One of the beautiful things about the drilling industry is that it continues to develop. The techniques and equipment we use today are leagues ahead of those we used a century ago. And with each new innovation, the drilling world changes to match.
One massive development has just entered the world of mineral exploration drilling in the form of the RoXplorer® Coiled Tubing Drill Rig. This rig operates at a third of the cost of reverse circulation drilling, and a sixth of the cost of diamond drilling. It’s safer, quicker, and more environmentally friendly than any alternative currently on the market.
The genius of the RoXplorer® Coiled Tubing Drill Rig is in its drill string. It makes use of a continuous malleable steel coil drill string wound upon a reel. Deep drills usually require the driller to stop periodically, lift the drill string, and attach another segment in order to drill deeper. However, the RoXplorer® can drill continuously down to a depth of 500m. The coil is directed by a guiding mechanism, and a custom manufactured diamond drill bit caps the end, alongside a water turbine.
It might seem like this is a relatively minor innovation, but it’s having a profound impact on the world of mineral drilling in the Australian mining sector. Here are just a few of the advantages:
With conventional methods, a good bit of the time spent drilling a deep hole is changing the rod. It takes time to lift the drill string up, prepare it, attach another rod, and then lower it into the hole again. By cutting out this repetitive step, the RoXplorer® knocks out deep hole drilling in a fraction of the time.
It’s more versatile.
Think about it. You’re working with a flexible drill string. If you need to deviate when drilling a horizontal hole, you can do so during the drill, rather than pulling the rod, repositioning, and starting pretty much from scratch.
Most of the injury that happens on a drill job is during rod change. You’re working with lengths of unwieldy, heavy, hard material. If finger gets pinched between rods in the process, it can more than leave a mark. By cutting out the rod changes, the RoXplorer® eliminates a major source of injury and contributes to a safer working environment.
You get better hole stability.
One of the issues with hole stability is uniformity. Each time you change rods, you change the pressure the drill is applying to the side of the hole during the operation. With skill and experience, good drilling contractors will be able to minimise the variation, but you can’t eliminate it altogether. However, with a single continuous drill, this is no longer an issue. You get the same pressure on the side of the hole all the way down.
The smaller size of the RoXplorer® allows it to fit into spaces that you can’t easily reach with most rigs. On the practical side, this means that it can be transported on the road without a special permit.
It’s more environmentally friendly.
The small size and efficient design of the RoXplorer® means that it has only 10% of the environmental footprint of a conventional drill rig.
If you have a deep drill on the horizon or for any questions about drilling, feel free to contact us. With BG Drilling, you get the ultimate in both quality and service.