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.
Topics: Basic drilling information
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.
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.
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.
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.
Core recovery, and how to improve it, is a topic that comes up often in a discussion with field technicians. This is not surprising, since it is the purpose of diamond drilling and every driller and drilling company wants to be efficient and cost effective when drilling. There are several tips that can help you improve your core recovery.
When I speak to customers, I often talk about the importance of quality control when manufacturing drilling equipment. When you are paying good money for core bits and drill rods you want to make sure they last long, and provide the performance you are expecting.
Topics: Basic drilling information
Over this year we have done a few blogs on matrix troubleshooting where we have examined the different wear patterns on a bit crown. The wear profile provides clues as to why your core bit may be underperforming. By changing drilling parameters or making other simple changes, you may be able to improve drilling performance. Not long ago, one of our blog subscribers mentioned having problems with gauge loss on the outer diameter. Let’s look at some of the causes and some of the solutions.
In this blog, our last installment on handling core bits, we look at problems that can happen at the bottom of the bore hole when you’re adding or changing a new core bit. I always say that choosing the right core bit and bit configuration is one of the most important decisions you have to make to ensure you get the best drilling performance. You also need to make sure you handle them properly so that they get to the drill the ground they were chosen for.
Last week we looked at how experienced diamond drillers can get the best performance and longest life from their drilling equipment by avoiding common pitfalls in handling core bits. Often, core bits get damaged before they’re even used. You take the time to choose the right bit and the best configuration, so you want to get the longest bit life possible. Last week we looked at some problems that can happen above ground – this week we’ll examine common problems that happen all the way down, when you’re adding or changing a new core bit.