MacLean Engineering
MacLean Engineering
Small Section Bolter Dry Drilling

Close-ups of the Small Section Bolter’s Dry Drilling System

Self-contained air and vacuum system for underground drilling without water 

MacLean introduced its prototype Scissor Bolter in 1988. The concept of semi-mechanized bolting was to ensure operator safety (always under supported ground) while also delivering best-in-class quality, speed and versatility of bolt installation. Three decades and over 400 units later, the “MacLean” has gone on to become a ground support mainstay in Canadian mines, and increasingly in hard rock mining hubs around the world through MacLean branches in South Africa and Peru in particular. The MacLean Bolter has undergone continuous product improvement over the past thirty years, the latest evolution being the 975 Omnia Bolter that offers up high-durability Gen-3 feeds, bolt handling, and 3,000-pound payload capacity, along with the options of resin injection, a high-reach or seven-foot deck, face bolting, and battery propulsion.

The MacLean Small Section Bolter was a preceding iteration of the MacLean bolting approach. It was released in 2009 and brought the MacLean bolting philosophy to smaller-heading mines. In 2015, MacLean worked with Petra Diamonds’ Finsch mine in South Africa, the second largest diamond mine in the RSA, to develop a dry drilling option that was required for Finsch’s unique application / mine plan needs.


The Rig: MacLean Small Section Bolter with dry drilling capabilities
The Mine: Petra Diamonds’ Finsch mine, South Africa

The Issue:

Brent Alting of Petra Diamonds approached MacLean Engineering with a need to drill and bolt into diamond-bearing kimberlite rock without using water.


The Solution:

A fully self-contained drilling system with air capabilities for drill flushing and front-head cooling. The power pack end of our Small Section Bolter needed to be repackaged to carry a vacuum system, air compressor and integrated control/hydraulic cooling system to allow for the drilling functions to be carried out without water. The hydraulic cooling system traditionally accomplished with the water from our drilling circuit was changed to rely solely on the hydraulic power of the machine. Power management of the MacLean electric/hydraulic power pack was key to the success of the dry drilling system.


The Result

A testimonial from Brent Alting clearly speaks to the results of this custom solution request put to MacLean: “Finsch mine has a unique challenge of not being able to use water to drill in the orebody. MacLean was contacted to provide a solution to drilling of cable anchors of up to six (6) metres in a confined domed drive of 4 x 4 metres, without water. MacLean rose to the challenge and although the product was not available off-the-shelf, they came up with an answer. The MacLean SSB dry drilling unit has proven to be a reliable solution to our unique challenge that worked as soon as it was delivered. It is safer and more productive than previous solutions.”

Brent Alting (2015), Project Manager - Finsch Expansion Project
For additional information:
Steve Denomme
MacLean Product Manager - Bolters

705.606.1315 (c)
Twitter Feed
Cookies on the MacLean website:
This site uses cookies to optimise your user experience.
If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the MacLean website.