One of the most challenging ground formations for diamond drilling is fractured ground. When drilling in highly fractured or broken ground, you run the risk of hitting a void or large fracture and having your drill water escape through that fault. Similarly, in an underground drilling environment, groundwater is often unexpectedly encountered in the drill hole. Extremely high flow rates and pressures are not uncommon.
While many diamond drillers enjoy fishing in their spare time, no one wants to go fishing on the job. Fishing is the process of removing down-hole equipment that has become stuck, lost, or broken off in the hole. It means that operations have ground to a stop and your productivity is being affected.
Many of our blog topics come from real-life situations, either from reports on onsite visits or directly from our customers. They represent the types of issues that many of our customers are facing so we use these opportunities to explore possible solutions or explanations. This blog is about industry standards within the diamond drilling world.
Most of our blogs focus on diamond drilling, but occasionally we will delve into topics related to geotechnical or other types of drilling. In this blog, we are going to look at reverse circulation drilling, known as RC drilling.
Bore hole deviation is one of those things that occur despite all the preventative measures and precautions that diamond drillers may take. Deviations may occur due to equipment that is lost and stuck in the bore hole or it may be intentional because the geologist has requested a new trajectory. A deflection wedge is one of the oldest and simplest ways to steer the bore hole. There are other choices for directional drilling and you can read about them in this blog.
In order to accomplish our corporate goal of improving drilling performance, our engineering team develops new core bits that address particular drilling challenges. Rock abrasiveness is a common challenge faced by many diamond drillers. Abrasiveness can wear down bits prematurely, regardless of the hardness of the ground.
When the geologist has given you a specific target to reach with your bore hole, many of them will make specific requests that a hole proceed in a very straight direction for a certain number of meters. A lot will be riding on your ability to get there without your bore hole deviating. Most diamond drillers know that preventing bore hole deviation is a lot easier than having to correct once it’s gone off the trajectory. One way to avoid the risk of deviation is to stabilize your core barrel before you start drilling and you do this by changing some of the equipment you usually use.
It’s kind of inevitable that, like death and taxes, you will have to deal with borehole deviation at some point in your drilling career. Bore holes are rarely straight and the further down you go, the more likely the chance of your hole going off the chosen trajectory. This can be quite a problem if the geologist needs to hit a particular ore body. And the fact of the matter is that many of the ore deposits near the surface have already been depleted so you need to drill deeper.
Our water treatment system Eddy has been doing well at drilling sites across the globe, including Mexico, and Northern Quebec. I’ve written about some of the successes we have had in helping customers go green and reduce water consumption. I love seeing how one product can be used successfully in different applications, and this is the case with Eddy, as new uses for water treatment are coming out.
In our last blog, we talked about the importance of having a continuous flow of water in diamond drilling, so that the borehole is lubricated, the core bit is cooled and the drill cuttings are flushed from the hole.