Blind Drilling Down Under

by Paul Richardson, Santa Fe Shaft Drilling Co., P.O. Box 1401, Orange, Calif. 92688,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1985, Vol. 55, Issue 8, Pg. 66-68


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Australia's largest blind drilled shaft is a 14 ft diameter fresh air shaft for the Agnew nickel mine 500 miles northeast of Perth. It was drilled in one pass using air-assisted reverse circulation to remove the drill cuttings. Drilling began on March 22, 1982 and reached a total depth of 2,460 ft on Feb. 12, 1983. Penetration rates were better than projected, but cutter life was considerably shorter than expected, resulting in somewhat excessive cutter costs. The project is notable for its many firsts and for its safety record. During 328 days there was only one serious lost time accident.

Subject Headings: Drilled shafts | Mining | Safety

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