Types Of Drilling Methods That You Should Know?

As the mining industry advances and more excavating opportunities present themselves, the number of drilling methods increases. Whether it is for exploration, production, land-clearing, or geotechnical purposes, there are drilling methods that serve every mining purpose.

Auger Drilling

Auger drilling is the simplest form of drilling. It involves the manual rotation of a helical screw into the ground, usually by two people although auger drills can also be mounted to small vehicles. Once the auger drill is deep enough, the earth is lifted up by the blade of the screw. 

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This kind of drill specializes in an initial geochemical reconnaissance technique, which means it is used in softer soil to find the optimal place to mount a larger drill.

Rotary Air Blasting

Rotary air blasting is the most common shallow drilling method, in which a piston-driven hammer-like object drives the drill bit into the rock, fragmenting the hard surface into chips that are then lifted to the surface via compressed air. 

Types Of Drilling Methods That You Should Know?
Types Of Drilling Methods That You Should Know?

This method is ideal for drilling multiple holes in a short period, and less ideal for producing geological samples because the air blasting process can compromise the quality of the rock.


Aircore drilling involves a three-bladed drill bit with a hollow drill rod to penetrate loose soil and rock fragments. After the drilling is complete, compressed air is blasted through the drill rod to bring the cuttings to the surface. While this method is typically slower than rotary air blasting, it is more precise, meaning that the samples collected are less prone to contamination.

Reverse Circulation Drilling

Reverse circulation is a popular method for mining exploration that shares similarities with both rotary air blasting and air-core drilling. The same piston-driven hammer is used to drive the drill bit into the rock, however, the larger rigs and machinery associated with reverse circulation drilling allow for the drill bit to be driven even further into the earth. 

Compressed air is then used to drive the fragmented earth to the surface. This method is ideal for geological exploration, as it produces contaminant-free samples and requires less handling, resulting in cost reduction and faster turnaround times.

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