NUMERICAL SIMULATIONS OF CUTTINGS TRANSPORT IN MINERAL EXPLORATION BOREHOLES

World Mining Congress
The Deep Exploration Technology project, as part of the Australian Cooperative Research Centre, is developing technologies to drill deep boreholes for mineral exploration purposes. The aim of the initiative is to transfer drilling technologies from oil and gas into mining applications. Several modifications have to be pondered due to this technology exchange: smaller cuttings sizes because of using impregnated diamond bits; narrower annulus space; higher drilling fluid velocity and likelihood of turbulent flow regime in the annulus; and higher pressure loss. In particular the results of our lab experiments have shown that the increase in concentration of small size cuttings can significantly change the rheology of the mud when drilling in hard rocks. This, in return, could have a noticeable increase in the pressure loss encountered along the annulus space.
Keywords: flow; particles; transport; Pressure; Drilling; Fluids; Models; Model; Mineral exploration;
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