Diamond drill holes should be capped off for safety reasons. There are plenty of ways to do this, and all have their advantages and disadvantages. But none of them are rated... except ours.
There are two issues: Rifling from firing nearby, and water pressure. We have load and pressure rated plugs for both situations.
Drilling underground is a little different to surface drilling, with both of these risks being present. Typically underground mining has high water pressures from drilling beneath the water table. High water pressures require pressure rated plugs. See the Data Sheets below for pressure and load ratings on all of our plugs. Typically our pressure ratings for our high pressure water control plugs (Grouter and Hydra-Barb) are 1000 psi (69 bar) at a Factor of Safety of 2:1. Our simple to use plugs lock in hard so that you can have piece of mind.
Drill holes underground also have a high risk of intersecting production or development blasts. Even though risks can be managed by removing personnel, it makes sense to have an extra level of protection with diamond drill holes blocked reliably so that rifling CAN'T happen.
Are your capped off diamond drill holes pressure and load rated ? If not, why not ?
Or are they left open...
Grouting diamond drill holes can be challenging. If you are manually grouting in the presence of water, the grout delivery line really needs to go to the toe of the hole to displace the water and hopefully the grout won't get washed away. This is time consuming and difficult, and with only a marginal chance of success.
Better to grout back against the water pressure. The Grouter allows high pressure grouting in front of the plug which will push the water back and provide a full column of grout.
We have a range of Grouters to suit your application. Uses range from consolidating ground, high pressure water control, high pressure grouting, collar grouting upholes, and development jumbo installation for intersected holes.
By far the most common size is NQ, and this Grouter is our most advanced, available with a standard check valve (NQ Grouter Mk4, green) or with the additional components to make it remote opening (NQ Grouter Mkl4R, red).
The Grouter Mk4 is a single use high pressure water control and grouting plug designed with a full 1" grouting port through the plug and check valve. It can be pushed in with a diamond drill rig, an can be grouted through the rods or connect up a 1" BSP threaded pipe to it at a later date and grout. It can also be installed using a development jumbo for intersected holes, then connect up later when the heading is clear to grout. This plug is colour coded with a green spring.
Available in NQ and HQ.
The Grouter Mk4R has all the same features as the Grouter Mk4 but with additional components for remote opening. A 1" BSP parrallel thread will remotely open the check valve, and with a tap at the other end water can easily be drained from the orebody and flow regulated by the external tap. This plug is colour coded with a red spring.
Avaiable in NQ and HQ.
Grouters in other sizes (AQ/AW, BQ/BW, LTK, WL series)
Simple installation, pressure rated to 1000 psi (69 Bar) with a 2:1 Factor of Safety, temperature rated to 100 degrees Celsius, and with an internal check valve to lock and hold the grout in position under pressure. Most sizes are available in the original Grouter design, suitable for hole consolidation, pressure grouting through the rods, and collar grouting upholes.
Simple installation, pressure rated to 1000 psi (69 Bar) with a 2:1 Factor of Safety, and temperature rated to 100 degrees Celsius. The Hydra-Barb is made for immediate control of high pressure water and will also provide rifling protection from in front of the plug. Sizes NQ and HQ are also development jumbo installable for intersected holes.
The Tanami plug has been designed specifically to absorb rifling pressures from surrounding blasting shock waves while still allowing gas drainage from the orebody. The Tanami plug has a higher forward resistance than the Terra-Barb, and is more suited to those situations where there is potential for blasting to occur behind the plug in addition to in front of the plug. This plug suits multi-vein orebodies.
Available in NQ and BQ.
The Tanami solid plug provides a great alternative for those mines where there is potential for blasting to occur behind the plug in addition to in front of the plug. This plug is more suited to multi-vein orebodies, or as a bottom packer where there will be a large grout column pumped on top of the plug.
Available in NQ and BQ.
The Terra-Barb is designed specifically to absorb rifling pressures from surrounding blasting shock waves. It has a large Factor of Safety of 200:1 in underground hardrock mining against the airblast overpressure of a 300kg charge 10m from the plug. Smaller and lower cost than the Hydra-Barb, the Terra-Barb has a higher anchor strength and will support a grout column behind it in a dry hole.