If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you know that some great success stories happen when we collaborate with customers to find solutions to drilling problems. In the past, onsite visits have led to left-handed coring solutions and large diameter equipment. Recently a three-way collaboration between a manufacturer, drilling company and mining site led to our EDDY wastewater system going underground.For those who may not know, EDDY is a system that treats drill water to separate the cuttings so the water can be reused, and cuttings can be disposed of effectively. We saw a great need for drill sites where there were environmental regulations in force as well as sites where access to water was scarce or distant. Then we realized that core shacks could also benefit from Eddy. Recently, underground drilling was the latest area where EDDY’s abilities were found to be beneficial.
Underground drilling must address the question of what to do with drill cuttings. When the water used in drilling operations is full of cuttings, it will run down into a sump hole in the drift or end up at the bottom of the mine. However, not every level in a mine will have sump hole. If you are drilling on a level where there is no sump hole, you’ll have to make one by blasting excavation. This sump hole will eventually start to accumulate a lot of residue from the drill cuttings in the drill water. Managing sump holes is messy and expensive. You need to pull out the pump and clean the cuttings and you need to do this regularly.
Our clients, Orbit-Garant and Bonterra had spoken with the Fordia team to find a way to use EDDY in an underground mine. By bringing EDDY underground, drill crews not only avoided having to blast sump holes in the mine, but they saved a lot of time by eliminating the need for regular cleanup of the sump holes. With EDDY, the drill water is processed so that the cuttings in the drill water are isolated and dried. They can then be handled and disposed of in special bags, bins or tubes.
EDDY was a success for both companies. The system allowed 75% to 80% of the drill water to be re-used and the filtered debris was handled by the waste management system in place at Bonterra. This experience was an excellent example of three different parties working together to find a solution to a problem and a new application for a product. The engineers were so impressed, they submitted the idea to an innovation contest sponsored by the Quebec Order of Engineers, and it was a finalist!
So many good things can happen when companies work together. Contact our technical support team if you want advice on solving a problem - we have a lot of collected experience and wisdom. Our goal is to improve drilling performance and make drillers’ lives easier.