Diamond drilling cores are an important investment for any mining company. The main advantage of the cores is that they provide a continuous, unbroken sample of the rock unit being drilled. This continuous sample allows geologists to examine small scale structures and layering in the rock. In the mining industry, where small zones of mineralization may contain a large portion of the valueble materials, the ability to observe such small scale features is critical.
As you probably know, diamond core drilling is not cheap. In some places, diamond core drilling can cost over $100 USD per meter. That’s why it’s critical that, once drilled, cores are handled safely to prevent damage and ensure that the investment made in each core is worthwhile.
There are a few guidelines that should be followed when handling diamond drilling cores.
– When cores are transferred to plastic core trays or core boxes, fractures may occur, especially in poorly indurated rocks. It is critical that natural fractures, related to faults and jointing in the rock, are differentiated from fractures that formed during transport. Transport and handling related fractures should be clearly marked on the core itself.
– Each core tray should be clealy labeled on each end with the borehole depths represented by the core it contains. Although diamond core drilling returns a continuous sample, underground void spaces may appear as fractures when the cores are placed close together. By keeping track of the vertical space represented by a core, underground void spaces can be reliably quantified.
– Pictures represent a cost effective way to keep records of a core. They can be cross referenced with other data obtained from the core or from other exploration methods. The best record keeping practice is to photograph the core both before and after it is split. The whole-core pictures serve as a record of the entire core, while the split-core images are useful for recording and measuring small-scale geologic structures. Pictures should be taken from a consistant distance and orthogonal angle. They should always include a scale.
– Core breakage and disorganization detract from the value of an investment in diamond core drilling. In order to protect your investment, it is critical that you invest in high quality core trays, such as those produced by Discoverer Core Trays. Our plastic core trays are built with ease of use, safety, and a long product lifetime in mind.
To learn more about the core tray options available from Discoverer Core Trays, check out the rest of our website, or contact us on +61 7 5446 8088.