Perth Based
Australian Company

Production
Drilling One
Stop Shop

Reliable
Stock
Levels

Tricon DS Perth Headquarters

Headquarters in Perth

Founded in 2001, Perth based Tricon supplies production drilling products to the mining industry including major clients Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Codelco. 

One Stop Rock Drill Shop

One Stop Drill Shop

Everything you need is in one place. Down to the smallest part we carry all the products needed for production drilling in the mining sector.

Reliable Rock Drilling Stock Levels

Reliable Stock Levels

We closely monitor stock levels to ensure that whatever you need is available and can be dispatched when you need it.

Quick Response Time

Quick Response Time

Our team understand the pressures involved in production drilling. Response time for quotes, parts and repairs reflects our commitment to a fast turnaround.

Deal With Decision Makers

Deal With Decision Makers

Don't waste time waiting on a decision. We ensure our speed of response by making sure you are always dealing directly with a decision maker.

Tricon Rock Drilling Industry Knowledge

Industry Knowledge

Our teams are experienced drilling professionals. Our state-of-the-art manufacturing plant allows us to translate our experiences into our products

Drilling Performance Tracking

Performance Tracking

Using client supplied data Tricon track the performance of products in the field and consult to maximise onsite equipment efficiency.

Reliable Rock Drilling Products

Reliable Products

Tricon use tested products that are mature, reliable and made from high quality materials.

One Call Away

Pick up the phone and call us for product advice or problem solving. We are here to help.

Innovation - Research and Development

Research and development is a core priority for Tricon. We strive to innovate in areas of safety, quality, and performance. 

About Rock Drilling

Production Rock Drilling

Production drilling refers to the rock drilling operations carried out to support blasting and excavation of ore. This is usually the first activity carried out on an operating mine site. The purpose is to drill holes of the correct size in the right pattern for blasting to take place.

Production drilling differs from technical drilling and exploration drilling.  Technical drilling is also carried out in the production phase of a mine, however, its role is to drill to help establish slope stability, manage and drain groundwater and test foundations. Exploration drilling helps estimate the size and quality of reserves, and often use diamond drill bits to support a collection of the drill cores for analysis.

There are several possible methods used in production rock drilling:

Percussive: a sharp drill bit is driven into the rock by a hammer.
Rotary: a drill bit with teeth (cones) rotates and crushes the rock as it turns.
Percussion drills are often referred to as Hammer drills, and include Top Hammer and Bottom Hammer (down-the-hole DTH) models, depending on where the energy is applied.

Rotary drills may use purely rotary force or be combined with percussion to create Rotary Percussion drills.

Ground Conditions

There are several factors that influence the choice of rock drilling system for a particular drilling site. Ground conditions are the main factor that determines the selection of a rotary or hammer drill. Generally speaking, the harder the ground the more likely top hammer or bottom hammer drilling tools will be most suitable. If the ground is softer, rotary drilling tools may be the most appropriate option. Rotary drilling is cheaper than hammer drilling. Hammer drilling can be more expensive because it involves both a hammer and a hammer bit rather than just the rotary bit on its own.

Drill Speed

If the drill site is in soft ground, drillers will usually want to drill fast. This requires an aggressive drill bit that will penetrate the ground very quickly. Drilling on very hard ground has the opposite requirement. Drilling in these conditions needs to progress slowly. In some instances, an iron drill bit may be drilling into iron ore.

Mine Planning

The other key driver in choosing the most appropriate drilling method will be what the mine planners require. The drill pattern and hole size will affect the type of rig, the operator, the approach and the consumables that will be required.

Drill Hole Size

It is important to match the drill hole size to the column size, allowing a suitable annular clearance for cuttings to get out of the hole.

For example, to drill a nine-inch outside diameter hole with a one-inch clearance, a seven-inch pipe would be selected - two inches (two times the clearance) less than the outside diameter of the drill pipe.

The other relevant factors are:

  • the depth of the hole,
  • the type of cuttings being drilled
  • whether it's wet or dry operating conditions.

Marrying all these factors will help achieve the up-hole air velocity to get the cuttings out of the hole and to protect and maximise the life of your drilling tools.

Hole size will vary site to site. There may be a need to reduce ground vibration or there may be factors to do with the design and the blasting.

Blasting

In blasting rock, the goal is to achieve good fragmentation. Rock needs to be broken up in order to fit through the crusher. If the rock is too big there is an extra cost to break it down to the right size. 

Drill Rig Maintenance

Rigs are no different to cars in that they have wearing parts. Each part on a rig is fitted for a reason. To make sure the rig is operating at its optimum, it needs to be maintained and looked after. Many drill rigs aren't maintained as well as they could be. Maintenace will aid in the longevity of the drill asset itself and get the best performance.

