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Filtering by Tag: IMDEX

New IMDEX MUD AID™ is proving to enhance productivity of drilling programs without a full-time drilling fluid contractor on site

Drill Safe

 
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There have been a vast range of improvements to exploration drilling programs, including the digitization and automation of procedures, together with our ability to obtain accurate data for critical decision making. Pleasingly, our operations have also got a lot safer with the introduction of innovative technologies.

A good example is IMDEX’s new remotely monitored automated in-field diagnosis unit – the IMDEX MUD AID™– which was designed to optimise and automate drilling fluid processes.

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The unit provides real-time information regarding drilling fluid properties and can integrate with the company’s secure cloud-based web portal – IMDEXHUB-IQ™– for complete visibility of live-sampled data anywhere and at any time.

Remote, real-time access to an operation’s drilling fluid properties enables clients’ greater control over their programs and product usage, reducing site visits by drilling fluid specialists and overall less movement on site. Using the IMDEX MUD AID™ means drilling fluids are optimised and consumption is generally lower, which can translate to less manual handling, slip hazards and vehicle movement.

Learn more about the safety and operational benefits of the IMDEX MUD AID™ in the following short video.

In addition, Chris Havenga, IMDEX’s Global Equipment and Integration Engineer said, ‘the data provided by the IMDEX MUD AID™ achieves greater drilling productivity and allows crews to respond quicker to changes in lifting capacity and solids content. This piece of technology means we can rectify issues on drill sites quicker and without having to be physically on site’.

At a trial on an iron ore site, IMDEX compared the observations of an experienced drilling fluid specialist with the data obtained by the IMDEX MUD AID™ to measure the accuracy and response time to the fluid test results.

The trial concluded that the viscosity recordings of the drilling fluid specialist and the IMDEX MUD AID™ were very similar, however, the IMDEX MUD AID™ using remote technology was able to measure not just viscosity but rheology, giving greater information in quicker times. The unit was also able to more rapidly detect the breakdown of liquid polymers, which are important to produce viscosity and the desired lifting capacity. The IMDEX MUD AID™ is a game changer for remote drill sites where clients need drilling fluid support, fast.

The IMDEX MUD AID™ is lightweight, highly-portable and easy to install and operate. Set up is provided by a certified AMC drilling fluid specialist and includes establishing site-specific parameters and automating alerts. 

Drilling fluid test properties can be viewed via IMDEXHUB-IQ™ and the unit display, which provides instant, secure access to real-time data and historical information. Data can also be downloaded via USB.


Further Information

Global Marketing Manager, Diane Porteous

Mobile: +61 401 392 163

Email: diane.porteous@imdexlimited.com


Corporate Communications, Kym Clements

Mobile: +61 415 181 172

Email: kym.clements@imdexlimited.com

About IMDEX

We are a global mining equipment, technology and services – or METS – company. Our IMDEX solution sets improve the process of identifying and extracting what is below the earth’s surface for drilling contractors and resource companies – we let clients know where it is and what it is, now.

Our company delivers these solution sets, which include: Drilling Optimisation; Downhole Navigation; Structural Geology; In-Field Geoanalysis; and Driller Operable Geophysics, to the global minerals industry and targeted non-mining applications via our leading REFLEX and AMC brands. For further information visit www.imdexlimited.com.

AMC redefines the way drilling fluids, equipment, technologies and software are used to optimise drilling programs – AMC strives to maximise productivity while enhancing safety and sustainability for clients. AMC has a strong presence within the global minerals, horizontal directional drilling, waterwell and civil construction sectors. For more information, visit www.amcmud.com.

REFLEX is a global supplier of advanced subsurface intelligence solutions comprising downhole instrumentation, data management and analytical software for geological modelling. These market leading technologies – recognised for their ease of use and accuracy – are completed by unrivalled expertise in geo-scientific data analysis and interpretation. For further information visit www.reflexnow.com.

Together, our products and technologies assist clients to reduce their costs and increase their productivity by providing integrated end-to-end solutions across the full mining life cycle. Our vision is to be the leading provider of real-time subsurface intelligence solutions for the global minerals industry.


DIGITAL TOOLS KEEP SAFETY ‘FRONT OF MIND’ FOR ALL EMPLOYEES AT IMDEX

Drill Safe

 
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The introduction of iAuditor is just one of the initiatives to keep safety ‘front of mind’ for IMDEX – a leading mining equipment, technology and service company. It also aligns with the company’s internal digital transformation program to significantly improve its customer service and business outcomes.

iAuditor is an inspection App, which is helping to raise safety and quality standards across IMDEX’s global business. Commenting on the benefits of iAuditor, Lynda Tilbrook, IMDEX Global HSE Specialist, said:

“The user-friendly App and web platform enable us to collect consistent data, standardise operations, send digital reports, identify failed areas and get problems resolved – from anywhere on any device at any time.”

Other key benefits and features of iAuditor include: real-time incident reporting; simplified processes with actions automatically linked to IMDEX’s Quality Alert System; multiple languages; flexibility to customise for region-specific needs; and the elimination of paper-based forms, inspections and checklists – for example the company’s Take 5 hazard identification checklist.

Ms Tilbrook is confident the user-friendly design of iAuditor will encourage all IMDEX employees – not just operations’ teams – to download iAuditor and complete a Take 5 checklist before commencing all tasks – from driving vehicles and manufacturing equipment to lifting boxes and setting up trade shows.

Ms Tilbrook added:

“Unfortunately, accidents can happen to us all – even when completing routine jobs – but taking the time to stop and think of the possible hazards before acting, could prevent serious injuries, time-off work and all the adverse associated consequences.”

