A tailor made underground drilling rig Face Master 1.7OR for Estonia exceeds expectations

Mine Master delivered already 24 drilling and bolting rigs for the Estonian mines. They have proved to be very reliable and efficient in the difficult mining conditions, which occur in the Estonian mines. The authentic partnership with the customer has resulted in and has been the base for the development of a newly upgraded drilling machine for rotary drilling – Face Master 1.7OR.


One of the new features on the Face Master 1.7OR underground drilling rig is a telescopic feeder for drilling 2.1 m holes for bolting in galleries at the heights of 2,9 m as well as for drilling blast holes at 2.7 m length. Thanks to this solution the customer can stop working with the commonly used auger rods and begin working with the HEX28 rods. These rods, thanks to the specially designed bit, are far more efficient. As the first tests show,  the new upgraded system allows drilling holes in max. 22 sec, while the order requirement was 52 sec for drilling vertical holes. Taking into account that the layers in the roofs are not only oil-shale but they are combined with layers of hard rock, this is a great achievement.

Clearer drilling area

One of the problems stressed by the operators working underground was mud and dust as well as water supply. Mine Master has developed a solution, which allows controlling the dust during drilling. A 2- way air-mist system, where air mist goes through a rotary bit and via two dust suppression nozzles automatically reduces mud and dust and maintains the drilling area clear and clean. An in-built  1000 l water tank on the drilling rig eliminates the need for water from an external source. The same water is used for the wear slide cleaning system - the mist of water coming from drifter cradle helps to reduce dirt on the slides, thus preventing them from quick wear and tear.

More comfortable work

A big impact on the operator’s comfort of work in the mines in Estonia is the cold and moisture. For that reason, the underground drilling rig Face Master 1.7OR has been equipped with a closed cabin with a heating system. The system keeps the optimum temperature and controls the evaporation in the cabin, which remarkably enhances the visibility from inside the cabin. 

Monitoring and more precise drilling

The FGS monitoring system, which has been installed on the machine allows for drilling according to a drill plan, helps to control and monitor drilling parameters. The operator can see the visualization of the drilling pattern and feeder position on the monitor. In order to maximize the drilling results, the system provides drilling reports with drilling parameters, which can be transferred via Wi-fi or USB.

Additional features

The novelties installed on the Face Master 1.7OR for rotary drilling include an additional hydraulic connection and an extra 230V power outlet. The outlet can accommodate auxiliary devices such as a welding machine. Thus, simple welding works can be conducted without the need to transfer the machine to the underground mechanical workshop. Likewise, the supplementary hydraulic connection may be used for auxiliary tooling. All these elements may be very useful during day-to-day operations.