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Extensive laboratory drilling investigations were conducted on a wide variety of rocks to study the inter-dependence of machine as well as rock parameters on the performance of the drilling operation. Detailed physical and mechanical properties of all the rock types were determined to study the influence of the rock properties on the drilling performance. The effect of PEO (poly-ethylene-oxide) added to the drilling water was also studied. Slake durability tests were conducted in plain water as well as a PEO mixed water medium to observe the effects of PEO on the surface properties of the rock. An attempt is also made to understand the different modes of wear of impregnated diamond bits in the rotary drilling operation.