ROCK TOOLS ROCK TOOLS
Time for Terelion
Paul Moore spoke to David Harrington , the President of Terelion , about its evolution from Varel Mining and Industrial plus its current and future product focus
The newly named Terelion LLC comes following the divestment of Varel International Energy Services ( VIES ), which covered the Varel operations relating to the oil and gas industry , to a private equity firm . The mining part of the business , formerly Varel Mining and Industrial , continues under the Terelion brand , which was chosen as a combination of the Latin “ terebro ” for drilling and lion for the symbol of the strongest animal .
Terelion will focus on mining markets and other related markets such as HDD , water well , and construction . The new company will continue to design , manufacture , and deliver high quality drill bits and complementary products for its clients around the world . Terelion ’ s corporate office is based in Carrolton , Texas , USA . It remains a whollyowned subsidiary of Sandvik AB .
Harrington told IM : “ To give some background , Varel was founded by Dan Varel in 1947 and was a family business until 1998 when it was purchased in a management buy-in , then and went through several ownership changes before Sandvik acquired Varel International Energy Services in 2014 . By 2018 , however , it was decided that oil and gas was no longer core to its ambitions so the decision was made that Varel would be split into an oil and gas part and a mining part in preparation for divestment of the former . Varel Mining and Industrial was created with its own structure , accounting , legal entities etc which had until that point been unified in VIES .”
All those company functions for Terelion remain in Carrolton , “ But having two companies with Varel in the name was likely to cause some marketplace confusion . It was determined that the Varel name therefore would stay with the oil and gas business .”
What about Varel / Terelion – what were and are its main strengths in rotary drilling ? “ We have always been a nimble and entrepreneurial company – that comes from our 70 plus year history . Our focus remains on highest quality technology , product and service . In terms of products , under VIES it was surface mining rotary , sometimes called roller cone , drill bits . That continues , but as Varel Mining and now Terelion we have launched a DTH line in early 2020 – our new Warrior hammer and bit line – starting with 6 in and 4 in hammers and bits which are already out in the market . These have been very well received & are showing to be very
The new Warrior DTH hammer from Terelion has 6 in and 4 in versions already released , with 8 in and 5 in versions soon to be announced
competitive . We plan to further expand the offering in 2021 with 8 in and 5 in hammers and bits about to come out .”
On rotary , Harrington said the core workhorse product remains the RIDGEBACK™ open bearing rotary drill bits , then its sealed bearing line AVENGER™ which includes both a sealed journal ( AV ) and sealed roller product ( AVL ). They target slightly different parts of the market . The AVL products provide extended bit life across a wide variety of applications . AV builds on this combining extended bearing life with high ROP cutting structures to really push down total drilling costs . The third major product is RPS , a Rotary Percussion System , which includes a percussion tool designed to run on a rotary drill . A specially modified rotary bit sits under the percussion tool and they work as a system to achieve high ROP while maintaining the versatility across fractured ground or wet conditions . Overall , Terelion products span the whole market , from small pre-split drills up to the largest 15 and 16 in bits used on blasthole drills for high tonnage applications in iron , copper , and gold mining as well as coal overburden etc . Mining aside , Terelion also still supplies other products such as HDD bits , waterwell , construction and raisebore pilot bits .
Harrington said the majority of the rotary market is still met by open bearing bits and Terelion will continue to evolve and improve technically within that . He said it will also continue to expand its higher tech AVENGER and RPS lines - these products leverage patented technologies to drive productivity gains and fleet utilisation benefits in certain geologies where you have extreme pull down , or where there is acidic groundwater present that would corrode open bearings . They are also preferred for high volume applications for safety reasons so bits aren ’ t having to be manually changed as often . Finally , and as already highlighted in this article , with autonomous drilling comes a lot of ability to monitor bit performance in real time . That will make the productivity benefits of the higher tech products much clearer to customers – so AVENGER and RPS are very well suited to the emerging autonomous blasthole drill market and are already being used in these applications . together with a high instantaneous drilling speed corresponding to 80 metres per hour .”
Another focus area for Epiroc is digitalisation and automation . There are ongoing projects that align with its Rock Drilling Tools 6th Sense strategy such as digital dull bit grading , RDT dashboard , and intelligent drilling tools involving use of real time data .
Robit bits pass multiple tests
Robit actively seeks out opportunities to prove the performance of its bits versus competitor options in customer tests . In February 2019 , Robit ’ s Chilean distributor Full Safety organised a drilling test at Codelco ’ s El Teniente underground copper mining division . The head-to-head test between four different brands – Robit and three other globally well-known brands – was carried out by Astaldi , the site contractor . The test was conducted on a Sandvik DD321 jumbo with
an HLX5 drifter using R32 x 45S1 bits , a HEX35 C38-R32 14 ′ drifter rod and coupling C38-C38 . The testing conditions were identical for each brand . The procedure was a simple wear test : to measure how deep each tool would be able to drill without sharpening or replacing . Several units of the selected tools were consumed ; and the results were calculated as the average meterage of each tool type . Robit says its bits averaged out at 315 m while Robit ’ s rods and couplings averaged out at 1,724 m . Given the rock quality at El Teniente this was an excellent result . Astaldi confirmed that the Robit consumables were superior to the other well-known brands ’ consumables in performance .
Then in July 2020 , Robit ’ s Turkish distributor Guris Is Makinaları Endustri AS organised a drilling test at Ozkoyuncu open pit iron mine . The head-to-head test was between Robit and another globally well-known brand . The test was conducted on a Sandvik DX800
Ranger with an HL700 drifter . The testing conditions were identical for each brand . The procedure again was a simple wear test . The ground conditions were quite difficult and abrasive . The rock has a lot of quartzite with a silica content of around 90 %. There is also fragmented rock , water and spacing in the strata . A Robit C51-102 mm drop centre spherical bit completed its service life at 1,269 m and this result was 300 m better than the competitor bit of similar design .
Robit has grown fast in the Turkish market . It is also supplying rock drilling consumables for face drilling , long hole drilling , and ground support operations for underground mines as well as surface drilling for open pit mines for ETI Bakir AS in Turkey . The consumables are being supplied by Robit ’ s distributor , Guris Is Makinalari Endustri AS . ETI Bakir is the biggest copper mining company in Turkey and was incorporated into Cengiz Holding in 2004 . IM
56 International Mining | NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2020