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Mobile Tunnel Borer Launch

Master Drilling launched the Mobile Tunnel Boring (MTB) machine to allow for horizontal mechanical excavation for underground mining development. The MTB is a bespoke machine for mining that is modular and can operate on a 12-degree incline or decline development. The MTB has a 30-meter turning radius. Furthermore, the machine can do a 4,5 and a 5,5-diameter cut.

The Mobile Tunnel Borer System Overview

The MTB system is specifically designed for the mining sector, but also has multiple applications across civil and energy-related projects. The machine can be utilised to excavate a variety of tunnels including tunnels to underground ore bodies such as declines, portals, haulages, inclines, ramps, ring roads and connecting tunnels etc.

To initiate cutting, the MTB requires a rounded profile side wall to grip and thrust the machine forward. For this reason, a starting frame is assembled in advance of the next heading to be tunnelled. Once the backup of the MTB has advanced through the starting frame, it can easily be disassembled and moved to the next location where a new heading will begin - this process will then be repeated. For breakaways, the MTB relies on a starting chamber that will be excavated and made safe by cyclical conventional mechanised drilling, blasting, scaling, loading, supporting and hauling equipment.


The Mobile Tunnel Boring technology is specifically designed for horizontal and inclined hard rock applications; eliminating the need to drill and blast. The high-level automation allows tunnels to be excavated with a smooth circular cross-section, safely and cost effectively.


Mining sector: Access tunnels to ore bodies in decline-type ramp or horizontal haulage format.

Energy sector: Hydroelectric or pump storage projects for the use of tailrace tunnels.

Civil sector: Used for metro utility wastewater pipes, communication etc. and railway infrastructure.


  • Allows for simultaneous cutting, loading, meshing and bolting
  • Allows for mobility and steering in all directions during Excavation
  • Capable of transportation in vertical shafts (fits into standard cage dimensions and low areas with 2m height restriction)
Master Drilling MTB



Total Length : 23 m
Weight : 240 metric tons

  • 17” Disc cutters
  • Backloading cutters
  • 1m advance stroke
  • Finger shield
  • Probe drill
  • Support drill capable of cable anchors : 8 bolts at 30° spacing


Total Length : 31 m
Weight : 300 metric tons

  • Mesh installation capable
  • Onboard dry dust scrubber
  • Ventilation extension cartridge
  • 1300kW installed power
  • 1600 kVA onboard transformer
  • 250m capacity water and electrical reels
  • 14 m³ bunker capacity
  • Cutter head and shield assembled in starting frame, positioned by 23t capacity telehandler with manipulator attachments for placing
  • Removable motivators for the remote control repositioning of backup units
  • 20-30t capacity dumper truck capability