining operations,” concludes Rust.

The Managing Director of Navachab, George Botshiwe, upon receipt of the machines said that “the acquisition of the drill rigs is a strategic imperative to de-risk our operations and ensure sustainability of our endeavours.” He concluded that the decision to procure the FlexiROC D65 drill rig was based on an in-depth cost analysis and productivity considerations and is confident that the drill rig will improve productivity.


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