• Ian Jackman

Diamond Drilling References

My library of drilling reference books, journal extracts, technical papers, manufacturers' product brochures, interesting articles, personal communications and other documents is an extensive collection gathered together over the years.

Within this collection the best two diamond drilling reference books that are still currently available are:

  1. Diamond Drilling Handbook, 4th Edition - internationally renowned publication dedicated to diamond drilling for mineral exploration

  2. The Drilling Manual, 5th Edition - a more general exploration drilling manual with an excellent diamond drilling section within the wide range of drilling methods covered, including excellent background on exploration drilling management and field craft

The Diamond Drilling Handbook has been in constant circulation since 1985 as a technical handbook relating to diamond drilling that has been recognised as the leading manual of its kind in the world. Dr Wolfgang Heinz, the author is considered a world authority on diamond drilling. The handbook originated through a South African Drilling Association project that he initiated when he chaired the association. It is a result of his own considerable industry experience and the many contributions submitted by from industry experts at the time. I am fortunate to have been involved with this publication in some small way and very proud to have made my contributions including work on diamond drilling fluids and the 1984 JCI Drilling Unit "Drilling Handbook" - a field document which I helped to develop. Since 2014 I have also been involved by providing locally available stock of the Diamond Drilling Handbook from the UK for distribution to more than 42 countries globally.

The Drilling Manual developed in Australia, published earlier as "Drilling, the Manual of Methods, Applications and Management," also draws from the "Australian Drilling Manual" and "Australian Drilers Guide." Published by ADITC (Australian Drilling Industry Training Commitee) and made available since 1981.

The mineral exploration drilling industry, and diamond drilling in particular, has been through many cycles, not least of which has been the very testing last decade. Through the years the industry has changed. There are new technologies, new methods, new equipment. Inevitably, change is in the air again, just as we appear to be reaching for a resources up-cycle, and there are indications that we are in danger of losing these valuable heritage publications.

Recently ADITC closed its doors and many of the training functions have been taken over by ADIA (Australian Drilling Industry Association). The future of the Drilling Manual is unclear, although it is still promoted as a useful, complementary training reference via the ADIA web site. Certainly the diamond drilling sections need revision and updating.

Likewise, the possibility of producing a new edition of the Diamond Drilling Handbook would require an enormous amount of work if it is to be done properly because it too needs to incorporate new content, ideas and technologies that will make it relevant again in this "new age," as was elegantly pointed out to me recently.

In my opinion, it would be a sad day to see these valuable references disappear from the book sellers' shelves, unavailable to industry newcomers where they are needed most.

Currently, the major manufacturers are filling the gap with large quantities of product related content that promotes their own technologies, or collaborative tech. From a diamond core drilling stand point too much reliance on the manufacturers squeezes out the very relevant independent views, input and insight that are needed to maintain a strong scientific and technical balance. Without it we become slaves to the manufacturers themselves and lose access to valuable independent applications and services.

I have already stepped into that independent space with my "iideas" approach - suggested reading: "Back Story" blog.

I accept that the manufacturers can be relied upon to provide technical data on products, but that commentary, criticism and checking must be delivered independently. The result is that I have begun writing the DD-PSO series (a series of publications focused on Diamond Drilling: Exploring Problems, Solutions and Opportunities). I will be following that up with additional independent publications and new series on other interesting topics within the industry. Furthermore, I will provide independent support within the core drilling industry for progressive mineral exploration professionals.

To survive, expand and make the most of the opporutnities it has, the industry deserves more relevant input and references, not fewer!

Things to try next:

Visit Bright Earth Consulting - https://goo.gl/j1gxSW

Read the DD-PSO series of publications - https://goo.gl/jch9FH

Join our membership site - https://goo.gl/Djg1RB

Written by:

Ian Jackman

Ian Jackman is a consultant, author and diamond drilling specialist providing support for mineral exploration professionals to avoid or overcome critical problems during diamond core drilling projects: those problems that threaten to slow the progress of a borehole or stop it altogether.

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