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.


Lubambe, Zambia


Lubambe Copper Mine

Type of product

W150 Hammer

Lubambe Copper Mine is an underground mining operation situated in the Zambian copper belt. The mine started production in 2012 and to reach deeper levels, there was a great need to extend the infrastructure.

LKAB Wassara’s water-powered drilling was chosen for many reasons.

Reason 1 – the program ‘Because we care’

Lubambe initiated programs to entrench safety and environmental responsibility. They called the program “Target Zero” or “Pantu Tulasakamana” which is a Bemba phrase meaning “Because we care”. The program includes monitoring of dust, noise and energy consumption.

Thanks to the combination of the water-powered Wassara hammer and the water-powered drill rig, provided by the contractor HPE, optimal conditions were achieved. The water suppresses and eliminates the dust and the noise level is dampened by the water in the hole. The Wassara hammer is also 4-5 times more energy efficient than traditional air powered DTH hammers.

Reason 2 – the need for long and flat holes

Holes were needed for both power-cables and drainage of water. The designed drill holes were up to 88 meters long and as flat as 15 degrees. Rotary non-percussive drilling seemed to be the only feasible method to deliver such demanding holes. However, the mine was seeking for a drilling method that could be just as productive as traditional percussive drilling methods.

When introduced to Wassara, they immediately identified Wassara as the solution to drilling such demanding holes in terms of straightness and yet achieving a high productivity.

Download full Casestudy for further technical details

Equipment used

DTH HammerW150 Hammer
Drill bit165 mm, 250 mm & 350mm
reamer bit
Drilling fluidClean water from mine
Drill rods114mm API
RigHPE Long hole drilling rig
Water pumpHPE High pressure pump
Borehole lengthAverage 60 m
Geologic formationSoft formation
Project year2016

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