How Skilled Teams Drive Success in Mining and Exploration Drilling
While drilling machinery and equipment first come to mind when we hear about exploration drilling, a lot takes place in the background involving rigorous assessments, planning, and execution by dedicated and skilled personnel.
In an industry where success is determined by accuracy, safety, and demand for uninterrupted operations, people play a highly critical role and must have adequate technical and soft skills to uphold the integrity of every single project, despite its complexity and associated challenges. In this article we are going to look at what it really takes to assemble effective teams and the skills they must possess to drive such operations towards the desired outcome.
A successful drilling operation requires a strong team of people with a range of skills and expertise, including technical knowledge, safety protocols, communication skills, problem-solving abilities, physical fitness, mechanical skills, attention to detail, teamwork, adaptability, and time management to name a few.
Considering that drilling operations usually take place in remote areas, deep knowledge and understanding of these terrains are compulsory. While the teams involved must possess a strong technical background in drilling, geology and mining, they also need to determine the most suitable drilling techniques, equipment and tools as well as have a deep knowledge of geological data specific to the drilling location.
In drilling operations safety is always a crucial factor and always the highest priority. Drilling operators must have a complete understanding of safety protocols and procedures and undergo frequent adequate safety training. They need to know how to operate drilling equipment safely, handle hazardous materials, and respond to unexpected emergencies swiftly to keep themselves and those around them safe.
Drilling operations usually need to integrate seamlessly with the operations of the customer and their teams. Effective communication skills (both written and verbal) are, therefore, essential. Drilling operators need to communicate effectively with other team members, management, clients, and other stakeholders. The ability to communicate efficiently ensures the project is well coordinated and everyone is safely working towards the same goals.
Exploration drilling is a process where the people involved must display strong problem-solving skills to rapidly identify and troubleshoot any issues that arise and promptly come up with effective and safe solutions. This process also requires creativity, critical thinking, and ability to work under pressure, all of which are prime examples of soft skills.
While mental skills and knowledge are paramount, physical fitness is equally important. Drilling operations often take place in remote locations and rough terrains; therefore, the team must have the stamina and endurance to work long hours and perform physically demanding tasks.
Lastly and most importantly, operators must be able to work effectively as part of a team, communicate and collaborate with other team members, and be willing to take on tasks outside of their core responsibilities when necessary. They must be able to adapt to changing conditions, including weather, terrain, and equipment issues, all while prioritizing tasks, meeting deadlines, and ensuring that drilling operations stay on schedule.
In conclusion, mining and exploration drilling requires a range of skills and expertise to drive success. By developing these skills and working together as a skilled team, operators can ensure that drilling operations are safe, efficient, and productive, leading to successful mining and exploration endeavors.
At Drill Masters Africa, we recognize this and see our people as the backbone of our company and the foundation for our success. Over the years we worked very hard to assemble a strong team of skilled and experience professionals and to this date invest heavily in their continuous professional development and safety training.