Long Hole Drilling means, in its simplicity, drilling deeper holes into the ore in underground mining. This is also known as production drilling, and the typical hole depth varies mostly from 10 meters all the way up to 40 meters in extreme cases. The hole diameter, on the other hand, is usually somewhere between 51mm and 102mm. These holes are often used as blast holes in mining.
The long holes are drilled with extension rods, with a top-hammer rig doing the actual work. These rods typically are male-to-female types, where the coupling is integrated into the rods themselves. In order to ensure maximal straightness of the hole, the top-hammer drill tubes are used either as a whole drill string or as just a single guide tube. The drills use flushing to get rid of the cuttings and other particles that accumulate in the hole during drilling. In underground applications, the flushing is mainly done with water.
Long hole drilling can be used in various mining methods, for example sublevel open stoping, as well as VCR stoping. Furthermore, it may also be utilized in special applications such as cable bolting or slot and inverse raising.
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