Sonic Drilling

Numac is Australia's leading Sonic drilling company and has worked as drilling contractors on projects across Australia, with our powerful crawler-mounted machines operating from our Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney depots. Our geotech and environmental drillers are fully qualified (Certificate III in Drilling Operations) and hold a minimum Class 1 Water-Well licence. We conduct works regularly on mine sites, tailings facilities, dams, defence sites and major infrastructure projects. Numac offers sonic drilling solutions for all challenging drilling scenarios, including competent rock formations and sites with limited access. We also offer sonic drilling services for direct-use geothermal applications.

CONTINUOUS, UNDISTURBED SAMPLING IN ALL FORMATIONS

Sonic drill rigs advance a concentric hollow drill pipe using rotation in conjunction with axial vibration of the drill stem. The inner string (with a core of drill cuttings) is removed after each drill stem advancement stage, while the temporary ‘casing" string remains in place to hold the borehole open. The cuttings can be removed nearly intact from the inner casing, enabling effective examination of the stratigraphy prior to sampling or disposal.

In flowing sands, the drill casings can be filled and/or pressurised with potable water to prevent excess entry of formation materials into the drill string. As a rock drilling solution, the sonic system works similar to a diamond core or PDC mud rotary system.

MAXIMISES SAMPLES AND MINIMISES WASTE

Without auger flights or winged drill bits, borehole diameters can be kept to a minimum. The quantity of cuttings (waste) removed from the hole is minimal as most formation is captured in the sample. The ratio between bore diameter and sample size is higher with sonic drilling than most other sampling methods.  

FAST AND EFFICIENT PERCHED/SECONDARY AQUIFER ISOLATION

Sonic drilling allows larger diameter temporary casings (which are removed during grouting) to be set into confining layers while drilling continues into deeper aquifers. Extremely effective as an aquifer isolation technique, sonic drilling can push through the unconsolidated zones and into more competent layers, providing accurate samples of the interface between the two zones and enabling casings to be set with confidence.

EFFECTIVE MINERAL EXPLORATION IN CHALLENGING CONDITIONS

Sonic drilling is a highly effective mineral exploration technique in conditions where traditional diamond coring struggles with core recovery and sample loss. In our experience, in almost all scenarios we can ensure close to 100% sample recovery — even in conditions where traditional coring methods fail to provide the required core recovery.

LEADING METHOD FOR LEACHATE AND GAS EXTRACTION WELL INSTALLATION

Sonic drilling is the best method for the installation of leachate injection/extraction bores and gas monitoring wells through landfill and won’t struggle in such conditions like conventional Geoprobe® and geotechnical rigs. Sonic sampling provides the most accurate vertical profile classification and ensures 100% continuous recovery, even in landfill. This ensures you know exactly when you encounter landfill linings and confining layers.

OVERWATER SONIC DRILLING

Using Sonic machines off barges delivers a range of efficiencies over other drilling methods. Unlike most geotechnical rigs which are unable to gather representative samples in the sea/river floor, the sonic sampling method provides excellent recovery among the soft sediments of these ‘soft zones’. The sample system is comparable with a vibro-core, but unlike a vibro-core system, the sonic is able to penetrate into the more competent formations. When using diamond coring for rock sampling, the sonic casing is left in place, holding the bore open and acting as a fluid control return system.

SONIC BULK SOIL SAMPLING

The sonic sampling method allows for the collection of larger soil samples, with sample tubes as large as 230mm in diameter. Leading Australian sonic drilling companies in the collection of soil samples from a range of challenging environments, Numac has achieved our largest sample diameter yet with the Comacchio Sonic MC900.

SONIC DRILLING FOR GEOTHERMAL INSTALLATIONS

For geothermal applications, sonic drilling is the most suitable and cost-effective drilling technique in all terrains due to its ability to drill, case, loop and grout in a single step. Faster than other drill rig types, sonic drill rigs excel in difficult rock formations, reduce waste and are the right choice for all geothermal projects, regardless of size and scope. With our fleet of sonic drill rigs and highly skilled operators based at our Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane locations, Numac leads Australia’s geothermal drilling companies.  

Overwater geotechnical barge drilling with the Numac R21 Sonic drill rig on the spectacular Sydney harbour. A high complexity drilling project undertaken in one of Australia's busiest shipping lanes.

Shallow sonic soil sampling on a coastal site chasing the intersection between the beach sand and bedrock.

Sonic drill bit with 100mm siltstone core sample. We can collect soil samples up to 230mm in diameter.

Sonic drill bit with 100mm siltstone core sample. We can collect soil samples up to 230mm in diameter.

235mm (9.25") Sonic soil sampling for an archaeological investigation using the Geoprobe® 8140LS drilling rig.

 

Sonic Drilling Services Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide