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EXPLORATION

April 26, 2019

More Core in the Box: Drillers find Longyear™ Bits Considerably More Effective

Overview

Many of the most important gold sites in the world are associated with Archean greenstone, the oldest rock on earth and thought to have formed at the bottom of the sea. Subsequent geological events created the structure in the greenstone by which hydrothermal activity concentrated and deposited gold.

60% Increase in Life, and 8% Increase in Productivity
“Smoother cutting of the formations and longer bit life helped push us towards the successful safe production shifts we aimed to have for both our client and our business.”

Boart Longyear Site Supervisor Jeremy Dykstra

The Challenge

Greenstone and sedimentary formations like mudstone and conglomerate, while variable, are typically low in Moh’s hardness. Moving into the actual ore zone, the formation consists of various types of rock such as feldspar, muscovite schist, and fragmental biotite, introducing abrasiveness related to the rock’s quartz content.

The challenge in softer abrasive formations is to pick a diamond drilling bit tough enough to get good life without sacrificing penetration rate.

Adding in the drive for productivity creates an additional challenge. The driller cannot simply pick the toughest bit available; life needs to be increased while still maximizing penetration rate or tripping out rods to change bits impacts overall productivity.

The Solution

Using patented technology, the new Longyear™ Bits have diamonds that are chemically bonded to the matrix creating a more versatile, faster penetrating, and a longer-lived bit. All drillers from the newly promoted to the seasoned veteran find the color-coded Longyear™ Diamond Bits considerably more effective in obtaining higher productivity. For each hardness rating on Mohs hardness scale, Boart Longyear has created a recommended color. The complete line of Longyear™ Diamond Bits includes a Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple Bit.

Originally, Alpha series 08 and 09 were chosen in Stage3 to get a good combination of life and penetration rate. These bits, while achieving acceptable penetration rates, fell significantly short on life at 43m, the average over three months. In looking at the Longyear Bit series cross reference chart, Alpha series 08 and 09 would be replaced by the Longyear Green bit. Given the low hardness of the formation, the Longyear Blue bit was also selected to determine the best solution. In stark contrast, to the Alpha series bits, the penetration rate and bit life both increased. Using a combination of the Longyear Blue and Green bits, driller’s averaged 109 meters per bit and increased penetration rate. When drilling softer formations at site, the drillers used the Blue bit and found this bit to be incomparable when looking at the production rates and bit life. The two formulas combined yielded a 60% improvement in life and an 8% increase in productivity.

Product Longyear™ Diamond Bits
Location Southern-Central Ontario, Canada
Application Higher productivity in underground diamond drilling

Vital Stats 

  • 1.6x improvement in life and an 8% increase in productivity (core in box)

Boart Longyear Canada East Coring Supervisor, Jeremy Dykstra said, “In the beginning, we struggled to meet our production targets due to slower penetration rates and poor bit life. Once we started to trial the new Longyear Diamond Bits, the performance improvement was noticed immediately with all crews at site. Smoother cutting of the formations and longer bit life helped push us towards the successful and safe production shifts we aimed to have both for our client and our business.”

“In the beginning, we struggled to meet our production targets due to slower penetration rates and poor bit life. Once we started to trial the new colored series bits, the performance improvement was noticed immediately with all crews at site.”

Boart Longyear Site Supervisor Jeremy Dykstra

About Boart Longyear

Established in 1890, Boart Longyear is the world’s leading provider of drilling services, drilling equipment and performance tooling for mining and drilling companies.

The Global Drilling Services division operates for a diverse mining customer base spanning a wide range of commodities, including copper, gold, nickel, zinc, uranium, and other metals and minerals. The Global Products division designs, manufactures and sells drilling equipment, performance tooling, down-hole instrumentation and parts and services.

Want to know more? Learn more about Longyear™ Diamond Bits

Ready to take the Longyear Bit challenge? Contact your Boart Longyear representative today to order trial bits and download this blank bit log sheet to keep track of bit performance so you can compare the productivity and speed of both your current diamond bits and Longyear Bits.

TAKE THE LONGYEAR BIT CHALLENGE

DOWNLOAD

Media Permission: Boart Longyear grants you immediate agency to republish this article. We request that you cite Boart Longyear as the source and provide a link back where appropriate.

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