Other initiatives IMDEX has implemented to keep safety front of mind include its imSafe 10 Safety Principles, Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and Mud Schools.

IMDEX’s Product SDSs are prepared by accredited third party Chemwatch and are available in multiple languages. Clients can request an SDS via the company’s AMC website. Similarly, clients can request on-site support or tailored Mud Schools to learn more about the safe handling and optimal use of IMDEX’s comprehensive range of drilling fluids and equipment.

ABOUT IMDEX

We are a global mining equipment, technology and services – or METS – company. Our IMDEX solutions improve the process of identifying and extracting what is below the earth’s surface for drilling contractors and resource companies – we let clients know where it is and what it is, now.

Our company delivers these integrated solutions, which include: Drilling Optimisation; Downhole Navigation; Structural Geology; In-Field Geoanalysis; and Driller Operable Geophysics, to the global minerals industry and targeted non-mining applications via our leading REFLEX and AMC brands.
For further information visit www.imdexlimited.com

AMC redefines the way drilling fluids, equipment, technologies and software are used to optimise drilling programs – AMC strives to maximise productivity while enhancing safety and sustainability for clients. AMC has a strong presence within the global minerals, horizontal directional drilling, waterwell and civil construction sectors. For more information, visit www.amcmud.com

REFLEX is a global supplier of advanced subsurface intelligence solutions comprising downhole instrumentation, data management and analytical software for geological modelling. These market leading technologies – recognised for their ease of use and accuracy – are completed by unrivalled expertise in geo-scientific data analysis and interpretation. For further information visit www.reflexnow.com.

IMDEX’s latest technologies can be connected to IMDEXHUB-IQ™– an award-winning cloud-based web portal that collects, stores and provides critical operational data. This data is protected through a validated chain of custody and secure database and can be accessed from any internet connection to smart phone, tablet or PC.

Together, our products and technologies assist clients to reduce their costs and increase their productivity by providing end-to-end solutions across the full mining life cycle. Our vision is to be the leading provider of real-time subsurface intelligence solutions for the global minerals industry.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Kym Clements, Corporate Communications Manager

M +61 (0)415 181 172

kym.clements@imdexlimited.com


Our innovations and case studies

Drill Safe

 
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Environmental packaging - Thinking outside the box

Drill Safe

 
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Standing out among dusty drill sites and on the back of trucks, AMC’s bright green containers with a yellow lid have made them an icon of the global drilling industry. Throughout the years our packaging has changed to withstand the harsh elements on drill sites, long journeys to our global client base and focus on reducing impact on the environment, while keeping our products as fresh as the day they were manufactured.  

As environmental awareness grows in today’s society, so does the demand for sustainable packaging. IMDEX’s leading brand, AMC is committed to being at the forefront of innovation and sustainability in the drilling industry, endorsing practical ways to reduce packaging waste and promote sustainability.

At AMC we utilise a global QHSE Management System and QHSE Star Rating System to continually monitor, audit and improve our products, services and internal practices. These Systems have been developed in line with the OHSAS 18001 and ISO 9000 series of management system standards and best practices. They ensure legal compliance and an overarching commitment to quality, health, safety, environmental matters and risk management.

AMC has responded to the industry’s concern by offering flexible packaging options such as cardboard boxes suitable for powder and liquid drilling fluid products.  These options are made from raw materials and use less than 10% of the plastic compared to rigid packaging. These options have been vigorously tested and carefully thought out to withstand the harsh activities of drilling.

By encouraging clients to utilise these options, AMC has seen a reduction of plastic and landfill issues on site, as well as several efficiencies in safety and logistics. These new environmental-friendly packaging options also require less energy to produce from socially responsible suppliers. 

The cardboard outer is fully biodegradable and recyclable; boxes are also water-resistant and strong enough to withstand transport and the elements. For liquid products such as AMC TORQUE GUARD™ a bladder insert with easy pour taps are incomparable to lifting a heavy cube of product. When packed into boxes, we are able to reduce the amount of packaging required to be disposed of by 95%.

The cardboard box option is also smaller and more ergonomic for lifting, being less heavy than plastic. A lighter load of 20kg will assist in reducing risk of physical injury through mishandling.  The reduced weight of these packages also enable more flexible for transport, such as the ability to utilise up to 50% more litres per pallet than rigid containers and reduce overall transport costs.

 “Drilling optimisation is the key focus for AMC moving forward. Our business is thinking beyond the supply of quality drilling fluids, we are investing in technology and researching new ways to drill safely, effectively and sustainably. We are redefining the way our products are used, capturing data and delivering improvement in processes to minimise risk and improve profitability before our clients even start drilling.”Troy Giesler - AMC Minerals General Manager

Other technologies such as our Solids Removal Unit™ range also support the mantra of “reduce, reuse, and recycle” and complement our biodegradable and environmentally friendly drilling fluid range. AMC’s SRU™ range recycles used drilling fluid, maintaining fluid properties in optimum conditions and reducing excessive consumption of mud and water. This can have a number of flow on effects to an operation, affecting productivity, safety, logistics and the environment; not limited to:

  • Improved on-site health and safety by reducing manual handling and excessive mixing

  • Reduced water consumption mud usage and cartage costs

  • Eliminated the cost of digging and rehabilitating sumps

  • Increased drilling productivity and KPIs

  • Minimised site re-mediation and environmental management costs

  • Reduced site footprint

  • Facilitated access to environmentally sensitive or remote drill sites

  • Reduces the wear and tear on rig components

  • Minimised formation damage

  • Reduced rig maintenance and breakdowns.

