TactEx Industries X-10 surface diamond drill

July 8, 2022

by James Patterson, Co-Founder at TactEx Industries

Vancouver Island may not be the first place that comes to mind when you hear about exploration mining equipment. The four founders of TactEx Industries (short for tactical exploration) call this place home for its diversity of recreational activities and easy climate. It never hurts when you can offer prospective clients visiting the 45 000-square-foot (4180 m2) facility, an opportunity to play a round of golf, go salmon fishing or catch a wave practically year-round. 

The X-10 surface diamond drill – born from necessity 

There are lots of diamond drill choices on the market these days, TactEx could see the need for a drill designed from day one to perform and integrate seamlessly into proprietary platforms so drillers could adapt their X-10 surface diamond drill to the diverse terrains where exploration contracts can take them. Components are fabricated in-house to ensure quality control and guaranteed delivery date, so TactEx customers can meet contract start dates. 

TactEx facility

Modern features 

The X-10 itself has many modern features while at the same time keeping it simple. The drill’s prime mover is a Cummins Turbo Diesel Tier 4 Engine. TactEx chose Cummins for the power-to-weight ratio, modern emissions standards and for the fact that all Cummins does is focus on building reliable powerful diesel engines, it also comes with a standard two-year warranty. 

Walking up to an X-10, one of the first things that stand out is the in-house custom-formed feed frame with a 24-in (60.96 cm) mast dump and the modular design of the engine and hydraulic control frames. It immediately lets you know this drill is meant to be light, strong, and easily integrated between the three proprietary platforms. SX-10 Skid shack system, FX-10 heli-portable system and the TX-10 Track drill system. The X-10 drill moves seamlessly between these platforms to get you to your target. 

X-10 drilling functions 

X-10 drilling functions are controlled through modulated hydraulic signals to the spools. This pilot system allows for the modern integration of features such as safety interlock switches built into the guards and easy to use on/off switches for features like mud mixers and downhole pumps. Pilot controls also allow for remote mounting of the control panel for any custom applications. A quality drill requires a quality support system, TactEx has spare parts in stock and people to provide high-level technical support should the X-10 require parts or consumables. 

TactEx Industries – forged from Macon Industries 

Industry-leading drill platforms, TactEx Industries is the product of combining extensive industry knowledge forged from Macon Industries. Macon industries has been a leader in designing, fabricating and supplying the mining industry with drill support equipment and placer mining equipment. Some of Macon Industries’ equipment has even debuted on Discovery TV series such as Gold Rush with Parker Schnabel’s iconic ‘Sluicifer’ which is a Macon Industries SD600M. 

The SX-10 

The SX-10 is the X-10 surface diamond drill in its skid shack platform. Macon Industries has perfected the diamond drill skid shack, loading the most popular features from the Macon product line into the TactEx SX-10 skid shack. The inspiration behind the SX-10 came from existing clients looking for a turnkey drill package, complete with rod handling capabilities and all the modern features of a Macon Industries Diamond Drill Shack. Having well-designed modern equipment helps companies attract and retain their top talent and provides a safe efficient work environment. 

The SX-10 skid shack offers hydraulic leveling rams on each corner, hydraulic helpers slideout and LED lighting inside and outside of the shack. AVD rod handlers and rod rack systems allow for hands-free rod handling and stacking of up to 2000 m (6561.68 ft) N-size drill rods inside the shack. 

The FX-10 

The FX-10 is TactEx’s X-10 diamond drill in its heli-portable configuration. One of the key components to heli-portable drilling is the ability to move from target to target efficiently to save on helicopter time and capitalize on weather windows that can open and close on a moment’s notice. TactEx’s proprietary ‘H’ frame design holds the drill aligned with the drill collar while minimizing the number of set aside components during drill move. So rather than setting components aside to reach the base of the drill before you can begin your move to the next pad, components fly directly from the current ‘H’ frame on to the next ‘H’, saving a tremendous amount of time and keeping pads less cluttered. The frame of the FX-10 has certified lift points for each component and is designed with a tapered base to easily land and self-center into the awaiting ‘H’ frame. There are many field-inspired features in the FX design. 

The TX-10 

TX-10 is the X-10 surface diamond drill in its self-propelled track carrier. Many mineral targets exist where heli-portable exploration is not feasible, and the terrain characteristic won’t allow skid-based drill platforms. Enter the TX-10. The X-10 diamond drill was designed from day one to integrate seamlessly into its platforms and the TX-10 is no different. A 308-steel CAT track system is powered by the X-10’s Cummins diesel engine. The track-driven platform is remotely operated keeping the crew at a safe distance while the TX-10 is underway. 

There are four hydraulic stabilizing rams on each corner, fold down walkways to allow the driller and helper to work off the ground. This platform has custom fuel and mud tanks to maximize the usable deck space. 

TactEx Drill-platforms
The TactEx Industries surface drill platforms – Photo: Mia Lindkvist


The mineral exploration industry is constantly evolving, new discoveries are being found in some of most challenging environments. The TactEx founders have experience from being diamond drilling contractors, industry-recognized design and fabrication specialists, they know your equipment needs to be safe to operate, have the ability to adapt to challenging conditions and have a high level of customer support while doing it. Whether it’s a mountain top drill pad, skidding around a mine site or transiting through a sensitive area where low ground pressure track systems are required. The TactEx X-10 surface diamond drill integrates directly and easily into specifically designed platforms allowing the same high-performance drill to excel in all these conditions.

For more information visit: www.tactexindustries.com

Read Issue 20 here: 

Issue 20 / 2022