Table of Content

What’s so innovative about S.A.M.S.?

The ingenuity of our shallow dipping deposit mining system, the S.A.M.S. (Shallow Angle Mining System) is based on its ease of installation and use, as well as its great adaptability to each drilling site. All our mining equipment is modular and is installed on rails anchored to the ceiling, equipped with racks, which support the work tools and transport the workers. The whole concept is based on these rails which constitute the real backbone of the system. The assembly is extremely sturdy, yet light enough to be safely handled by a single worker using the appropriate lifting equipment. The savings from mining a shallow dipping deposit will more than offset the cost of purchasing and maintaining the equipment.

S.A.M.S. can it be installed in a small gallery or in a narrow deposit?

The S.A.M.S. was specifically designed for small mining operations. The great adaptability of the S.A.M.S. allows its use in small mining operations, in shallow dipping deposits but also makes it essential for production mining or for various excavation works.

S.A.M.S. can it also be installed in a large automated mine?

Although we designed our product to mechanize small underground operations, any part of S.A.M.S. can also be installed and used in large mines. If the equipment is intended for mining production, the geometry of the ore body must however meet certain criteria, i.e. be fairly flat or with a slope between 10 and 45 degrees. However, if the S.A.M.S. is used for other purposes, for example for excavation work (pump room, crusher room, workshop, etc.), there are no real limits and its possibilities are endless.

For transportation purposes, what are the dimensions of the main components?

The telescopic platform is the most important element. Its dimensions, including the lifting trailer, are 66’’x 53’’x 19’ (height, width, length). These dimensions generally correspond to the space available in a typical three-compartment well configuration. In addition, the telescopic platform, weighing nearly 10,000 pounds, is the heaviest component of the system.

How long does it take to install the S.A.M.S.?

A team of two workers will take approximately 16 hours to set up the entire system and make it fully functional.

How can two people manipulate S.A.M.S. so easily, despite its high weight and size?

Each component of the S.A.M.S. is installed in place using a group of electric hoists, allowing the installation team to handle the system safely. Thanks to our unique and optimized working method, no worker needs to exert unnecessary effort or perform dangerous maneuvers. Most of the load is handled by our lifting system. We recommend that the installation be carried out by a team of two people for safety reasons.

What are the electrical requirements of S.A.M.S.?

S.A.M.S. comes with its own electrical panel installed on the operator cabin. The power of the electric motor is 75 HP. The mine’s electrical network must therefore be able to supply a minimum of 100 amps at a voltage of 600 volts. We connect directly to the mine network with a conventional Jumbo socket.

The rail system from S.A.M.S. can it be blocked by dust or rocks?

If the S.A.M.S. is installed as specified, the rails are upside down (teeth pointing down) and therefore cannot accumulate debris. The ambient dust and humidity present in an underground mining environment can still allow dirt to accumulate on the surface of the rails, but this should not affect the effectiveness of the traction system. However, a daily visual inspection of the system and the workplace is strongly recommended. Prevention is your best strategy to avoid this type of problem.

What is the loading capacity of the rail system?

The load limit capacity of each rail section is 120,000 lbf or 533.8 kN (i.e. nearly 60 tons). Such a capacity is necessary to withstand the enormous forces and vibrations transmitted to the rails by the various modules of mining equipment.

What happens if the working platform is overloaded?

She won’t lift.

How is the rail held in place?

We use Dywidag® anchor bolts. Thus, the rails can be installed perfectly level, regardless of the shape of the gallery ceiling. These bolts have a nominal length of 60 inches and a diameter of ¾ inch. They are inserted into an appropriately sized hole and sealed in place with a two-component epoxy injection resin.

How strong are Dywidag® bolts?

When properly installed, Dywidag® bolts can withstand tensile loads of up to 15 tons and shear loads of approximately 10 tons.

S.A.M.S. can it be reused once the deposit is exhausted?

Yes. The tracks can simply be unanchored from the tunnel ceiling and used for another job site or set aside for later use.

Can damaged rail be repaired or recycled?

Yes. Each rail has four parts which can be replaced in whole or in part (i.e. the part of the racks) using the manipulator clamp.

Is it possible to modify the initial configuration of the rails?

Yes, it is always possible to modify the configuration of the rails. We have several models of rails, straight and curved. All configurations between 0 and 45 degrees are possible using a combination of curved up or down rails. The available angles are 3.7, and 11.25.

How is the rail transported, supported and handled during installation in the gallery?

Thanks to the articulated arm, the drill is replaced by a hydraulic clamp, this change is done with a quick coupler system controlled remotely. This clamp allows you to lift and handle the rail installation in complete safety.

How do the modules roll on the rail system?

We have developed and patented a device of beams that serve as a support module (support beam module; SBM). The SBM consists of two carriages mounted on a beam.

What type of drilling equipment is used to drill in an inclined mine?

