Authors: Rowe, CJ; Ford, FJ

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Rowe, CJ & Ford, FJ 2017, 'Advances in inflatable packer technology and application', in J Wesseloo (ed.), Deep Mining 2017: Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Deep and High Stress Mining, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 875-882,

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Advances in inflatable packer technology have been made in response to the demands of increasingly severe application environments resulting from deeper and deeper underground mining activities, often in remote locations. These include the development of tools to enable deep high pressure permeability testing and hydraulic fracturing activities such as pre-conditioning for block caving, rockburst mitigation and stress testing. In some cases, oilfield type equipment has been adapted for deep underground drilling activities requiring high pressure waterflow control. All of this was implemented using an Australian developed inflatable packer technology. Future developments of this technology may play a role in shale oil and gas exploration and production as well as hard rock in situ leach mining.

Keywords: inflatable packers, hydrofracture, permeability, rockburst, pre-conditioning

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