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6 Questions for Rod McCoremick: Diamond Drilling Veteran

posted by the Epiroc Exploration & OreBody Solutions team

January 7, 2019

We’re taking some time during to chat with Rod McCoremick, our resident blogger, about how he came to be a diamond driller. Leveraging his more than 20 years in the industry, Rod is an old-hand who has been writing about the challenges of the industry, and providing tips, advice and general information we think would be of interest to the diamond drilling community.

Fordia 2019

1) How did you get into this business?

In my case, it was a family thing. My father was a diamond driller so I learned a lot from him. I kind of grew up in the world of diamond drilling, so it just seemed to be a natural career choice.


2) What do you like the most about diamond drilling?

I love that it’s not a 9-5 office job and gets me outdoors. More importantly, I like having the responsibility of drilling the hole successfully while maximizing profits, and feeling like an important contributor to the success of the company that I’m working for.

3) What do you like the least about diamond drilling?

This is a toss-up. The time away from family and friends while travelling on the job is tough. However, I have had the chance to travel extensively which I probably would not have had in another job. Secondly, I hate the harsh winter conditions that you have to deal with. Sometimes you find yourself outdoors in a northern region in winter for long stretches of time. Keeping warm is an issue.


4) What is the one thing you see diamond drillers do that drives you crazy?

There are two things that bug me. One is not being preventative. Many drillers wait for equipment to fail in the hole. Down-hole part failure causes downtime that can be prevented. It kills me that drillers don’t take the time to inspect or change parts beforehand since a simple maintenance routine can save so much time and money.

The second is blaming the cross shift for any and all problems. Drillers need to remember that they are also somebody else’s cross shift.


5) What advice would you have for your younger self as a driller?

Be patient. It’s the toughest lesson to learn and takes the longest. When you are new at anything, you need to stop talking, listen more and take your time to do things right.


6) What is the craziest thing you’ve ever seen in diamond drilling?

There was a time in Western Canada when two drillers were drilling – they were not that close to each other, maybe a few kilometers away and one ended up drilling through the core barrel of the other. That was pretty crazy.

Another time was when drillers were drilling down 800 feet into a drift. A large part of the rock broke off at the bottom. This caused all the drill rods to go careening down into the drift. When they got down there it was like a huge pile of pick-up sticks in that drift.


Rod has been sharing his experience in diamond drilling with other drillers for years, and we are lucky enough to have him deliver his own style of advice in our blog. He is part of our technical support team and goes the extra mile to make sure we help customers improve their drilling performance. Don’t hesitate to contact the team if you have questions or require guidance.