It’s important to ensure that sustainability goes hand in hand with innovation. In doing so, operations can trust that drilling operations not only benefit from a reduced environmental impact, but also welcome greater efficiencies in operations. This is an indirect, but necessary, way to achieve a greater, global goal of sustainability.

Further information

For more information on AMC’s environmentally-friendly drilling fluid packaging options, Solids Removal Unit™ range, IMDEX’s Drilling Optimisation solution or ways we can support you, please visit www.amcmud.com, or contact your nearest REFLEX or AMC representative. 


The paper-free way to better manage safety

Drill Safe

 
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Having a robust and easy-to-use safety reporting procedure in mining and exploration operations is essential to developing a resilient safety culture. Correct and detailed reporting will obtain important information about health and safety issues in the workplace, identify problems when they arise and prevent future occurrences. Traditionally, it has been tough to make procedures work without placing a burden on personnel, whether it be the training or just the day-to-day operations. 

Processes that traditionally consisted of pencilling in answers in carbon copy books, taken to the office and manually entered into an excel spread sheet by an office administrator and eventually entered into a  database for reporting, simply is too long and a complicated process. Doing it incorrectly can potentially lead to serious injuries or legal issues.

Comprehensive and verified reporting helps companies manage safety issues and effectively prevent incident recurrences. They can also help in understanding why incidents occurred, making better decisions, setting priorities, and allowing users to analyse trends in the workplace. But this is only achievable if the data is clean, workflows are streamlined and you have the tools to interpret data easily and fast. 

IMDEX MOBILE™ takes traditional, paper based workflows and using the advances in mobile technology to create a seamless workflow for the real-time acquisition and validation of field data. This software-as-a-service is the mineral industry’s best practice for paperless data collection and productivity reporting. The application ensures supervisors, managers and stakeholders can make informed decisions based on real-time data they can trust, anywhere, anytime, and users can input data easily and fast. 

With an easy to use interface, strict data verification QA process and seamless integration to the company’s cloud based hub IMDEXHUB-IQ™ and other third party software, this application streamlines the data capture and management process.

The three key formats IMDEX MOBILE™ provides safety in a digital platform are pre-start inspections, verification of competency (theory and practical assessments) and customised forms.

Traditionally with pre-start inspections carbon-copy books have been used, but a risk with human nature means mandatory information may not be fully captured. Some sites can have hundreds of types of machinery, vehicles or equipment on site – each with its own specific checks. By digitizing forms, we can customise and create relevant questions which will display depending on what kind of equipment you are selecting. With IMDEX MOBILE™, we are able to build business rules and logic in to the forms, making sure the data is clean and the process is not overcomplicated. Another key outcome is the ability to record fuel consumption, engine hours or distance travelled against an asset ID, and integrates data with 3rdparty maintenance management software. 

However, data capture is only the first part of the solution, IMDEX MOBILE™ also automates email notifications so critical data, such as critical faults can reach maintenance staff and supervisors - sometimes faster than receiving a phone call.  This all adds to the prevention of injuries and commercial impacts such as equipment damage and productivity losses.

IMDEX MOBILE™ is also equipped to carry out verification of competency (VOC) such as theoretical and practical assessments. Generally there is certain equipment that staff must be trained on at regular intervals. This may be the case of new starters who need to know the background of using equipment or existing staff that need to brush up on their knowledge. The ability to conduct an assessment on site was traditionally a paper-based format with many large documents required. With paperless assessments, conducting training is easy, signoff can be instantaneous, training matrix reports automated and stored via IMDEXHUB-IQ™. This way drilling contractors and resource companies have instant access to who has completed what level of training and at what date, without following a paper trail.

We have a number of clients that elect to design their own customised forms and safety inspection workflows such as site inspections and rig audits to maintain their site safety requirements. Traditionally these workflows experience the same pitfalls – human error on data capture, time standing at the scanner, data entry into a spread sheet and the primary database. These are critical workflows that can take up an incredible amount of time if you conduct a time cost analysis.

Over the last six years, IMDEX has seen a big emphasis on safety and has made it a priority to make processes easier and more efficient. The key principle of safety is the cost of human life; IMDEX has seen the industry progress rapidly over the last 20 years particularly, compared to the 60s and 70s where the industry just accepted that injuries would just happen.  Now IMDEX is empowering their clients to utilise technology to increase safety awareness and reduce incidences. As more and more sites gain access to internet connection and everyday people are spending more time on their devices and utilising online tools, IMDEX MOBILE™ has been a natural addition to sites.

Visibility across all activity provides valuable information for companies to ensure their projects remain safe, within budget and on time. Contractors can monitor crews, equipment, hazards and consumables on a shift by shift basis to ensure they remain within project parameters, the worksite is safe and operations can continue as normal.  Throughout theexperience of releasing this product globally, IMDEX has been able to eliminate manual data entry, greatly reduce human error and change a time-consuming, high maintenance process into an instant one.


