Mineral Exploration Drilling
Mineral drilling, also known as mineral exploration drilling, is a form of drilling often used by the mining industry. It’s a process that allows them to determine the material composition of soil in different locations. This is a preliminary to major mining operations, one used to discover mineral-rich drilling sites and ore deposits. During the drilling procedure, sample of the soil at different depths is analyzed by geologists to determine if valuable minerals or other resources are located along the drilling line.
There are three main techniques for mineral exploration drilling. These are:
- Conventional Rotary Air/Mud Drilling,
- Reverse Circulation Drilling,
- and Diamond Core Drilling.
In this article, we’ll have a look at all three of these techniques and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.
Conventional Rotary Air/Mud Drilling
The most cost effective drilling technique is conventional rotary drilling. This can be done in a few different ways. Remember that the goal of this drilling is to lift material to the surface so that it can be tested to determine the mineral composition. Two common ways of lifting are with air and with mud. In this instance, mud is a thickened liquid compound that fills the hole and displaces the material loosened by drilling. Cuttings are then take from the side wall and tested in the laboratory to determine the mineral composition.
The challenge with this form of drilling is that it is inaccurate when it comes to mineral exploration drilling. You want to know what minerals exist at each depth. But, with this form of drilling, loose material from above the cutting can fall down and contaminate the sample. You might not get an accurate representation of the soil composition at that depth. This being said, it may be worth it to go this route if you’re working with a very large area. Your expenses will be much less than some of the other forms of drilling, and you’ll get a reasonable assessment of the soils composition at different elevations.
Reverse Circulation (RC) Drilling
The benefit of reverse circulation drilling is that it will give you a more accurate understanding of the soil composition at any given depth. However, it will cost you a bit more per meter than conventional drilling. This is the most popular method in Australia and South America, where deep minerals are the most valuable export materials of the country.
For reverse circulation drilling, a dual wall drill pipe is used. Air is forced down the outer tube and injected through a port called a “side inlet swivel”. It exits just after the drill bit to force material up through the inner tube. This material is delivered upwards and collected. It can then be analyzed to get a profile of the mineral composition at the drilling depth. The bit type can be a hammer or tricone, but, in either case, the results are the same. You will get a clear idea of the soil composition. Reverse circulation drilling is effective until the drill head hits water or “waters out”. At this point water will enter the side inlet swivel, making it ineffective for mineral drilling exploration.
Diamond Core Drilling
The most accurate form of mineral drilling, and the most expensive, is diamond core drilling. This method also requires the most skill. The cost per meter is quite high, even compared to reverse circulation drilling. It’s also slower. You can get depths of 30 meters in 12 hours, compared to 150 meters with reverse circulation drilling. The core has to rotate at a very high rate, from 300 to 1200 rotations per minute. It also requires just the right amount of weight on the bit in order to avoid polishing or burning the bit in hard rock formations.
The advantage of core drilling is that you can bring a core of material to the surface. This will give you a more accurate profile of the mineral composition at each depth than any other style of drilling. There are two main types of core drilling: conventional and wire line. With conventional drilling, rotary drilling is used with a hollow core drill bit to capture a sample and bring it up to the driller. Samples are placed in jars and sent back to the lab for analysis. Wire line coring is done with an ICB that is passed through the drill bit and overshot from the head. It requires fewer round trips and can be more efficient, but it limits the core size.
Diamond drilling is one of the speediest and most efficient drilling techniques out there. It is a method used on various glass, stone, and metal materials, leaving a precise and accurate finish on construction works.
What makes this form of drilling so great? Read on to learn more about the fantastic benefits of diamond core drilling.
What Is Diamond Core Drilling and How Does It Work?
A diamond core drill is designed using a rotary drill that is attached to a diamond crown. When it is in use, the temperature of the diamond core drill is controlled using water, which also helps to eliminate dirt and dust.
This slick tool performs its magic by drilling its diamond crown into a surface and rotating it, creating holes and openings in various material types.
The diamond drill will extract the core from a surface and place it into a cylinder when drilling into rock. This method is a great alternative to traditional (often messy) drilling.
As well as providing high-quality results, this core sample can be analysed (i.e., in the case of mineral exploration and environmental purposes).
What Makes Diamond Core Drilling So Good for Construction?
Are you looking for an efficient drilling method for your next big project? Here are the top reasons why diamond core drilling is so handy for construction work!
1. Minimal Mess
In comparison to alternative drilling methods, diamond drills cut through hard construction surfaces without leaving dust and debris all over the place. This saves making a mess and wasting precious time.
2. Maintain Structural Integrity
The idea of drilling into buildings creates fears of damaging structural integrity. However, diamond core drilling is one of the safest drilling forms, ensuring that structural integrity remains intact.
You are most likely to get the perfect results you desire with a diamond drill, as it is one of the most precise methods of cutting, leaving every project with an accurate finish.
The depth of cutting can also be extremely varied - ranging from 10 to 1000 millimetres. If precise holes are required, a diamond core drill can be used to create duct openings, pipes, wiring holes, and holes for fasteners.
Looking for a tool that is both accurate and versatile? Well, look no further! Diamond drills can be used on many different construction surfaces.
Due to their portability and compact design, you are not limited in the locations and materials you can use to cut. The drill bits are also extremely resistant to damage, making them a perfect long-term investment.
Diamond core drills have a lightweight and compact design that doesn't affect their immense power and seamless performance. This makes them super easy to transport.
You can use the diamond core drilling method virtually anywhere, including in the contexts of both dry and wet drilling.