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Article: Exploration diamond drilling

Exploration diamond drilling

History and Development of Diamond Drilling

  • Rodolphe Leschot invented the first core bit in 1863.
  • Early diamond drilling opened up new areas for mineral mining.
  • Portable diamond drills revolutionized mineral prospecting.
  • General Electric pioneered the use of polycrystalline diamond compacts (PDCs) in drill bits.
  • PDCs replaced natural diamonds in drill bits.

Diamond Drilling Process

  • Exploration diamond drilling extracts a solid core for examination.
  • The key technology is the diamond bit composed of industrial diamonds.
  • Diamonds are scattered throughout a matrix that wears during drilling.
  • The bit is mounted onto a core barrel attached to a drill string.
  • Drilling mud is injected to wash out rock cuttings and reduce heat.

Core Extraction Techniques

  • Wireline drilling methods retrieve the core inside the barrel.
  • Elaborate wire-line devices are used for undisturbed core extraction.
  • Fractured rock requires special techniques for core extraction.
  • Triple-tube wire-line systems can extract core under challenging conditions.
  • Fault zones like the San Andreas Fault require careful core extraction.

Tube Sizes in Diamond Drilling

  • Five major wireline tube sizes are commonly used.
  • Larger tubes produce larger diameter rock cores.
  • Tube size choice depends on desired core diameter and drilling rig capabilities.
  • Standard Q wireline bit sizes include various hole and core diameters.
  • Tube size selection is a trade-off between core diameter and drilling depth.


  • Scott, D. (n.d.). History and impact of synthetic diamond cutters in oil and gas drilling.
  • de la Vergne, J. (2003). Hard Rock Miners Handbook.
  • Diamond Core Drilling Reference: Dimensions, Weights, and Volumes.
  • Wireline coring. Retrieved from archived source.
  • External link: Exploration Drilling Methods.

Exploration diamond drilling Data Sources

Reference URL
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