Patents Represented by Attorney C. Tripp
  • Patent number: 4077671
    Abstract: Method for subterranean slurry drilling and mining of granular ore, such as phosphates, with a combined drilling and mining apparatus. The apparatus for performing the method includes a tool string having a drilling head and mining head that are selectively interchangeable on its upper end for drilling into one or more ore strata to be mined and thereafter to remove ore from the strata as a slurry. The drill string includes a plurality of inner and outer pipe sections connected to a mining nozzle section, to an eductor pump section, and to a drill bit at its lower end. A drilling/mining liquid is directed through the tool string during both the drilling and mining modes of operation. During drilling, liquid is directed through a foot valve into the rotating bit to wash cuttings to the surface externally of the tool. During mining, the tool string is rotated, the foot valve is closed, and a mining nozzle is opened thereby causing liquid jetting from the mining nozzle to reduce the ore to a slurry.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 1977
    Date of Patent: March 7, 1978
    Assignee: FMC Corporation
    Inventor: Philip R. Bunnelle