African Underground Mining Services (AUMS) set a new record of 603 metres of underground advance in one month recently at Randgold Resources’ Gara Decline Project gold mine in Mali.

AUMS achieved the new record using a Sandvik twin boom DD420-60 jumbo hydraulic rock drilling rig, which is used for bolting, meshing and drilling 5 x 5 metre faces in development ends.

The Sandvik DL430-7C production drilling machine and two recently delivered Sandvik DL420- 15C machines are being used by AUMS for long-hole drilling in production mining.

Kevin Flynn, AUMS operations manager in Mali says: “We employ highly skilled operators who have the experience to get the best out of the machines. But the target couldn’t have been met without the support of the entire team. Our jumbos work 24/7 apart from a weekly 12 hour servicing routine in our surface workshop.

If a drilling machine is not working then we are not producing,” says Flynn. “Having experienced operators is a significant advantage because they are able to identify potential operating issues early. Maintenance is carried out immediately with minimum impact on production efficiency, he concludes”