Canadian engineer, Ray Roussy, will be inducted into the International Mining Hall of Fame for his development and commercialization of sonic drilling technology. “I’m absolutely delighted to be recognized by my peers in this manner,” says Roussy, who is president of the Sonic Drill Corporation and Sonic Drilling Ltd. “Sonic drilling technology has been my life’s work and I’m thrilled with this honour.”
Forty years after first beginning his research and development efforts, Roussy holds dozens of patents involving sonic drilling technology and is solely responsible for the successful commercialization of it when others failed to make it work. Roussy’s induction into the Hall of Fame represents the fourth prestigious recognition for his revolutionary technology since 2008.
Today, award-winning sonic drill rigs, patented and built by the Sonic Drill Corporation, are in use on six continents and in every application imaginable. When it comes to mineral exploration, sonic drilling technology has provided a substantial advantage through its ability to core easily through mixed soils without jamming up or requiring a rig switch out. In addition, only a sonic can recover a continuous core including boulders, clays, silt, sand and gravel and lay it in its stratigraphic sequence – from the surface all the way down to 300 ft (100 m) and deeper.
Using Roussy’s patented sonic drill head, samples, ranging from 3” to 8” in diameter, can be obtained from a wide variety of mineral deposits including hard-to-extract oil sands, slag piles, mine tailings and heap leach pads. Extruded into clear plastic sleeves and then neatly laid out, these core samples can be subjected to a detailed visual examination and analysis, followed by sampling, photographing and archiving for a permanent record of the existing mineral conditions. As well, cased holes, provided by the sonic drilling technique, prevent the collapse of the borehole and ensure that cores are not contaminated by up-hole debris.
Drilling 3-5 times faster and able to provide accurate core samples, the enthusiastic adoption by mineral exploration companies of sonic drilling technology is not surprising with 7 out of 10 sonic rigs sold for that purpose.