Getting to the Core of More Cost-Effective Exploration Drilling
In many diamond coring operations, the purchase of consumables is a supply chain decision influenced more by unit price of the rod, tooling, and drilling fluids than by the specific drilling conditions and other field related concerns. While consumables cost is important, it isn’t the only thing mine operators and contractors should be considering. In a typical coring operation, consumables represent 10 per cent or less of the drilling contractor’s total operating costs while things like labour, capital, etc., make up the remaining 90-plus per cent.
Is it worth taking a chance on lower cost – and potentially lower quality – consumables that might lead to downhole failures and other things that slow down your drilling process, increase labour time, and leave expensive drilling equipment sitting idle?
Choosing drill rod, diamond tooling, and fluids based on their performance history may add slightly to your smallest cost category. But that little extra investment could deliver major dividends by helping to speed the drilling process and reducing downtime. Nothing increases labour and capital costs, or wastes more time, than fishing for a broken or stuck rod, or losing a hole when hole stabilization materials are insufficient or not available.
Delivering premium quality products that give drillers an edge and help them keep the rods turning is one of the prime motivators of Di-Corp.
“If you ask anyone in our company they will tell you our core purpose is To Optimize the Resource Industry,” says Di-Corp President, Dirk LePoole. “One of the ways we have decided we can do that is by focusing heavily on quality right from our selection of raw materials like steel, to our manufacturing processes and our extremely tight quality controls. Nothing fancy. Just reliable products backed by industry experienced service people who want to see our customers operate more efficiently.”
Single Source Convenience for Drilling Contractors
Di-Corp, with its drilling fluids operations in Alberta, and its mining equipment manufacturing plant in North Bay, Ontario, has been serving the drilling industry for more than 60 years. A key player and innovator in the western Canadian oil and gas drilling fluids business since 1960, Di-Corp branched out into mining in 2012-13 by acquiring North Bay based Drillers Edge Inc.
Since then, Di-Corp’s mining division has grown to become a major part of the business with subsidiary operations in the US and Mexico, and key distributors in Australia, South and Central America, Turkey, Mongolia, Russia, the UK, and Finland. The company is one of the few equipment manufacturers to provide a single source for downhole tooling and fluids, as well as in-house technical resources such as fluid program design, consulting, and training.
Drillers Edge Drill Rods Going the Distance
Drillers Edge drill rods by Di-Corp are earning a global reputation for reliable, long-lasting performance under some of the most challenging conditions. As proof the company offers a couple of downloadable case studies in which Di-Corp customers have more than doubled rod string life and achieved higher degrees of deviation using Drillers Edge rods compared to competitors.
“We have worked very hard to earn our reputation for producing exceptional drill rods,” said Scott Sawyshyn, Di-Corp’s VP for Canada and USA. “It’s taken some time, but we’re becoming the rod of choice for more and more drilling companies.” As mineral exploration drilling activity began picking up through 2021, the company added a third production shift to help meet growing demand.
Di-Corp believes that its choice of premium quality alloy steel, their approach to stress relieving heat treatments, precision machining, intense quality controls, and unique thread hardening and anti-galling treatments all combine to produce premium drill rods that:
- demonstrate more even pin and box wear;
- are more forgiving of hole deviation;
- and deliver superior drill string life.
Drillers Edge rods are available in standard ‘WL’ and ‘R’ thread designs, as well as our patented ‘D’ thread for deep hole applications. And they’re compatible with all industry standard tooling and equipment.
Drillers Edge Diamond Bits & Core Barrel Assemblies
Di-Corp manufactures a range of EDGE Diamond Impregnated, Carbonado, and TSD bits that are designed to optimize drilling in a variety of ground conditions ranging from 1 to 10 on the MOHS Hardness Scale. Di-Corp works with customers to continuously improve bit products. The recent addition of industry veteran Gadi Greenman as Chief Metallurgist will ensure the Drillers Edge bit line-up continues to evolve and perform.
Drillers Edge core barrel assemblies and core retrieval tooling are available for both surface and pump-in drilling operations. The company offers two latch options: the RetroLatch is Di-Corp’s take on one of the industry’s most commonly used latch designs, and the EdgeLatch, which is designed to increase the leverage for a more secure connection that reduces stuck tube and mis-latch issues that can lead to significant downtime on the rig.
Earth Pro Drilling Fluids
Having got its start supplying drilling fluids to the western Canadian petroleum sector, Di-Corp is extremely well-versed in all aspects of drilling fluids and mud systems. Drill Fluids Manager, Walker Dillabough, has designed drilling fluid (aka mud) systems for mineral exploration drilling operations across North, South, and Central America, and even travelling to customers offices and drill sites to conduct mud training schools for new drillers and drill hands.
“Drilling fluids affect nearly everything on and around a drill,” says Dillabough. “From hole stabilization to lubricating and improving the wear life of the bits and drill string, investing in a little knowledge and some high-quality products can make a huge difference in the efficiency of the drill.”
In addition to sourcing, manufacturing, blending and distributing fluids and polymer products such as TurboCut, Synvis D, ProPac D, Claysperse L, Claymean, Hydravis D, and Multimix, Di-Corp’s fluids team has developed handy fluid management tools such as the Fast Track Fluids Tool for efficient fluid system planning, and the M.O.L.E. System (which stands for Mix On Location Easily) to help drilling contractors optimize their drilling fluid systems for more efficient drilling.
Whether it’s providing alternative drilling fluid and polymers, freely sharing drilling and fluids expertise, or manufacturing highly reliable rods, bits, and core retrieval tools – Di-Corp remains focused on optimizing the resource industry by helping its customers get to the core of efficient and cost-effective drilling.