Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions has been selected by Swedish mining firm Boliden to deliver autonomous surface drilling equipment for the Kevitsa multi-metal mine in northern Finland.

Under the contract, Sandvik will supply two Leopard DI650i down-the-hole (DTH) drill rigs and AutoMine surface drilling systems to allow fully autonomous surface drilling at the Kevitsa open pit mine.

The contract also includes a five-year part and services agreement. It also covers My Sandvik Onsite analytics for process optimisation.

Sandvik plans to deliver the two Leopard DI650i rigs during Q3 2023.

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions Northern Europe sales area vice-president Christian Bjorne said: “Boliden Kevitsa is committed to improving sustainability, productivity and safety by investing in the latest automated technologies.

“We look forward to continuing our technology cooperation and supporting Kevitsa in its journey to becoming an even more safe and productive mine through our drilling solutions.”

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Boliden and Sandvik are currently under agreement at the Kevitsa mine for rock tools, including DTH hammers, bits, pipes and rock tools services.

Designed to accelerate the production process, the Leopard DI650i drill rigs feature iDrill technology, an automation platform intended to support fully autonomous operation.

Autonomous solution designed for a range of Sandvik i-series surface drill rigs, AutoMine Surface Drilling is expected to increase productivity, improve safety, and reduce costs.

The solution allows operators to remotely control multiple rigs from a comfortable line-of-sight location or a control room.