RC Drilling Rigs
Type of rig required for RC & multipurpose drilling
There are numerous options to be considered by a drilling contractor before purchasing an RC Drilling rig which would include but not be limited to,
- Track v truck mounted rig
- Multipurpose rigs that do both RC and diamond drilling.
- Air capacity for depth and size of holes needed
- Health and safety features
Track versus Truck mounted rig
Track based, deep hole RC exploration rigs are a more stable platform therefore giving better hole alignment and less hole deviation. Track based rigs are appealing to clients as they can reach depths of up to 800m on rugged terrain and also reduce the impact on the environment because they are manoeuvrable with a smaller footprint.
A truck mounted rig has the primary advantage in that it can be driven long distances between drilling sites were as a track mounted rig needs transporting on a low loader. Modern eight wheel drive trucks can also access increasingly rugged terrain.
A multi- purpose rig can drill both RC and diamond and eliminates the need for having two rigs in a case where both RC and diamond drilling are required. There is cost and time savings as the machine can combine RC and diamond drilling within the same hole.
One of the key factors when looking at a rig for drilling RC or aircore is the air capacity as this will determine how deep holes can be drilled. With advances in air compressor designs new RC rigs have on board air capacity up to 100cfm at 450psi to provide both high pressure and high volume air.
This enables 4’ – 4 ½’’ RC Hammer holes to be drilled to depths up to 400m without using boosted auxiliary air saving time and money in machinery and setting up. Another advantage of large air capacity is that improved penetration rates that can keep holes dry up to several hundred metres improving sample quality and handling of sample bags.
Health and Safety Features
One of the critical areas in RC drilling is the breaking out and handling of rods. New hydraulic drill rod break out systems allows RC drill rod joints to be both mechanically tightened and untightened without any physical contact from the operators, when combined with automated rod handling systems this eliminates one of drillings highest safety risk activities. Modern RC rigs can also be equipped with remote drillers console so that a driller can operate the rig safely at a distance of up to 15m.
Other safety features to consider include noise and dust suppression as well as hand rails, access ladders, lighting and fire extinguishers’ that meet relevant industry standards.
A key feature of RC rigs is the dump mast which allows holes to be drilled at angles from 90-45 degrees. This is critical as geologists like to intersect the ore body at an angle of 90 degrees.