An Insight Into The Blast Hole Drilling Process

There are several methods used in drilling. Among them is blast hole drilling. In this mining technique, a hole is drilled into the surface of the rock, it is then filled with explosives, and detonated. The goal of this mining method is to cause cracks in the inner geology of the surrounding rocks so that further drilling can be done more easily.

The hole that the explosive are packed into is known in the industry as the blast hole. You will find that this technique of mining is on of the most common surface drilling methods used in mining today.

Where is it Used?

Blast hole drilling is mainly used anywhere where a mining firm wants to explore the potential mineral yield or mineral composition of the area. Therefore, blast holes are a basic step in exploring the mineral composition or yield of a demarcated area. This technique can be used in both underground and surface mining operations but in varying degrees.

The Process:

1st Step — Surveying the location

The first process in this drilling technique involves surveying the proposed site. The site is inspected in order to come up with the right decisions in terms of the diameter and size of the hole, the types of drill or drills that will be used and so on. The findings of the initial survey are what will inform these decisions.

Some of the things that the site survey will analyze include the nature of the ground, soil, rock, and/or mineral to be mined, the proposed mining process, and will impact all the decisions made from this point onwards with regard with the drilling process.

2nd Step — Researching the rock types and formations

Once the surveyors have acquired the raw data from the surveying process, they will hand the data over to researchers. The researchers will then conduct their research and come up with findings that will help them plan safe and effective drilling patterns.

3rd Step — Plan drilling patterns

The project manager will take over from the researchers once they have come up with the most efficient, effective, and safest way to proceed. He or she will, therefore, draw up the necessary drilling plans.

4th Step — Drilling the blast holes

This is where the actual drilling the blast hole technique starts. At this point, the procurement of all the machinery will have been done, already delivered on site, and ready to begin work. Findings from the researchers will dictate how deep and wide the blast holes should guided from the data they acquired from the survey.

5th Step — Breaking up the rock

Blast holes will be dug and packed with explosives based on the findings of the survey.

6th Step — Clean up process

The clean up process, depending on the type of drilling, will be conducted whereby debris will be cleared and if tunnels were dug, they will be reinforced.