Feb 2023
5 Diamond Drilling Techniques For Mining Industry

Diamond drilling has been a part of the mining industry for years. Previously, simple drilling was done by hand, but diamond drilling machines are used in the modern age. In simple terms, a diamond drilling machine utilises a cutting tool that uses energy to create a hole using a drill bit. They are driven by air, water and hydraulic oil. 

Diamond drilling activities for mining sites are diverse and are used for two primary purposes –

First is exploration, which aims to get detailed information about the formations below the earth’s surface, and the other is to facilitate the labours of ore extraction. 

There are various types of diamond drilling for mining sites, and this blog covers the basic techniques used in the mining industry. 

What Is Diamond Drilling In Mining?

Diamond drilling is a drilling method for exploration purposes. It removes cylindrical rock cores from the rock mass with the help of a hollow bit covered with diamonds. A diamond drilling machine drills holes with small diamond bits, catching cores from the orebody and the bedrock. 

The diamond drill bit rotates using various types and sizes of appliances. The impregnated flat-crown diamond bit is the most versatile type in mineral exploration. It may drill by wearing out the rock under the bit and produce small cuttings. Diamond bits can drill the most complex rock, but they drill slowly. They are effective in rock formations with the highest compressive strength. Our diamond drilling experts also use abrasive formations. 

The diamonds used in diamond drill bits are industrial-grade diamonds. To prevent the burning of the diamonds, CA Drillers use water as a coolant. 

Diamond Drilling Techniques For Mineral Exploration 

  • Reverse Circulation Drilling 

Reverse circulation drilling, also known as RC drilling, is an expensive drilling technique. It provides greater sample accuracy, making it a more popular form of mining drilling technique. The RC Drilling process requires more equipment and skilled diamond drilling experts.

Reverse circulation drilling is a type of percussion drilling that fractures the rock using a piston that delivers rapid blows to the drill shaft. It transfers sufficient energy to the drill bit, blowing the rock by the diamond drill bit. With each impact, the rotating device ensures that the bit hits a new rock surface. A feed force maintains contact between the rock and the bit. Additionally, the compressed air removes the drill cut from the hole and efficiently makes the drilling depth.

  • Diamond Core Drilling  

Diamond core drilling uses a ‘diamond drill bit’. It  comprises small, industrial-grade diamonds set into a soft metallic matrix. As our experts drill the ground, the matrix wears away to expose more diamonds. 

Diamond drilling removes the solid cylinders of rock from deep within the earth. Diamond core drilling has transformed the mining industry and led to the discovery of many mineable orebodies. Before diamond drilling, mining primarily depended on finding outcrops of rock, with little knowledge about ore concentrations below the surface. 

The hardness, diamond size and dosing for diamond drilling are adjusted to suit the rock type. Holes within the bit allow water to reach the cutting face, providing lubrication and cooling. 

  • Auger Drilling 

Auger drilling is the most common form of drilling. It executes the manual rotation of a helical screw into the surface. Two skilled diamond drilling professionals usually operate it. CA Drillers can also mount them to small vehicles. Once the auger drill penetrates deep, the ground is lifted by the blade of the screw. Auger drill specialises as an initial geochemical reconnaissance technique. It means that it is used in softer soil to have the optimal place for mounting a giant drill. 

  • Blast Hole Drilling 

It is a method of drilling used to clear out significant amounts of the earth, so you can easily access the minerals below. It drills holes into the soil. Explosive charges are then kept into each hole and shattered. The broken material is removed after the explosion. When the diamond drilling and blasting occurred underground, the blasted tunnels allowed safe human entry. Gas pressure blasting is also used to displace rock for excavation as an alternative to explosives. 

  • Aircore

It involves a three-bladed drill bit with a hollow drill rod penetrating loose soil and rock fragments. Once the drilling is complete, our diamond drilling expert blasts the compressed air through the drill rod. It brings the cuttings to the surface. This method is more precise. It means that the samples collected by this method are less prone to contamination. 

Concerns For Drilling In Mining 

Mining sites are naturally exposed to health and safety risks. It includes hazards of manual handling and moving parts. It also generates a serious amount of dust. As diamond drilling’s objective goes, dust must be treated at its source. Exposure to dust leads to various life-threatening diseases. 

The responsibility of the diamond drilling operator is not limited to the mining site. It extends to the legalities of the diamond drilling procedure. At CA Drillers, we apply health and safety guidelines approved by the UK government. Our diamond drilling experts cater to the drill cuttings’ chemical nature and particle size. They use water to suppress drill cuttings, which means it will produce less dust and noise. It will also keep the drill bit lubricated. 


Diamond drilling is one of the essential aspects of mineral exploration procedures. While exploration has never been as challenging as today, our advanced technology reduces the most arduous and repetitive drilling tasks at your mining site. Contact us to discuss your diamond drilling requirements.

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