Further information
For more information on IMDEX MOBILE™, IMDEX’s Drilling Optimisation solution or ways we can support you, please visit www.reflexnow.com, or contact your nearest REFLEX or AMC representative.
You can also catch Troy Giesler speaking about our solutions at the Drill Rig and Safety Innovation Forum on 20 July 2018 in Johannesburg. Register at: http://www.drillsafe.co.za/innovation-forum-2018-registration/   

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Blasting the way to a more efficient, safer and environmentally sound mine site

Drill Safe

 
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In 2006, a shotfirer in the Philippines was conducting a post-blast inspection at a quarry when he fell eight metres into a cavity. He was rescued and taken to hospital with apparently minor injuries. At the time of his rescue and recovery it was noticed that his breathing was laboured, but this information was not communicated to hospital staff. The following day, the worker died of severe pulmonary oedema caused by nitrous oxide poisoning (NOX). The symptoms were not recognised by either the hospital’s medical team or the mine’s rescue staff. A number of other fatalities have since occurred during Drill and Blast activities. Needless to say the Drill and Blast process, particularly in underground operations, has been a high focus area for implementing strict regulations, licensing and overall caution in terms of safety and environmental impact. Workplace hazards and environmental concerns associated with Drill and Blast activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Post-blast fumes such as nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide 
  • Dust containing silica, asbestos and other contaminants
  • Traffic hazards such as cartage and traversing contours and slopes
  • Unsteady surfaces and rock fall 
  • Issues surrounding the blast area and flying rocks 
  • Wet conditions and groundwater 
  • Explosive product runaway.

Together, leading IMDEX brands AMC and REFLEX assist clients to reduce costs and increase their productivity by providing end-to-end solutions across the full mining life cycle. As part of our new range supporting the Drill and Blast market, we are implementing AMC BORE HOLE STABILISER™  in open-pit and underground operations to improve productivity and mining efficiencies, and to reduce safety and environmental risks.

AMC BORE HOLE STABILISER™ is a multifunctional product formulated specifically for air drilling applications, including Drill & Blast. It helps prevent a wide range of down-hole problems including poor collaring, hole decay or sidewall instability. AMC BORE HOLE STABILISER™ also provides a degree of lubrication to the hole and will improve the lifting capacity of the air stream for cuttings transportation. AMC BORE HOLE STABILISER™ has a unique formulation which enables it to penetrate deep into the surrounding strata where it will bond friable, fragmented materials, significantly reducing the need for excess conditioning, expensive redrills or casing. 

Ja Smith, Business Development Manager for AMC, said “AMC BORE HOLE STABILISER™ can provide multiple benefits for Drill and Blast applications, as well as reducing safety and environmental risks.” 

“AMC BORE HOLE STABILISER™ provides a preventative drilling medium, which reduces hole degradation, cave-ins and exposure to fracturing for explosive material. During trials, it reduced cave-ins, over-drill rates, misfires and associated losses to both production and ore. It also provided consistent gauge Drill & Blast holes, minimising exposure to fractures, reducing fuming and ensuring more efficient blasting”

A poorly planned and executed blast can create issues for downstream processes, as well as adding expense and requiring further redrills. Mine-to-mill studies suggest that quality Drill and Blast operations improve blast fragmentation, which then reduces workloads for operators, machinery and vehicles during loading, hauling and processing (crushing and grinding). An uneven surface created by poor Drill and Blast practices during mine construction also creates issues for the shot crew and miners who are required to work on them, as well as potential damage for vehicles traversing them. Our trials have shown using mist injection to apply AMC BORE HOLE STABILISER™ reduces fluid usage compared to traditional methods. By limiting water usage, together with reducing redrills and overdrills, this product minimises overall fluid cartage. The reduction in traffic movement improves safety by contributing to lower vehicle risks. 

Dust, fly rock and rock fall can be better controlled by correctly designing the blast pattern, drilling holes according to the design, correct hole spacing and efficient loading of explosives. During drilling activities, fumes including oxides of nitrogen, ammonia, nitric acid, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide can be released. They are not visible and exposure to high concentrations can be potentially life threatening. They can also have dramatic impacts on the atmosphere and surrounding communities. By stabilising the hole with AMC BORE HOLE STABILISER™, fragmentation is improved and fly rock, rock fall, water ingress and subsequent post-blast fumes are reduced. Dust generated during the drilling process can also contain toxic substances such as asbestos and silica dust, causing subsequent health issues. AMC BORE HOLE STABILISER™ has been formulated to maximise encapsulation of these contaminants. 

Ja Smith commented, “AMC BORE HOLE STABILISER™’s unique formulation enables it to stabilise drill holes, but it also has multiple benefits across the entire mining operation; from reducing redrills, to optimising the blast patterns and paving the way to a safer workplace with reduced environmental impact.. IMDEX’s mining solutions range aims to create this kind of value for all our clients.”

For more information visit amcmud.com or contact your local AMC representative.

Watch the video on AMC BORE HOLE STABILISER™ below.


Innovating safety alongside productivity

Drill Safe

 
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Drilling in any environment is potentially hazardous, however risk factors can be amplified in remote locations, and without strict Health, Safety and Environment laws and regulations. Due to budget or other restrictions, operators can often be slow in adopting new technologies and implementing higher than industry standard practices. 

IMDEX is committed to the continual improvement of drilling and mining operations. Our leading brands AMC and REFLEX provide a range of award winning technologies that optimise workflows. Although the primary function of our products is to improve productivity and reduce overall drilling time, our product development team are looking to continually minimise risk and optimise work flows to create positive flow-on effects to our clients’ operations. By breaking down the entire mining cycle, we have pinpointed the following areas for improvement. 

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Reducing the number of personnel (such as technicians) on site

Offering driller operable instrumentation such as the REFLEX EZ-GAMMA™, REFLEX EZ-GYRO™ and REFLEX GYRO SPRINT-IQ™ negate the need for contractors and technicians such as surveyors or service technicians to be on site. The AMC MUD AID™ is another example where drillers are guided to complete drilling fluid programs, without the need for a dedicated drilling fluid engineer on site. The unit live samples the drilling fluid system against project-specific mud programs and provides instant alerts for maintenance or treatment. 

