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Cat Terrain for Drilling

Cat Terrain for Drilling

Effective mining starts with accurate drilling. That means drilling every hole precisely to plan, at the proper angle and the correct depth. Cat® MineStar™ Terrain for drilling provides precision guidance that helps operators complete patterns accurately and productively. It pays other dividends, as well, by improving safety, reducing costs and recording data about drilled stratification to aid in planning blasts and improving fragmentation. And it works with all brands of drills and communicates seamlessly with MineStar and other mine management systems.

  • Application Surface Mining

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    Terrain for drilling uses high-precision guidance and accurate depth sensing to help operators complete patterns accurately and productively. The system:
    • Increases hole placement and angle accuracy, guiding operators to within centimeters of the planned location.
    • Reduces over- and under-drilling of holes on a pattern by drilling to an elevation, not a depth – delivering predictable shot results and smoother bench grades.
    • Uses accurate depth sensing to ensure holes are consistently drilled to exactly the right toe depth, regardless of collar height. In most drilling operations, machine operators are given a single drill depth for all of the holes in a pattern, but that can lead to problems on a rough or irregular bench. If the operator drills all holes to the same hole depth, the blasted surface will replicate the initial, irregular bench surface. With Terrain for drilling, no matter what the condition of the bench surface, the system automatically identifies the collar elevation and calculates the correct drill depth and inclination for each hole.
    • An in-cab display shows when drills are aligned with the GPS coordinates of each planned hole. As a result, even relatively inexperienced operators can consistently drill within the designed location tolerance, producing optimal charge distributions and consistent powder factors.


    • Maximizes blasting efficiency by allowing operators to execute patterns more accurately
    • Improves production efficiency and reduces the amount of survey work by creating hole locations through digital drill plans.
    • Helps sites achieve consistent fragmentation, which reduces the need for secondary breakage and delivers significant downstream improvements. Loaders can penetrate the muck pile more easily, optimizing load cycle times, fill factors and overall haulage fleet productivity. At the processing plant, consistent material size enables crushers to work more efficiently for maximum throughput with lower energy costs.
    • A fragmentation study done with Cat 994K Wheel Loaders demonstrated:
    • 30% boost in average wheel loader payload (tonnes)
    • 27% reduction in average cycle time
    • 41% improvements in tonnes/hour
    • 8% improvement in average truck payload (tonnes)
    • 40% reduction in average load time
    • 22% reduction in number of passes

Production Monitoring

    • Terrain for drilling enables monitoring of operator efficiency and machine utilization for optimized production.
    • To further reduce costs and improve drilling accuracy, drill-to-drill hole status sharing makes drill plan updates easy to implement, with less chance for “missed memos” and human error.
    • As drills operate, real-time hole status data is transmitted to all of the drills sharing the same pattern.
    • Robust reporting outlines drill productivity, availability, utilization, and compliance to plan.
    • Terrain shares data with other drills on the location depth and current status of each hole.
    Production Monitoring

Strata Recognition & Hole Profile

    • Terrain for drilling includes Strata Recognition and Hole Profile options that work together to provide real-time online analysis of drill operating parameters.
    • These tools show how hard the drill is working and how fast it is able to move through various strata, enabling the system to analyze the make-up of the rock mass.
    • An exclusive algorithm within the Terrain office software then produces a Blastability Index, which gives you a clear, accurate picture of variations in the bench geology.
    • With the Blastability Index in hand, you can better match powder factors and other hole-loading criteria to the characteristics of the rock mass to obtain optimal fragmentation upon blasting.
    • Strata information can also be used to finetune other downstream processes for improved blending and optimized crushing, as well as for planning future mine site expansion.
    Strata Recognition & Hole Profile


    Drills work in areas where explosives are used, so safety is paramount. Terrain has been proven to reduce lost-time incidents by more than 50% by:
    • Enabling avoidance zones in hazardous areas.
    • Showing drill operators the locations of bootlegs – meeting regulatory requirements and helping ensure that operators avoid undetonated holes from earlier benches.
    • Automatically stopping the drill from moving beyond a safe area designated by a virtual boundary.
    • Reduces the need for people to work on foot near moving equipment and on unreliable surfaces through the use of digital blast plans.
    • Greater than 50% reduction in lost-time incidents.

Reduced Costs

    • Helps mines achieve proper fragmentation with less explosive material.
    • Offers a scalable solution for multiple drill size classes.
    • Delivers a 10% improvement in consumables costs through consumable tracking.
    • Prevents movement with pipe-in-hole, reducing costs up to $75,000 on one site.
    • Optimizes drilling, loading and crushing practices for potentially millions of dollars in annual savings.
    Reduced Costs