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How to: Optimise your diamond and RC drill rig schedule for greater productivity

January 22, 2024

How to: Optimise your diamond and RC drill rig schedule for greater productivity

Exploration Software
For Exploration Managers
Drill Program Planning
Written by
Megan Gammie

Tired of static, excel-based drill rig schedules that don't adapt to drilling productivity? 

See how exploration teams like Chalice Mining are optimising their diamond and RC drill rig schedules using a drag-and-drop rig scheduling tool that adjusts your drilling schedule automatically based on real-time drilling data.

Why you need to stop using Excel to schedule your rigs

Most exploration teams use tools like spreadsheets to plan their drill rig schedule.

And whilst this method can work during the planning stage, things tend to fall apart when drilling starts.

If shifts start deviating from the plan, the whole schedule can fall out of alignment.

When you can't see what lies ahead, and it's hard to take action to:

  • reduce downtime
  • increase productive time
  • optimise drilling spend.

a bright yellow school bus represents a rig schedule built in excel. it is bowled over by a train that represents slow pen rate.

Rig scheduling software that responds to rig performance

Have you ever wanted to know how long it will take to finish your next round of drilling, when a specific hole will be drilled, or where each rig will be in a day, week or month?

So did exploration teams like Chalice Mining.

Teams that now use CorePlan's dynamic rig scheduling tool to run optimised rig and drill hole schedules based on their real-time diamond and RC rig productivity and performance.

Here's how they're doing it.

Easily schedule rigs using drag-and-drop rig scheduling software

First, they're building their drill hole schedule from the ground up by importing their drill hole plan from Micromine or Leapfrog directly into CorePlan.

Then, in CorePlan, they assign each hole to a rig using a dynamic drag-and-drop interface that allows complete control over the drilling sequence.

Once the drill program gets underway, the rig scheduling tool will automatically adjust the time to completion for each hole based on the rig's real-time performance.

This can help Exploration Managers and Senior Geos to better understand how long it will take to complete the drill program and how each rig is performing relative to the original plan.

Tools to understand what's driving rig performance

A spreadsheet schedule can help you to plan how you intend your rigs to be utilised. But it can't give you insights to be able to understand your performance drivers over time.

The key is to have easy access to contextual data.

Because CorePlan's dynamic rig scheduling tool is embedded in a larger drill program management software package, all of the data that's driving results can be investigated directly within the software package. 

This means you don't have to search through paper documents or spreadsheet files or ask your DBA to pull you a report - all of the data and information related to each rig and its performance is directly accessible. 

Plus, it’s cloud-based, so data can be entered, updated and viewed by users at the same time, unlike Excel, where local changes can be lost, files corrupted, versions crossed or transmitted too late.

This means everyone stays on the same page throughout the project.

Improving DD and RC rig scheduling in practice

How does this look in practice?

Here’s an example.

Let's say you think you might be running behind schedule. The rig scheduling software tool makes it easy to see which rigs are driving that performance and where you should dive deeper into the drilling data to understand what's happening on the ground and why.

Then, you could run a rig utilisation report. The report provides a full breakdown of how much time the affected rig is spending with the bit on the bottom versus other productive (eg reaming, casing) and non-productive (eg excessive standby time, breakdown) time activities, plus the trend over time, and in comparison to other rigs.

Reviewing the daily drilling reports (plods) on the affected dates can help identify what was blocking the rig's progress. A meeting can then be set with the driller to create a plan to reduce future downtime, increase efficiency and ensure that the drilling budget is going towards metres drilled.

Start optimising your schedule with your own dynamic rig scheduling tool

CorePlan offers the only diamond and RC rig scheduling tool on the market that adapts to your actual drilling performance.

The tool is part of a comprehensive drill program management software package designed to help Junior, Mid-Tier and Enterprise-level exploration professionals run better drill programs on time and on budget from the cloud.

See how CorePlan can help you optimise your drilling operations and rig schedule at a free demo.

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