Improving mechanical functionality and manual tasks during rod trips

Manual tasks take up the majority of unfortunate incidents around the drill rod pipe. The REFLEX EZ-LATCH™ was developed with safety front of mind ensuring easy release of the inner core tube from the outer core barrel without mechanical jamming. The REFLEX CORE REMOVAL TOOL™ is a hands free way (via the magnetic clamps) to hold the tool on the end of the inner core tube, keeping hands and feet away from the impact zone during core removal from the lifter case. The REFLEX ROTA-LOCK OVERSHOT™ is another successful product with safety front of mind. This technology includes a patented release system which minimises downtime from stuck innertubes. The REFLEX ROTA-LOCK OVERSHOT™ allows for fast release without waiting for a dry release or having to cut the wireline. 

Software that provides transparency and simplifies on site processes

IMDEX has developed safety management tools in to its software to avoid and drive on-site safety. Apps such as IMDEX MOBILE™, digitize and simplify processes such as Daily Drill Reports, equipment prestart, shift reports and other safety forms for drillers, verifying information and giving real-time visibility to stakeholders. The application’s user friendly interface makes it easy for drillers to enter safety information, create reports and perform detailed pre-starts in a timely manner. IMDEX MOBILE™ provides an auditable paperless reporting system that aids the achievement of a safety culture on any site. 

Systems that reduce the impact of unexpected conditions

Drilling can be unpredictable, and sometimes you may not realise how bad the ground is until you drill. Using preventable systems such as the AMC BOS™ can relieve down-hole problems causing downtime, rod trips and additional rod handling – all increasing manual handling and risk to injury on site. AMC’s extensive range of drilling fluids can also provide benefit for issues such as high torque, fluid loss or lost circulation, borehole instability or hole cleaning in a variety of ground formations, which will also help to prevent safety issues. 

Strict quality control for mechanical parts 

Our solutions undergo strict design and testing processes that adhere to numerous industry accepted standards. IMDEX is unique by offering testing via Finite Element Analysis (FEA) engineering software to stress test all mechanical equipment to reduce malfunction. 

Further information 

As IMDEX leading brands, REFLEX and AMC are innovators in the space of downhole navigation, drilling optimisation, in-field geoanalysis, driller operable geophysics and structural geology. Our goal is to assist the speed of the overall drilling process by providing solutions that are fast and accurate to use. Our drilling fluids, equipment and software are recognised and highly regarded for ease-of-use, reliability and accuracy within the international drilling industry. 

For more information about IMDEX’s innovative range, please visit one of leading brand’s websites website reflexnow.com, amcmud.com or contact your nearest AMC or REFLEX representative. 


Getting to the core of hand and finger injuries

Drill Safe

 
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Activities undertaken by workers in the drilling industry can be very hazardous. Despite being accepted that these are ‘part of the job’ and usually not life-threatening, hand injuries can be costly, resulting in lost productivity, and sometimes a reduced quality of life.

Whether they are caught between objects, struck, cut, bruised, broken, exposed to chemical, heat or burns; injuries to hands and fingers can be more painful than other parts of the body due to the high number of nerve endings and pain receptors in these areas.

When identifying or assessing hazards; pinch points, physical processes and exposure to chemicals are important to recognise. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as gloves should be the last resort option in an injury prevention plan, with elimination, substitution, engineering and administration being more effective in reducing risk.

At REFLEX, our technologies focus on improving the overall drilling process by providing solutions that are fast, accurate and easy to use, with the least disruption to the drilling cycle. The REFLEX CORE REMOVAL TOOL™ is part of our Drilling Optimisation solution, and is one of our products designed to minimise risk of injury, as well as protecting the core sample and orientation mark.

Traditionally after the core orientation mark has been drawn onto the face of the drill core (captured in the lifter case on the inner core tube), common practice is to leave the lifter case connected to the inner tube and try to remove the core sample forcefully. This can be done by either banging it onto something hard or hitting it with a hammer. Often this small section of core with the physical core orientation mark becomes jammed in the lifter case, resulting in damage to the core sample and a loss of the core orientation mark. It can also cause damage to the innertube or hammer. This process can expose the driller’s assistant to impact injury from hammers and potential eye or laceration injury from flying rock chips.

The REFLEX CORE REMOVAL TOOL™  was developed to provide a hands free way (via the magnetic clamps) to hold the tool on the end of the inner core tube, keeping hands and feet away from the impact zone during core removal. The magnetic clamp action of the tool allows the tool to completely encapsulate the protruding core sample eliminating the possibility of flying rock chips.

The soft tapered central dome section within the REFLEX CORE REMOVAL TOOL™ concentrates the impact, releasing the stuck core sample to the center of the core instead at the edges like traditional methods. This allows the core sample to be released with minimal damage and without losing the orientation mark (which is almost always drawn on the outer diameter of the protruding core sample).This method is particularly useful in underground environments, or where there is little working space or wood blocks available.

The REFLEX CORE REMOVAL TOOL™ is compatible with most standard core sizes and adheres to industry accepted standards such as the Finite Element Analysis (FEA), which is used by IMDEX as part of our strict mechanical design and testing process.

Not only does the REFLEX CORE REMOVAL TOOL™ ensure accuracy and insurance for core orientation and core sample data, it also eliminates the risk of injury in the physical day-to-day operations of drillers. Safety is an essential component to the product design of REFLEX technologies, along with our aim to continually improve processes in the drilling cycle, as well as providing tools that aid the working relationship between driller and geologist.

For more information about the REFLEX CORE REMOVAL TOOL™ and our Drilling Optimisation solution, please click the "Learn More" button below or contact your nearest REFLEX representative.

REFLEX is a leading IMDEX brand renowned for its real-time subsurface intelligence solutions for the global minerals industry. The brand’s technologies include downhole instrumentation, data management and analytical software for geological modeling. 

