MBI Global unveils autonomous drill rig and a partnership with ASDR Canada

May 17, 2023

MBI Global unveiled its VersaDrill autonomous drill rig to the world during PDAC 2023. The KmN autonomous drill is the product of years of research and development, testing, and perfecting.

The autonomous drill rig in action
The autonomous drill rig in action at Agnico Eagle’s Goldex mine
Photos credits: Alain Beauchesne

The technology of tomorrow, available today

The mining industry is beset by challenges. Labor shortages, skyrocketing operating and material costs, and safety requirements demand constant innovation. Automation is the key.

This is why MBI Global’s exploration drilling segment, opted to increasingly turn towards automation technologies to tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow.

The KmN rig comes with a set of distinct advantages and offers surprising results in terms of performance, safety, and time and money saved.


The autonomous KmN rigs come packed with many game-changing features improving driller safety and protecting the operators, such as:

  • an optical guard;
  • an inner tube puller;
  • pressure and safety control;
  • a direct communication tool that allows the underground driller to communicate with the surface team if the mining operation has LTE communication capacities.

Other autonomous features, which drastically improve safety, are:

  • the automated thread breaking/making;
  • the opportunity for the rig to operate while using rod handlers with an optical safety device;
  • automated wireline ascend and descend functions.

Thanks to these functions, the autonomous KmN rig only requires one operator. During shift changes, the drill can automatically complete a 3 m (9.84 ft) run without any supervision. This enables complete 24/7 non-stop operation, saving time, money and improving productivity.

Each drill has a fully electronic interface with a 10-inch, touchscreen color display. Alongside the controls, it can be placed away from the ‘line of fire’, while still providing complete, clear, and easy-to-understand information. Even at a glance. Additionally, thanks to the drill’s connectivity, all data can be shared and monitored remotely, allowing for adjustments to be made during operation and reducing costly equipment changes.

The autonomous drill rig in action
The autonomous drill rig in action at Agnico Eagle’s Goldex mine; Photos credits: Alain Beauchesne


The many features and improvements of the automated KmN drill rig do not sacrifice performance. KmN rigs are available in three configurations.

KmN 1.4UA

The standard KmN 1.4UA configuration has a 125 hp, 1750 RPM engine. It is equipped with a 26 000 lb (116 kN) pull mast with 66 in (1.68 m) feed stroke. KmN 1.4UA is capable of drilling up to:

  • 6391 ft (1948 m) B-size;
  • 5014 ft (1528 m) N-size;
  • 3372 ft (1028 m) H-size;
  • 2228 ft (679 m) P-size.

KmN 2.0UA

The KmN 2.0UA configuration comes with a feed cylinder increase to 37 000 lb (165 kN) of pullback force. This in turn results in capabilities of up to:

  • 9095 ft (2772 m) B-size;
  • 7135 ft (2175 m) N-size;
  • 4798 ft (1462 m) H-size;
  • 3171 ft (967 m) P-size.

KmN 2.5UA

The third configuration, KmN 2.5UA, comes with higher main feed frame and feed cylinder increase. The pullback force jumps to 45 000 lb (200 kN) and 4500 psi working pressure (both KmN 1.4UA and 2.0UA come with 4100 psi). Consequently, KmN 2.5UA has a higher depth capacity over the other two configurations:

  • 8678 ft (2645 m) N-size;
  • 5835 ft (1779 m) H-size;
  • 3857 ft (1176 m) P-size.

All three configurations have additional customization options to fit and exceed the requirements of drillers. The KmN rig is now a part of MBI Global’s strong product line and is available to everyone, everywhere.

MBI Global and ASDR Canada announce partnership

Days before PDAC 2023, MBI Global announced its partnership with ASDR Canada Inc., a company specializing in water treatment for the mining industry.

The partnership allows MBI Global to distribute ASDR’s ECOMUD technology, further expanding its vast product range. ECOMUD is synonymous with the efficient management of mud and water, including effective water recirculation and sludge dewatering, which increases the efficiency of operations while reducing their carbon footprint.

With 50 years of combined experience in the mining industry, the two companies are leveraging their strengths to offer even more innovative solutions for the current environmental concerns and the need for sustainable development.

‘By distributing ASDR’s technology, MBI Global is positioning itself as a pioneer in sustainable applications for mining exploration with solutions that easily integrate with drilling equipment and meet the strictest of environmental standards,’ stated Daniel Misiano, President of MBI Global.

About MBI Global

MBI Global provides quality products and services for the drilling and mining industry. With offices in Rouyn-Noranda, Val-d’Or, Saskatoon, Lima (Peru) and Santiago (Chile), as well as an international network of distributors, MBI Global serves over 30 countries. The company relies on a solid partnership with manufacturers and distributors working together for the strongest products and services.

For more information visit: www.mbiglobal.ca and www.asdr.ca