Mineral exploration drilling is a simple but key process for finding mineral samples for mineral exploration. When done with efficiency and planning, proper drilling can help bring you a constant flow of valuable mineral samples. The key is the technique behind the drilling.
Despite many advances in drilling equipment, traditional mineral mining has not changed as much as geothermal or petroleum. That said, techniques in mineral drilling have been through decades of refinement.
To get the most out of your mineral exploration, let’s dig deep into the essential techniques for quality mineral drilling.
The Key Essential Techniques to Quality Mineral Drilling
The general aspects of mineral drilling involve rotary and percussion drilling to produce rock chips and samples of the core minerals. These help to map out and produce detailed information about the surrounding area, helping to lay the foundation work for any further building or mining projects.
The process is simple, but you need more than blunt force aimed at the ground. Any of these 3 techniques below help give you an edge on this particular project.
1. Rotary Air Blasting
Rotary air blasting is the simplest, easiest, and cheapest of the 3 techniques here. It clears out layers of the earth without a problem, but it by itself will never give you a clear and proper mineral sample.
Rotary air blasting is a type of rotary drilling where a rotating drill stem uses a blade bit to cut into the rock. Compressed air pushes down to the bit and sucks backward, both cooling off the heated bit and sucking all the broken rock and dirt back to the surface.
The inaccuracy of this method comes from the air pulling up a hefty mix of everything, making it hard to get a single sample.
2. Reverse Circulation Drilling
Reverse circulation drilling, or RC drilling for short, is a form of percussion drilling that drives a hammer or tricone deep into a rock bed. The drill moves in a circular motion to ensure that it delivers its rapid blows to different sections of the rock each time.
The deeper and more precise RC drilling is often a more expensive process as it requires more precise equipment and driving skills. The payoff is that it can generate great mineral samples by nailing a precise area of the rock and using a more elaborate system of airflow to bring back the rock pieces.
3. Diamond Core Drilling
Diamond core drilling is the slowest and often most expensive process but will take less overall equipment. The slow and precise process will take the most skill and labor out of the 3 but provides some of the largest and most precise samples.
Diamond core drilling takes industrial diamonds encrusted into a pipe and drills them into a specific piece of the rock layers. As the pipe drills into the rock bed, the minerals that the drill breaks through filter right into the pipe itself. Removing the pipe then gives you a large batch of rock samples.
Refining Your Process for Better Drilling
With these 3 powerful techniques, you can improve your mineral drilling from a simple process to a practiced craft. The quality of mineral drilling can separate a slow and small workflow into a powerhouse of mineral exploration.
Our team here at BG Drilling brings about this quality in all that we do, from equipment maintenance to proper drilling safety. If you are ever in need of a proper hand for your mineral drilling project, we have what you need. Contact us today for more information.