3D illustration Reef Boring Machine in white, red and green with a stone wall in the background
3D illustration of a Reef Boring Machine in white, green and red

Reef Boring Machine

Highly efficient mechanized reef mining

Geology Rock
0.8 - 1.5 m

The Herrenknecht Reef Boring Machine (RBM) safely and efficiently creates horizontal and ascending boreholes with inclinations of up to 40°. In stable rock with up to 300 megapascals and with excavation diameters of up to 1.8 meters, the RBM achieves borehole lengths of up to 60 meters.

Optimized mining

Herrenknecht has developed the RBM for the rapid and highly efficient mining of ore veins. The RBM technology optimizes material extraction by means of a pneumatic suction line directly behind the cutterhead. Compared to other mechanized methods or blasting, the procedure minimizes ore losses or contamination. The high boring accuracy of the directionally steered drive also minimizes the excavation of adjacent rock and maximizes targeted ore extraction.

With its compact modular design the RBM is also ideal for use over very small distances and can be transported quickly from one boring location to the next. Time-consuming preparatory work, e.g. for a concrete pad or pining of the machine, is eliminated, increasing productivity. At the same time, work safety is improved thanks to the very high degree of mechanization and automation, since fewer people are in the danger zone.


Proven technology and intelligent solutions

The design and the working principle of the Reef Boring Machine (RBM) are based on the proven technology of the Herrenknecht Boxhole Boring Machine (BBM). A boring unit at the head of the pipe string is pressed upward from the launch point. Additional thrust pipes are installed one after the other and pushed forward, thus increasing the borehole length.

Directly below the cutterhead the rock or ore is removed pneumatically via a suction line. The material passes out of the borehole through a pipe system integrated in the jacking pipes and is taken to a suction unit. From there it is transported away for further processing.

After each jacking stroke, the boring process is stopped for a short time to secure the pipe string and the boring unit. Then the next thrust pipe can be installed in the jacking frame.

When the desired drilling length is reached, the boring unit is retracted. The jacking pipes are removed one by one until the complete pipe string is dismantled and the boring unit has returned to the jacking frame. Subsequently, the RBM can be moved to the next  drilling location.

All production steps of the Herrenknecht RBM are remotely controlled. No personnel needs to be in hazardous areas during operation. Therefore, work safety is improved significantly.

Hose reel drum
Thrust frame
Multiface Reef Boring Machine
Suction hose

More efficiency, more safety

The Reef Boring Machine (RBM) developed by Herrenknecht is meeting the mining industry’s demand for more efficient reef boring technology. The RBM’s accurately steered drilling as well as the pneumatic suction unit optimize the productivity of the mining process. At the same time, work safety is improved significantly. Based on the proven Boxhole Boring technology, the RBM is superior to other mechanized solutions or conventional blasting.

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Steffen Dubé President and General Manager Herrenknecht Tunnelling Systems USA Inc.
Gerhard Goisser Commercial Manager Herrenknecht Tunnelling Systems USA, Inc.

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Steffen Dubé President and General Manager Herrenknecht Tunnelling Systems USA Inc.
Gerhard Goisser Commercial Manager Herrenknecht Tunnelling Systems USA, Inc.