 

Maintenance Example 1 - Deck Bush

In the deck of the drill, there is a place where the drill string goes through the deck - this is called a deck bush. This guides the drill string or the drill part through the deck. It needs to be kept as straight as possible. A 1-millimetre movement at the top equates to a 10-millimetre movement at the bottom of the drill string. During drilling, it's critical for the bit on the end to be running straight and true. If the drill bit moves in an irregular way, it's going to wear unevenly. This can cause other problems and limit the life of that product. Wear on the deck bush needs to be monitored so that it doesn't wear excessively and can do its job maintaining the drill string in a true position.

 

Maintenance Example 2 - Break Jaws

Many problems can occur if drill teams are not able to break out a product from the drill string. Maintaining the grips on the drill rigs is vital so that future maintenance or breakdown activities are not impeded.

 

Maintenance Example 3 - Oilers

Oilers need to be maintained because oil needs to get through to the hammer. In some cases, oilers are run with no oil, or the oil flow is blocked. Not getting the right amount of oil into the hammer means that it will not run optimally and a build-up in heat and friction can result. A hammer that is not lubricated will not last as long as it could otherwise.

Operator Experience

Efficient drillers focus on maintenance and making sure that their drill rig is operating correctly. Ideally, this person has experience in both DTH and rotary drilling. Inexperienced operators neglect maintenance or don’t use a product as it is intended. Driller Awareness Training packages are designed to give drillers an awareness of how to maximise the life of various drill tool products.

Drilling Consumables

Drilling consumables cost very little in comparison to the capital assets involved in production drilling. Consumables are generally the last thing that gets thought about, but if drilling consumables aren’t available when required they can impact drill and blast operations significantly. The right drilling consumables mean that blasting can happen quickly and efficiently without leaving any metal down the hole from breaking bits and pieces.

Drilling Penetration Rate

The speed of the drilling is called the penetration rate (the pen-rate). The pen-rate is critical to operating efficiency. The optimum drill bit for a task is the one that will have a good operating life while drilling quickly to the required pen-rate.

Symptom - Cause - Remedy Approach

If a product is under performing, it is often useful to take a closer look at the circumstances of the drilling and identify the key symptom. There's always a probable cause, and often there can be multiple causes. The best remedy is one where something is learnt about what those early symptoms mean. Adjustments can be then be made and products run more effectively in the future.

Monitoring To Establish Drilling Costs

There are two main factors that are useful to monitor to help establish the overall cot of drilling operations. It is helpful to record the life of drilling products in use, all the way down the drill string. Records should include everything from the top subs all the way down through the pipe to the bit subs, to the drill bits. Monitoring and track utilisation, cost and product life by drilling rig helps clarify true drilling costs.

Monitoring To Identify Difference Between Rigs

It is also worth monitoring trends to identify the differences between the drill rigs. There is often an observable difference when they operate in different areas of the pit. This will show the impact on product life as well as how it impacts pen-rate. That can determine what type of product is the best fit in each circumstance. A different series of drill bits in a different area of the pit may mean a significant improvement in pen-rates.

Drilling Cost

The life of a drilling tool product can be usefully monitored by a cost per metre, otherwise known as Partial Drilling Cost (PDC). The total drilling cost for a rig incorporates the rig cost and the operator cost. Identifying drilling operations that can drill more metres in less time for a given PDC can represent the highest value to the overall production operations.

Data Management System Helps Identify Best Product

Information is provided from each mine’s drilling systems on a hole-by-hole basis. The drilling data indicates how many metres they drill, how long it's taking to drill, and the locations of where they've drilled. This can then help determine which is the most suitable product they should be using, in what areas of their mine.

Product Performance Tracking Capability

Data can be mapped in monthly charting. For example, Tricon match drilling data on rolling 12-month averages and 12-month weighted averages by product and by the drill. This highlights the differences between the life achieved with one drill compared to the life that might be achieved by another drill. A red flag system helps identify where a product may not be optimal, and what a more suitable product might be.

Reduced Wastage From Discarded Product Reports

In addition to performance reporting, the next most valuable data is the Discarded Product Reports. Every discarded product report usually contains a telltale sign of what's happened. For example, Tricon uses electronic reporting for every discarded part such as a drill part or sub. Measurements are conducted to make sure the parts have not been removed prematurely. Where parts have been removed prematurely, they can be put back into service for reuse. A lot of wastage can occur when products are being removed prematurely without monitoring the part wear limits.

In Tricon’s case, wear monitoring of the components assists in this regard by carrying out regular measurements on the drills. Tricon then provides customers with a guide to assist in planning for the use of their drill string. Understanding whether a drill string is close to removal or whether it needs to be rotated can help get even wear within the drill string to maximise its lifespan.