Like any mechanized mine we use the same equipment currently we use a McLean boom with a Montabert HC-50 drill.

What type of drilling equipment is used for production drilling?

This is the same equipment that is used for field support drilling, development and production.

Can sealed cable bolts be installed in the yard?


Aside from rock bolts and conventional rebar, can we install other types of support materials specific to our type of mine?

Yes. There are virtually no limits to the types of support materials and techniques that can be used. Shotcrete (gunite), Super Swellex® as well as sealed cable bolts are just a few of the specialist materials we offer.

What type of drilling equipment is used for cable bolting?

As explained above, the same production rig is used for cable bolt drilling.

Can shotcrete be applied in a mine with a S.A.M.S. system?


Is it possible to communicate with the workers even when the drills are in operation?

Contact with a worker is made by dialing the call code which will cause the site’s LED floodlights to flash to signal an incoming call.

Is it possible to reach the work site without forcing the worker to uninstall his equipment?

Each workstation is equipped with a utility pod installed at its end farthest from the drilling face. If a supervisor or maintenance crew needs to reach the job site, they can simply board the pod and they will be driven to the drill face. The unit is powered by air motors and can be used, anytime, even in the event of a power outage or emergency situation.

What happens if there is a power outage or worse, a medical emergency?

A power outage is considered a fairly harmless event since we have a small diesel engine in the hydraulic unit that allows the equipment to be lowered safely. In the event of a medical emergency, if a worker is unconscious for example, a state of emergency is declared and the appropriate rescue protocol is initiated. Again, the utility pod can be used, as it was designed specifically for such a situation. The mine rescue team will reach the work site and assess the health of the worker. Then, the basket will be used to bring the rescue team and the injured worker back to the stretcher safely.

What type of S.A.M.S. does he use?

S.A.M.S. uses a wireless remote control system for convenience. The remote controls used are quite compact and specially designed for underground use. The remote control is powered by a rechargeable battery that can easily be replaced in the event of a fault.

What if the worker trips and loses the remote control?

Each remote has an internal tilt switch. The switch is fully adjustable for a range of position angles and has a shut off trigger. If the remote control is held in an unlikely position for a period of time, the power unit will automatically turn off. Thus, if the worker trips and falls, the hydraulic pump will stop working until the worker puts the unit back into operation, in order to avoid any accident.

What is the minimum height and width of the development galleries?

3.5 m x 3.5 m.

What is the maximum extraction width?

The mine plan should ideally include galleries 12.5 to 15m wide. Our experience allows us to conclude that galleries over 15m wide involve much more difficult working conditions. The productivity gain hoped for with wider galleries will probably be canceled out by more difficult working conditions. The stability and integrity of the site could also be compromised by the presence of galleries that are too wide.

What is the typical mining cycle for the development drill module?

Development drilling is conducted according to a standard work plan: drilling, blasting, consolidation, excavation and installation of ventilation.

How fast is S.A.M.S. progressing?

Typiquement, nous prévoyons pouvoir creuser une galerie de 3.5 m x 3.5 m durant un quart de travail de dix heures, en prenant en compte un facteur d’efficacité de 85%. Cette progression est semblable à celle observée avec d’autres types d’équipements.

What type of explosive is used during development?

The explosive type is similar to that used for similar mining activities. The primer is deposited in the holes, using a pneumatic tool, and these are then filled with ANFO (ammonium nitrate/fuel oil).

How is broken rock removed?

We have designed a scraper that fits on the front of the telescopic boom and is used to remove the crushed rock and bring it back to the tunnel entrance.

What type of explosive is used for production blasting?

The explosive type is similar to that used for similar mining activities [PG1].

How is rock broken during production removed from the site?

Broken rock is treated in the same way as that produced during the development phase. The material is brought back to the gallery entrance using the scraper.

Is special training required to use S.A.M.S.?

Yes, each group of workers must be trained. A training program is available for each position: miners, maintenance personnel, mining engineers, mining technicians and supervisors. MINRAIL takes care of providing the training team and this normally lasts about three months.

Is it possible to use backfill to maximize ore volume extraction?

Yes of course. Backfilling the stope is perhaps the best option to maximize the use of resources since no pillar is left in place. Backfilled stopes help maintain the stability and integrity of the mine, reducing the risk of losing some of its valuable reserve.

Is backfilling absolutely necessary?

No. From an economic point of view, backfilling stopes is not always possible. Leaving dividing pillars between adjacent sites may be more appropriate and perfectly acceptable. Although this method has been proven, there is a risk of losing part of the deposit if the mine is not designed correctly. Therefore, a thorough study of rock mechanics is recommended in order to evaluate and define the shape of the stope and the operating criteria.

Is a construction site always designed the same way, regardless of its size?

Since no two deposits are alike, each mine must be designed according to its own characteristics. However, in the case of shallow dipping mines, some similarities are expected.