Bits ‘n Pieces – The Driller’s Blog

Rod McCoremick

Rod is a drilling guru with umpteen years of experience in both mineral exploration and geotechnical drilling. He has worked on almost every continent and when he is not sharing his know-how by blog, you can find him hanging out with the R&D gang or the tech crew.

Recent Posts

How to Spot Good Driller Potential When Hiring

Posted by Rod McCoremick on Oct 16, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Everyone is happy the downturn in the mineral exploration industry appears to be finally coming to an end because it was a long one. One of the many negative side effects is that many drillers left the industry and started other careers. Now that business is up, many mining companies and drilling operations are looking for new blood, young workers to become helpers or diamond drillers. From what I’ve been hearing, recruiting and training are a real challenge.

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Topics: Basic drilling information

Latest Safety Gear Requirements for Diamond Drillers

Posted by Rod McCoremick on Oct 9, 2017 10:30:00 AM

One issue that is top of mind for drillers, operations managers and mining companies is safety on the drill site. We’ve written about heat, cold, moving machinery and more, so now I want to talk about safety gear. Specifically, safety gear every driller should know about, have and use.

The requirements change in order to better protect workers and new products and procedures have been developed since the old days of diamond drilling. Here now is a look at some of the safety gear you should be using

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Topics: Drill Site Security

Why You Need to Avoid the Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Posted by Rod McCoremick on Oct 2, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Not long ago, we had a blog on how to sleep during the day if you were working the nightshift. Regardless of the shift you work, getting a solid 8 hours of sleep is important. I know that for a lot of you, the temptation is there to put off going to bed and spend some time going out, having fun or watching Netflix. The reality is that no matter your age, there are some negative side effects to being sleep deprived. Lack of sleep will do the following:

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Topics: Beyond drilling - other topics of interest

Preventing Core Washout

Posted by Rod McCoremick on Sep 25, 2017 10:30:00 AM

It’s all about the core. When a drilling project is started, the purpose is to drill and get a decent core sample. You may have to deal with a few challenges but once you’ve dealt with them the last thing you want is to lose the core because of wash out. Your core being washed out is most likely to happen when your ground is not competent, fractured, sandy or full of cobbles. Luckily, there are a few tips that can help you hold onto the whole core sample.

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Topics: Tips on common drilling issues, Basic drilling information

7 Things to Do When Drilling Deep Holes

Posted by Rod McCoremick on Sep 18, 2017 2:30:00 PM

Deep hole drilling is a chance for drillers to strut their stuff and show they have what it takes. Most drillers consider a hole deep if it is deeper than 1,500 meters. At that depth, drilling is a little more complicated and extra care is required. It’s the time you step up to the plate and show your supervisor you can deal with increased load responsibilities. What you don’t want to do is mess up – the deeper the hole, the more money that has been invested in it. A mistake in a deep hole costs a lot of time and money.

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Topics: Tips on common drilling issues, Basic drilling information

Drilling in Really Hard Rock: 3 Tips for Diamond Drillers

Posted by Rod McCoremick on Sep 11, 2017 10:00:00 AM


Lately, I’ve been getting questions about drilling in really hard rock. Really hard rock in drilling is around 7-8 on Mohs scale. Mohs hardness scale is a chart showing the relative hardness of various minerals. The scale consists of numbers 1 through 10; 1 being the softest and 10 being the hardest. Very hard rock includes gneiss and quartz, and extremely hard includes rock like jasperite, quartzite and taconite.

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10 Tips to Sleeping Well During the Day

Posted by Rod McCoremick on Sep 4, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Shift work is a fact of life in many industries, not just diamond drilling. Nobody likes it but sometimes you end up having to work a nightshift. When you do, your whole system gets shaken and you can find it difficult to get to sleep. Our circadian rhythm is geared towards being nocturnal. Our brains adjust the circadian rhythm according to how much light is entering our eyes so your body is fighting you if you try to sleep during daylight hours. However, getting enough sleep is really important when you need to be strong and alert, so here are 12 tips to getting a solid 8 hours when you are working the nightshift.

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Topics: Beyond drilling - other topics of interest

How to Avoid Leaking Drilling Equipment

Posted by Rod McCoremick on Aug 28, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Leaking equipment can have very negative results on drilling performance. It can impact your core recovery and prematurely damage other drilling equipment. You cannot always control a situation that starts down the hole so prevention is important. The drill rods are often the culprit but leaks can happen in your pump and other equipment as well.

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Topics: Tips on common drilling issues, Basic drilling information

Drilling without Access to Fresh Water

Posted by Rod McCoremick on Aug 21, 2017 3:00:00 PM

Wouldn’t it be great if no matter where your drilling project was located, you always had access to fresh water? Sadly, we all know that is not the case and oftentimes we find ourselves having to drill using mine water, salty water, or water with all kinds of minerals and deposits. The problem with this kind of water is that using any kinds of polymers becomes really difficult.

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Topics: Drilling mud, fluids and additives, Basic drilling information

10 Tips for Salmon Fishing

Posted by Rod McCoremick on Aug 14, 2017 11:30:00 AM

When drillers need to take a break, many of us like to go out into nature. What better way to relax and enjoy the great outdoors than to do some fishing... salmon fishing in particular. Salmon fishing is the best way to get really fresh salmon that you can eat at home right away or smoke and use later. Salmon thrive in both fresh water and saltwater and can be found on the coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. They are one of the most popular game fish and very popular for eating. So let’s learn more about salmon fishing with tips for both novice and veteran fishermen.

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Topics: Beyond drilling - other topics of interest

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