Solids results: Managing risk with drilling fluids

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Solids control technology is being utilised more and more, helping drilling contractors to differentiate themselves by delivering additional health, safety and environmental benefits.

 
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Drilling fluids are composed of a wide variety of chemicals. While the majority of Drilling Fluid Products are designed to minimise their impact on the environment, there are still those which can pose risks to Health and Safety or which may be harmful to the fauna and flora or contaminate waterways or land areas. Vigilance is required not only during the direct handling of drilling fluids and chemicals but also as part of their wider use in the drilling process.

Significant volumes of drilling mud can be generated from drilling operations, some of which may not be suitable for reuse and may need to be transported and dumped. Replacement drill fluid may require fresh make up water to be transported to site. If sumps are being used, they need to be dug and managed. These processes all require close management to ensure they can be completed safely for people and the environment and have the ability to affect project scope, budget and timeframes.

The use of sumps and the large volumes of drilling fluid chemicals and water that goes along with it, represents a prime risk in any drilling operation.

What are the risks of drilling fluid sumps?

Traditionally sumps have been used to store large quantities of drilling fluid after use. Regardless of being above ground or in ground, drilling fluid sumps have several pitfalls:

  • Digging, construction, re-mediation and removal of these sumps may prolong operations and add unnecessary costs
  • The slurry may be affected by weather, such as freezing cold or warm, evaporative temperatures, making the drilling fluid less suitable for reuse
  • Fluid leaking into the surrounding environment or waterways is still a risk
  • Screening may be required to ensure local wildlife and staff do not ingest fluid, fall into sumps or drown
  • If the slurry has a high water content, this may put stress on sumps with limited capacity making it  more expensive and potentially more complex for disposal
  • Site footprint is increased
  • Excessive water usage

The sump method is complicated, disposal and outsourcing environmental specialists for remediation is still required. Sometimes this may not be an option, especially for smaller contractors, remote projects, scope of budget or local regulations.

What is solids control technology?

Solids control technology is being utilised more and more, helping drilling contractors to differentiate themselves by delivering additional health, safety and environmental benefits.

The award-winning AMC SOLIDS REMOVAL UNIT™ is the ultimate companion for drillers, enabling cost-effective, minimal impact drilling, even in the most restricted locations. Available in several configurations, these innovative closed-loop systems eliminate the use of sumps and maintain drilling fluid at optimal performance, delivering ROP improvements as well as drastic water, mud and waste reductions and more.

The AMC SURFACE SRU™ works by circulating drilling fluid directly from the drill collar to be processed by the shaker and centrifuge, where drill solids are separated from the mud slurry and discharged via a waste chute. The unit’s high-speed decanting centrifuge is specifically adapted for diamond drilling, operating up to 3,000rpm, to remove solids to less than 5 microns and keep drilling fluid in excellent rheological condition. After being processed, cleaned drilling fluids flow into a tank for return to the drill rig for re-use. The drilling fluid is contained throughout this whole process.

Why use solids control technology?

Without processing the mud slurry directly from the hole, solid cuttings may cause wear and tear on drill bits, wireline and other components, typically reducing the life of the equipment, and lowering the ROP while increasing maintenance and replacement costs. Sand content can also be an issue, with its abrasive effects on pumps. Reduced bit life, bit changes, maintenance and replacement of equipment can have drastic effects on operational time and costs. The AMC SRU™ creates drier cuttings waste with a water ratio of 1:1, no runoff from cuttings occurs and the water left is likely to evaporate in the right conditions. The volume of cuttings for disposal is also significantly less, and has proven to reduce waste volumes up to 96%. 

The AMC SRU™ can significantly reduce water and mud consumption and their associated costs. The closed-loop system recycles drilling fluid, shrinking mud consumption by up to 75%, by returning clean fluid, with optimal drilling fluid properties to the drill hole.

“The SRU™ has substantially lowered our water content; this both reduces the volume of material transported from the rig and reduces the potential of suspended solids to run off in freshet surface waters.” - Dave Cox, Site Geologist - Aurora Geoscience

Clean, non-abrasive mud can reduce incidents of stuck pipe and damaged drill components. Due to reduced rod trips, pulling and reaming, the AMC SRU™ is able to reduce the level of operating labour required on site and risk of injury.  The AMC SRU™ creates a drier, safer work environment, containing and reducing the volume of water and mud on site, reducing slip and trip hazards caused by mud on roads and run ways, as well as reducing drive time for support vehicles including vac and water trucks and associated driving risks.

“The AMC Surface SRU™ provided considerable cost savings as excavation, drainage and rehabilitation were not required, and the unit returned a lot of the additives to drill circulation instead of being lost as sludge.” Dr Bryan Smith – Consultant Geologist.

Following the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle philosophy, you can both better manage your risks to health safety and environment as well as operational costs. Recycle your drilling fluids and reuse them and reduce the amount of drilling fluid chemicals used in the process.

Solids control technology is proving to be an essential part of drilling fluid risk reduction for operations. The AMC SRU™ closed-loop system has received several accolades for its innovation contribution to the drilling industry, eliminating the need to manage sumps, and providing a solution to reduce overall risk and enable drilling in remote or environmentally sensitive areas.

For more information

For more information about our SRU Range and how we can help you reduce the risk of drilling fluids and chemicals, please click the button below or contact your nearest AMC representative.

Debunking the myths of the Safety Data Sheet

Drill Safe

 
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How do you best handle drilling fluid safely?

