Drilling scaled up iron ore production in LKAB mines by water-power

Today, all production drilling at LKAB is operated with the water-powered DTH hammer from Wassara


Kiruna, Sweden



Type of product

W100 Hammer

When LKAB scaled up their production in 1990, they needed a drilling technology that could provide 60 meter long blast holes with a deviation of max 1.5% and to a lower energy cost.

Over 18 million meters of blast holes have been drilled with Wassara in the LKAB iron ore mines.

LKAB drilling today

Today, all production drilling in LKAB mines is running with water-powered equipment from Wassara. The boreholes are up to 56 meters, depending on the shape of the ore body. The rate of penetration is 0.5 to 1 meter per minute with 115 mm drill bits.

Apart from production drilling, media holes and slots are also drilled with Wassara.

Borehole accuracy gets crucial

The longer the borehole we get, the more important the straightness gets. Less deviation is simply crucial to maintain good fragmentation of the ore when blasting. The maximum allowed borehole deviation in LKAB is 1.5%.

The Wassara-technology meets this requirement every day.

Download full Casestudy for further technical details

Equipment used

DTH HammerW100 Hammer
Drill bitØ 115 mm
Drilling fluidClean water
RigAtlas Copco Simba / Sandvik Solo
Water pumpKamat / Hammelmann
Borehole lengthUp to 56 meters (190 ft)
Geologic formationIron ore and waste rock

Case studies

See our featured Case studies below to learn what real world Mining-projects our technology as been a part of.

  • Drilling for opening slots with speed and precision in Chile

    The San Geronimo mine in Chile was facing the challenge of creating open slots with a high productivity in a safe manner.

  • Wassara is drilling faster, safer, and more accurate in Lubambe Copper Mine

    The combination of the water-powered Wassara-hammers and the water-powered drill rig, provided by the contractor HPE, achieved optimal drilling conditions.