We provide reverse circulation drilling services for mineral exploration, grade control and hydrology.


Operating a fleet of modern and well equipped all wheel drive drill rigs and support vehicles, we are able to effectively meet the needs of our clients throughout Australia. Our capabilities include remote area operation via fully self-contained exploration camps.

Our service capabilities include:

Reverse Circulation Mineral Exploration

Reverse circulation or RC drilling is a fast and inexpensive method of drilling, particularly compared to diamond drilling. A hundred metres or more of drilling is possible a day. RC is a commonly used drilling method in the mineral exploration industry.

Reverse Circulation Mineral Grade Control

Grade control drilling helps to define the economic limits and determine where the mineral is abundant or too scarce for a return on investment. The most economical method to carry out grade control is Reverse Circulation drilling for mineral grade control.

Down-hole Surveys with Multi-shot Electronic or Gyro Surveying

When drilling both straight and deviated holes, the position of the well-bore beneath the surface must be determined as the well is being drilled. Our professional surveying instruments and services are able to measure the hole inclination and direction at various depths along the course of the well.

Reverse Circulation Water/ Hydrology Exploration

Groundwater exploration is the investigation of the hydrologic cycle, the groundwater quality and the nature, number and type of aquifers/ groundwater resources available. While there are different groundwater exploration methods, reverse circulation drilling is a fast and cost-effective means to fully explore your groundwater resources.

Remote Area Operations,  Logistsics & Support Services

With a fleet of 4WD light vehicles for drill crew transportation and a fleet of HR/ HC trucks for logistics and maintenance support, we remain fully equiped, supplied and maintained for the duration from start to finish.

Our Explorex caravans and mobile crew camp facilities including satellite/ remote operations communications systems enable us to remain fully self-contained and connected even in the most in-hospitable environments.

Fact Sheet

Reverse Circulation Drilling

RC drilling is similar to air-core drilling in that the drill cuttings are returned to the surface via an inner tube inside the drill rods. However, RC rigs commonly have a much greater capacity and are designed to handle much larger downhole equipment, with rods that are typically 6 m long and weigh about 200 kg. Penetration is achieved by a pneumatic reciprocating piston known as a downhole hammer (DHH), which drives a drill bit (typically 115 to 150 mm in diameter) with round protruding tungsten-carbide buttons that can cut hard rock. RC drill rods rotate at speeds of 30 to 50 rpm.

RC drilling generally produces dry cuttings, as the large rig-mounted compressors (around 1,000 cfm at 500 psi) that produce reverse circulation also pump air ahead of the advancing drill bit, thus drying the rock.

Although RC drilling is air-powered, water may be injected when collaring a new hole, to reduce dust, and to assist in lifting cuttings to the surface.

RC drill rigs are considerably larger than RAB or air-core rigs and typically reach depths of 300 to 500 m, although it can be more.

RC rigs are usually accompanied by a support vehicle and an auxiliary vehicle, normally trucks. The support vehicle carries diesel, water and maintenance supplies; the auxiliary vehicle usually carries an auxiliary compressor and booster compressor

Source: Mineral exploration drilling - code of practice (.pdf)

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