Boart Longyear Utilizes Advanced Drilling Technique to Achieve Ventilation Shaft
A Boart Longyear drilling team rose to the challenge as it bore down into the earth to create a ventilation shaft for an underground longwall coal mine in Southwest Wyoming.
The task? Guide a 60-inch bit to a depth of 550 feet through a challenging geological formation that included two aquifers – all in just over four weeks. Not only did they get it done, but they did so several days ahead of their deadline despite project start-up delays.
The key to their success? The dual-tube flooded reverse-circulation drilling technique, which allowed the extraordinary bit to penetrate loss circulation zones that precluded the use of a more traditional raised bore rig. The technique pumps air through the outer tube and forces mud and cuttings upward through the inner tube, preventing them from plugging porous rock
Working around the clock in rotating, three-member crews, the Boart Longyear Salt Lake City Rotary Drilling Services team utilized a LMTM200 top head drive rig fitted with stabilizers and the massive bit. To minimize the risk of a mine entry collapse, the borehole was drilled off to the side of the mine tunnel and a 54-inch casing with 1/2-inch wall thickness was installed and cemented in place. Underground mine crews then mined over and punched through the
“What our team accomplished was absolutely remarkable,” said Jason Lamb, U.S./Mexico territory contract manager at Boart Longyear, the world’s leading provider of integrated drilling services, equipment and performance tooling. “Drilling such a large-diameter hole through loss circulation formations in a single pass – and in less than a month and a half – is something few companies are capable of performing.”
Boart Longyear is the world’s leading provider of drilling services, drilling equipment, and performance toling for mining and drilling companies globally. The company operates in over 30 countries spanning a wide range of commodities, including copper, gold, nickel, zinc, uranium, and other metals and minerals.
Coal India Secures First-Of-Its-Kind Digital Deal
Coal India Limited (CIL) has appointed Accenture Solutions to digitally transform seven of its open-cast mines as the company strives to improve performance and increase coal production. Accenture is due to lay down digitalisation groundwork until March 2022.
The deal aims to increase coal production by 100 million tonnes (MT) by the end of FY’23. Once the minimum quantity has been surpassed, an agreed sum will be paid to the consultant for every additional sum of coal produced. This success fee will only be paid on the procurement of the minimum assured quantity.
The move will see heavy earth moving machinery (HEMM) fitted with digital sensors to monitor performance efficiency at all levels. Additionally, modern data analytic techniques aim to increase mine productivity and project monitoring through functional system management and effective observation.
An Exciting Venture For Global Mining
CIL, which aims to provide energy security in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner, hopes the move will help transform the entire business of mining operations and ensure higher volumes of coal are acquired at a lower cost.
“This is a first of its kind initiative by the company utilising digitalisation to ramp up coal output,” CIL has said.
A Digital Step Towards Enhanced Performance
Digitalisation is expected to take place at open-cast mines in Kusmunda, Gevra, Dipka of Southern Eastern Coalfields (SECL), Migahi, Jayant, Dudhichua, and Khadia of Northern Coalfields (NCL). Nearly 32% (188 MT) of CIL’s 596 MT output in FY’21 was accounted for by the seven selected mines. However, this new deal is set to see a large increase following the subsequent digital changes due to be made.
“Learning from the outcome and success of this model, we may replicate it in our other large mines,” says CIL, optimistic about the future following the modernisation of their mining.
It is expected that the move will help address roadblocks and guarantee corrective measures are put into place, ensuring the company is able to move forward with its aim of increasing output whilst remaining sustainable and eco-friendly.