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Drilling the Deepest Hole in Indonesia with the Epiroc RC45 Hammer

April 5, 2024

2023 Reverse Circulation Hammers

Posted by the Epiroc Exploration & OreBody Solutions team

Deep hole drilling is always challenging, and equipment manufacturers are always developing new products to help drilling companies achieve deeper holes with more efficiency and ease. A great example is the new RC45 reverse circulation hammer from Epiroc. Recently, the hammer was tested by PT Indodrill in Indonesia with impressive results.

With its revolutionary new design, the RC45 reverse circulation hammer is 40% shorter than the nearest competitor. Shorter means less weight and the RC45 is more than 30% lighter than most hammers doing the same job.


The RC45 has a unique design with much smaller air chambers that allow pressure to build up faster. This makes the piston strike at a much faster rate. The result is marginally lower impact energy that is more than compensated for by a much higher strike frequency. This leads to a great increase in power output and a sizeable improvement in penetration rate. Tests show excellent drilling results in all types of rock, including difficult rock formations.


The RC45 also features a unique tube retention system that makes it easy to service and replace tubes. No disassembly of the hammer is required so downtime is minimized, and more time can be spent on producing samples.


These were some of the features that led to PT Indodrill choosing to use the RC 45 on a trial. PT Indodrill is a member of The Global Drilling and Exploration Group (GDE Group), a leading provider of high-quality drilling services for the minerals, energy, civil, environmental and agricultural industries since 1993. They offer professional drilling services throughout the regions of Asia, Australia Pacific and Africa and have a proud track record of success in all conditions. PT Indodrill was working at the Tujuh Bukit Gold & Copper mine site, located in Eastern Java and considered one of the largest primary gold and copper mines in Indonesia. This site’s ground conditions were primarily volcanic rock including andesite, breccia and clay.


The Epiroc team had suggested the RC 45 hammer to PT Indodrill when operations had moved to a pit that had soft and medium-hard ground conditions and it was challenging to drill deep holes while in abrasive rock. The drilling team was looking for an improvement in production with better sample recovery. A trial began to see if the drilling team could achieve deeper holes, high penetration rates and good-quality samples. The drill team was excited by the hammer’s performance and was successfully drilling deep holes of 400 meters, the deepest hole ever achieved in Indonesia. What’s more, the samples obtained were of excellent quality.


When it came to penetration rate, the average was 1.5 meters per minute. The drilling team was also really pleased with the long lifespan of the RC hammer spare parts.

"“We are so pleased to have been able to drill the deepest hole in Indonesia, the team is very proud.

With the performance of this hammer, we were able to increase productivity. The RC hammer’s parts are long-lasting, so we minimized the time spent replacing parts or pulling our rods due to worn-out parts and bits. This meant our operational costs down were also reduced..”"

said Martin Hancock, RC Drilling Manager at PT Indodrill Indonesia

The team at PT Indodrill is already looking at other potential sites where the RC45 hammer can be used.


Epiroc is always happy to collaborate and help solve whatever drilling challenges our customers may encounter by actively listening to customers and analyzing the data obtained. Our goal is to accelerate the transformation of the industry by introducing innovative new products. Learn more about the RC45 reverse circulation hammer here.