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AMC’s prime objective, as a contractor involved in drilling operations is to minimize safety and environmental risks, whilst maintaining drilling performance. Drilling fluids can contain a mix of chemicals, with common ingredients being barite, bentonite clay, silica, salts or oils. When not handled correctly, these fluids may cause risk to personal health or be potentially threatening to the local environment, including wildlife and waterways.

Several ways you can reduce the risks include:

1. Elimination or substitution – utilising biodegradable, non-toxic drilling fluids or selecting premium product (that reduces overall consumption)

2. Engineering controls – using facilities, equipment, and processes to reduce exposure, such as AMC’s award-winning Solids Removal Units™ to contain and recycle drilling fluids. These units can reduce drilling fluid consumption, water usage, waste disposal, mixing and management of drilling fluids

3. Administrative controls such as:

  • Readily available copies of the Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for information on safe handling and in case of exposure
  • Detailed risk assessments, work instructions and visible warning signs where required
  • Spill control measures and procedures for waste disposal
  • Using correct manual handling techniques during transport and handling
  • General housekeeping and clean up procedures

4. Wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The blue circular pictograms on AMC’s product labels define what PPE is recommended; such as proper gloves, footwear, eye protection , protective clothing, or respirators.

What is the purpose of safety data sheets?

Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are documents that provide detailed information about chemicals. SDS  information includes details on:

  • hazardous chemicals present in each product
  • health and physical hazards
  • safe handling and storage procedures
  • emergency procedures
  • disposal considerations.

AMC’s product Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are prepared by the accredited third party organisation called Chemwatch and includes European REACH regulatory requirements and Global Harmonisation (GHS) regulatory requirements for 67 countries in their native language.

We strongly recommend keeping an up to date Safety Data Sheet be present at any site to support the use of any of our products. The document provides valuable information on how the product is to be handled, stored and used.

Are SDS valid or not valid?

The SDS addresses situations to cover every scenario, including the worst case. Whether a large spill in a confined space has occurred, or a small amount of product is being used in a well-ventilated area, precautions listed in the SDS are valid. Regardless of the situation, an SDS provides valuable information and should form part of a greater, more in depth risk assessment.  

Although the SDS lists extensive information about the nature of the product, it does not and cannot take into account the volumes being handled; the frequency a chemical is being handled or any other operating conditions. Therefore it is best practise to conduct a risk assessment in order to develop risk mitigation strategies prior to use.

To request a safety data sheet for an AMC product, place an SDS request on our portal, by clicking the button below. 

The breakdown on biodegradable drilling fluids

Drill Safe

 
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What does biodegradable mean? Why is it important to consider biodegradable products on a drill site?

 

By definition, biodegradability is the capacity of a material to decompose over time as a result of biological activity; by bacteria, fungi, or other biological means.

Due to the large number of chemicals used during drilling operations, adequate knowledge about the biodegradability of chemicals is required for informed decision-making, generally relating to environmental protection.

 

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What kind of biodegradable and environmentally acceptable products can AMC provide?

AMC manufactures a large range of drilling fluids, including non-toxic, biodegradable and environmentally acceptable options, which have minimum impact and break down rapidly in the environment.  These products include: 

  • AMC XAN BORE™ - a premium quality biopolymer powder designed to provide maximum solids suspension and hole cleaning in vertical and highly deviated wells. 
  • AMC TORQUE GUARD™ - a distinctive, next generation, high performance extreme pressure vegetable oil based lubricant to improve adhesion and filming characteristics. 
  • AMC EZEE TROL™ - a new generation, highly dispersive, versatile blend of cellulosic and organic polymers which form a high viscosity fluid that exhibits good hole stabilising characteristics. 

We also highly recommend the use of our award-winning Solids Removal Units™ (SRU) to assist with the management and optimisation of our drilling fluids. These units can reduce drilling fluid consumption, water usage, waste disposal, rehabilitation, risk of contamination and reduce the overall drill site footprint.

How can AMC help clients to manage environmental impact of drilling fluids?

AMC’s Research and Development laboratories utilise a range of standard and state of the art equipment for evaluating drilling fluids and products. This allows AMC to simulate the behaviour of drilling fluids in downhole conditions, ensuring products stand up to the most challenging drilling operations.

AMC has a strong commitment to minimising environment impact, providing appropriate resources to comply with legislative requirements and assisting our clients to do the same. We ensure environmental considerations are a priority and focus on reducing overall emissions and waste generation when planning and developing new products. Speak to an AMC representative to see how we can best manage your environmental requirements.

What else can assist in the management of environmental impact?

As the regulatory environment of mining intensifies, resource and drilling contractors around the world have more pressure to comply with environmental and social regulations. AMC’s award-winning  Solids Removal Units™ are an environmental alternative to using earthen sumps, which may cause contamination and negatively affect the quality and consumption of drilling fluids. These closed-loop solids control systems contain and recycle drilling fluids on site, maintaining them at optimal condition, without adversely affecting project costs or workflow.

Results from AMC’s case studies prove that an SRU™ is able to deliver multiple customer benefits and savings that significantly outweigh the cost of the unit. Without the need to dig earthen sumps, the SRU™ eliminates all costs involved with installation and rehabilitation as well as reducing the overall site footprint. The SRU’s mud system is contained in the on-board tanks and piped directly to the drill rig and from the drill collar, minimising the risk of spills, leaks, slip and trip hazards, and ensuring minimal risk to the local wildlife.

A recent study of the AMC Surface Solids Removal Unit™ near the town of Inca de Oro in Chile, demonstrated strong environmental benefits of what  can be achieved. Over the 13 day drilling period, AMCs Surface Solids Removal Unit™ was able to save 698,000L of water at the open pit mine.

Learn more about our drilling fluid range and our award-winning Solids Removal Units™ below.

