Client: TMAC Resources (formerly owned by Newmont Mining Corporation)
Location: Hope Bay, Nunavut, Canada
Drill Rigs Committed: 4 – 6
Geotech has been involved on the Hope Bay drill program, 700 kilometers from Yellowknife, in the Arctic Circle since 2008. A total of 235,000 meters have been drilled during Geotech’s tenure on the Hope Bay Property between 2008 and 2016; with an additional 14,000 meters of underground drilling in 2016, which was a new and successful venture for Geotech. The program consists of frozen lake drilling during the winter season in harsh arctic conditions; transitioning to helicopter portable drilling on the tundra during the summer months. A total of four to six surface drills have been operating since 2014 and two underground drills were added to the site fleet for the 2016 drilling season.
Winter conditions include temperatures as low as -80° Celsius. High arctic winds and flat landscape also present challenges with whiteout conditions and blowing snow. Summer and fall conditions include helicopter portable land based drilling operations throughout a 40 kilometer greenstone belt. All land based drilling occurs in permafrost conditions while recirculating and capturing all drill cuttings are standard on the property; which was used to minimize the environmental footprint and potential damage to the tundra.
Hydracore 2000 and Zinex A5 drills are being used to complete the surface program with hole depths ranging up to 1300 meters NQ; while Zinex U5 and Hydracore 1000 drills have been used for the underground programs. The drilling program(s) have historically operated between 6 and 11 months annually, working in near 24 hours of darkness or light seasonally.