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Water-powered drilling golden in South Africa

Gold Fields Limited in South Africa is one of the world"s foremost gold producers. The company is constantly on the lookout for ways to make its mining operations more efficient.
The box holes at the Beatrix mine measure up to 35 meters in length. Using the Wassara W80 along with the small, robust water-powered rig from the South African firm Hydro Power Engineering, the company was able to drill much straighter holes than had previously been the case. More precise holes also mean higher productivity.

Another important benefit was that the work environment was improved as a result of the decreased levels of airborne drill dust and oil mist.

Equipment:

Hammer                                Wassara W80
Bit                                         Wassara 95 mm
Pump                                    The Earth"s gravity. The depth produces 180 bar of water pressure.
Drilling fluid                           Clean water
Drill pipe                               Wassara
Rig                                        HPE (Hydro Power Engineering), water-powered
Formation                             Highly abrasive rock
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