Mine drilling rigs are sused to drill holes on the surface of a rock. Explosives are placed inside these holes, which are then detonated, breaking the stone into smaller pieces. Mine drilling rigs are, therefore, at the heart of mining operations.
The advantage of drilling rigs brings the ability to penetrate hard and soft rocks. Businesses need to select rigs that suit the terrain they’re working in. This guide will explain to businesses how to confidently source the right drilling rig for their needs.
Mine drilling rig: market share and demand
The mining drilling rig services are valued at US $2.5 billion. Drilling services include drilling that mining companies contract out. It involves drilling for mineral components such as coal and metals. Current trends in the mining drilling rig services include adopting effective drilling services to optimize the extraction of minerals and gas. In addition, drilling companies are using low-emission energy and transportation systems across industries to minimize costs. Technological advancements in the sector, such as developing battery-operated drill rigs, have boosted growth in the industry.
Factors to consider when choosing a mine drilling rig
The diameter of the drill bit determines the diameter of the drill hole. There are three sizes, namely, 8 inches, 8-11 inches, and above 11 inches. The 8 inches drill bit is used for exploration purposes. Drilling companies widely use the 8-11 inch drill for production drilling. Drill bits above 11 inches are suitable for production drilling at greater depths. The depth of the drilling is determined by the purpose of the drilling. Drilling for wells may go up to 1000 meters while drilling for minerals could be around 200 meters deep.
Low-power drilling rigs
Underground drilling will often provide less space for drilling rigs. Because of this, underground drill rigs tend to be smaller and less powerful. This is why, when drilling, other factors become more critical. For example, ensuring the exposure of the diamonds during drilling maximizes its effectiveness and the drill orientation.
Drill hole orientation
When drilling underground, the direction of the drill can be facing downwards, angled, or upwards. When drilling downwards and at an angle, businesses should select drill bits that have their weight to the bottom of the drill bit. The matrix used for such drills should also be more challenging than drilling upwards. When drilling upwards, there is little need for a drill weight on the drill bit. In addition, it would be better to select drill bits with softer matrices. This will allow the drill bit to stay sharper and expose the diamonds more easily.
Unknown versus known ground
If a business knows the type of rock they’ll be drilling through, they can focus on specific drill bits developed for such terrain. They can also opt for a higher crown so that the number of times the drill bit is replaced is reduced. However, a business that will drill in different terrains has to widen the drill bits they should use.
Mining rigs should be selected based on the break-even margin. If the break-even margin is higher, optimization of the drilling will have to be done to cover the cost of operations. Optimization is done by choosing drilling rigs with higher rotation speeds for more efficient mining. Drilling rigs have a speed of between 50 rpm – 120 rpm. Greater optimization can be done by selecting drill bits with more teeth for efficient drilling.
Types of mine drilling rigs
Auger drilling rig
Auger drilling rigs use a drill bit that resembles a screw made of steel casing. As the drill bit rotates, pushing further down, it moves material to the surface.
- It has selectable head augers suitable for different surfaces.
- They are either powered electrically or by internal combustion engines.
- The continuous core can be collected by the wire-line method.
- No drill fluids are required.
- It is suitable for unconsolidated deposits.
- It cannot be used in consolidated deposits.
- Limited to holes less than 150ft.
Rotary drilling rig
Rotary drilling rigs are a drilling method that uses rotational force on drill bits to bore holes.
- The rock is crushed as the drill bit rotates.
- Uses drill bits that are three cones covered with many buttons or teeth.
- It is excellent for large and small diameter holes.
- It is quick and efficient.
- It can be used in consolidated and unconsolidated deposits.
- Requires drilling fluids that alter water chemistry.
- Results in mud cake on the drill hole wall.
- May have to abandon holes if boulders are encountered.
Blasthole drilling rig
Blasthole drilling rig breaks rock containing mineral ore into smaller pieces using explosives.
- Holes are drilled on the rock.
- The holes are prepped with sufficient explosives, which are detonated.
- The blasted rock is hauled for further processing.
- It is suitable for consolidated and unconsolidated deposits.
- It is quick and efficient.
- Requires experienced personnel.
- Extra precaution needs to be taken in blast hole drilling.
The target market for mine drilling rigs
Mine drilling rigs are expected to be worth US $4.4 billion by 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.7%. Asia is expected to have the largest market share. This is due to the increased demand for minerals and precious materials such as gold, silver, diamonds, and platinum. In addition, the rise in demand for coal production due to high demands for power will lead to growth for drilling services in Asia Pacific.
Mine drilling rigs are best suited for blasting rocks into smaller pieces. They feature drill bits made of very hard substances such as diamond to ensure they can quickly drill through rocks. Furthermore, drilling through rotary motion means that a drilling rig will use less energy compared to earlier methods where drilling was done by hammering the rock. Visit Alibaba.com for a list of mine drilling rigs available on the market today.