Top tips to prevent drill rod pipe incidents

Drill Safe

 
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AMC’s top tips to prevent incidents around the drill rod pipe

Drillers missing a finger or two have always been a common occurrence in our industry. 90% of these incidents take place around the drill rod pipe due to just a few common processes:

  • during rod insertion or extraction
  • retrieval or displacement of the inner tube
  • when applying drill rod and thread grease directly to the stands while the rods are in the foot clamp / gripper-box, while being held stagnant through the rotational head / drill chuck or by the hoisting cable

When drill rods are not handled effectively then drillers are at risk from; crushing, repetitive strain and manual handling injuries. Accidents like these cause pain for the victim and potential lifelong injury’s, with lost time also heavily impacting operations that may already be under pressure.

Drill rod grease is still one of the traditional and most cost-effective solutions to reduce severe rod vibration and high downhole torque conditions that can create undesirable problems and reduced Rate of Penetration (ROP). The most common problems are:

  • breakages in the rod line that will follow with a the retrieval of the broken pipe
  • general wear-and-tear and reduced rod life
  • hole deviation
  • weakened thread joints
  • additional stress and higher workload requirements for the drill rig mechanics, hydraulic components and main engine
  • separated casing to cause problems down the hole

A lot of drilling contractors and resource companies come to us questioning the value of using lubricants and rod greases. However these products are vital to the reduction of rod tripping and can be the necessary safeguard against major manual handling issues, particularly as most of these accidents occur at depth.

AMC’s aim is to eliminate or reduce the overall use of drill rod grease, incidental risks, loss in production time and wear on downhole drill equipment. The company’s approach is to focus on overall improvement in safety and productivity, with high quality drilling fluids, better workflows and technology innovations such as the AMC BOS™ can provide better hole stability and water return without disrupting operational flow.

Our approach for better, safer greasing

One shortfall of modern day exploration rig designs is the ability to apply any form of grease through an automated system. An automated thread greasing system has had a long history in operations on production drilling machines drastically reducing manual handling as well as the presence of hands around the rotational and clamping mechanism of a drilling rig.

Regardless of this, the use of greases in the exploration drilling industry is a must, especially in dry hole conditions caused by downhole loss of fluid return and angled / wedged holes. In Africa, there are very few standard operational procedures or methods of application when applying grease.

AMC has a few key guidelines to follow:

1. Most of the time the drillers over grease the rod surface, causing the excess grease to collect  around the drill collar or in the ground pits forming a floating mattress of grease on the water surface. The company suggests the following guideline for the required amount of grease per rod diameter.

For dry hole conditions use:

 

 

 

More information is in each of our Product Data Sheets.

2.  If your operational design allows for the rods to be stored or stacked on a rod rack of rod sloop, the recommendation is to  grease the pipe whilst being in this horizontal position

3. Try to apply the required rod grease to only half of the total circumference for the rod line. This practise will ensure that the total rod surface is not covered with grease. If the full rod surface is covered, downhole problems like high displacement pressure will be experienced as the drilling fluid will struggle to make their way up the annulus past the grease. Also limit mud use for the first one to two runs to prevent  the stripping of grease

4. AMC’s latest  innovation, the AMC BOS™ can also be an effective and preventative measure against borehole torque, making a positive impact on ROP, on-site safety and component life. Regular injections of AMC BOS FIX™ to the bottom of the drill string and up the annulus continually seals natural fractures and fissures, to stabilise the borehole, reduce downhole losses and occurrence of lost circulation.

What rod grease to use?

AMC has a range of economic, long-term adhering and environmentally acceptable greases to reduce friction and assist in extreme downhole environments, such as high pressure and temperature conditions. 

Designed in Africa for our clients, AMC GORILLA GRIP is a specially formulated, tenacious, barium-based grease recommended for use on diamond drill rods to reduce vibration and friction between the rod and casing or rock strata. This product is designed for performance in a variety of harsh conditions, including bad water conditions, high pressure and high temperatures. It’s superior adhesion characteristics make it easy to apply to the rod under virtually any condition with minimal wastage.

Many operators prefer to use a liquid rod grease, where there is no requirement to pull the rods to grease. AMC LIQUID ROD GREASE™ has the ability to adhere to the formation and the steel rods to dramatically improve lubrication and reduce rotational pressure and torque. This product is non-toxic, environmentally acceptable and easy to apply.

The company is continuously improving their product line and testing their capabilities. Visit the AMC website for the full list of lubricants and greases available in your region.

The new, proactive method against torque

To manage and reduce borehole torque, traditionally a driller will manually apply rod grease to the drill string at intervals (requiring regular rod trips causing time loss, component wear and increased manual handling) or to introduce a liquid rod grease (which is generally more expensive as a product but reduces rig down time).

Using grease is vital, but borehole torque is largely affected by downhole conditions, which can vary at any time. Down the borehole you can’t always predict when or how things will go wrong, so we developed our Borehole Optimisation System (AMC BOS™), a system that anticipates fluid loss, high torque and unstable zones, even in high pressure, high temperature, wet or dry environments.

The AMC BOS™ creates a thin, robust lubristic membrane to target and control excessive torque and reduce rod vibration or chatter. Unlike traditional reactive methods (such as liquid rod greases or casing), the AMC BOS™ is a preventative measure which can significantly improve diamond drilling productivity, at rig safety, reduce environmental impact and lower overall operational costs.  The unit takes less than 5 minutes to set up or refill, which can be done at any time during the drill shift, without interruption.

NQ Rods 1-3 kg per 100m
HQ Rods 2-4 kg per 100m
PQ Rods 3-5 kg per 100m