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Directional Drilling

Pacific Mining

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Pacific Mining Technology (Pty) Ltd
69 Austin Road
Glen Austin

+27 11 314-8888 (Tel)
+27 11 314-5878 (Fax)

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Directional Drilling


Untitled-6The VLI Drilling Division has carried out gas drainage drilling at a number of gassy mines in Australia and assisted in technology transfer projects overseas. At an Upper Hunter mine site, we have drilled up to 120,000 metres of directional drilling per year with averages in excess of 200m per rig shift.

Drilling may be carried out in-seam or cross-measure, through faulted and/or highly pressurised ground.

Dealing with gas in a coal mine is crucial to production and safety. To keep on top of gas emission and possible outburst problems, boreholes should be:

  • Untitled-10Drilled fast, and sufficiently ahead of mining to allow adequate time for drainage.
  • Drilled to high levels of accuracy to ensure systematic, even, gas extraction.
  • Gas flow must be maintained.

Keeping the holes flowing is also important. Insertion of conduit and connection to the mine pipe range are all part of the special skills required by gas drainage drilling contractors. Our people are among the most experienced in the industry around the world and offer the complete package in underground directional drilling. All of our drilling projects are manned by fully qualified personnel that can manage all aspects of the UIS operations. Our project managers have all the Untitled-8skills required in planning, training and safety. We can also plan and design drainage patterns, create hole designs and can supply hole data direct from hole to mine plan. All team members are proficient in your drilling requirements, including fault delineation, barrier proving, gas and water drainage, long hole drilling, coring, and cross block hole through drilling. We have a fully qualified OHST&E team to monitor all safety aspects including gas and dust suppression, risk management control and health and hygiene.

We are backed by our own companies who supply and fully maintain underground vehicles such as Driftrunners and Juggernaught loaders. We have the capability of drilling 96mm diameter holes to 1700m.

Blending into mine systems is a critical part of the role of a contract gas drainage drilling crew. Attendance to industrial relation's issues, OH & S, and training are important facets of providing the necessary service.

exploration drilling

Untitled-4Modern coal mining involves planning decisions that reflect upon the state of understanding of the expected geological environment. In too many cases, the best mine plans are ruined by a 'surprise' from mother nature. Longhole exploration drilling removes the uncertainty - providing hard and fast data that can be relied upon to plan longwall, or establish a new mains development panel with confidence.

Longhole exploration drilling requires special skills with the emphasis on providing quality information and not just drilling a hole. Our exploration teams at the VLI Drilling Division are experienced in this field and can remove the uncertainty for you.

Untitled-5Our experienced drillers can establish seam profiles, investigate igneous intrusions, work out the throw of a fault, check the roof and floor conditions and prove clear ground with a high degree of certainty.

Exploration drilling is an iterative process, involving constant feedback from drillers to mine planning engineers, geologists and surveyors. On the spot decisions can then be made to further investigate a structure, pull back and branch, or terminate the hole. The mine planner controls the investigative process.


Untitled-7Valley Longwall Drilling in Australia has the largest and most advanced directional drilling capability in Australia including:

  • 11 underground directional drill machines with a maximum capacity of up to 2000m (drill hole length)
  • 12 DDM MECCA survey tools to ensure holes are drilled accurately (to within 0.5°)
  • Job specific drill rods, bits, downhole motors and drilling accessories
  • The ability to successfully degas and dewater coal seams or abandoned workings, and to explore and interpret coal seam geological anomalies
  • Highly skilled and competent personnel with the collective knowledge and experience to deal with the most complex drilling problem
  • Safety management systems, training manuals and programmes. Safety statistics that are consistently better than industry average
  • Untitled-3Scheduled and programmed preventative maintenance for operational machinery
  • First class maintenance workshops, located in New South Wales and Queensland, employing highly skilled tradesmen equipped to cope with minor or major repairs and fabrication
  • The most thorough geological interpretation and borehole reporting standards in the business
  • Access to professional staff with expertise in gas emission control, geology and drilling engineering
  • Competitive rates and an easily understood itemised invoicing system



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