Greenhills and Fording River – Coal Mines

  • SECTOR: Geotechnical & Exploration - Mining
  • LOCATION: Elkford, BC
  • DATE: 2016 - 2020
  • EQUIPMENT: Zinex A5 & TerraSonic 150CC

Geotech participated on several deep core programs for Teck Coal between 2016 and 2020. Starting in 2016, Geotech successfully completed a geotechnical coring and sonic program the Greenhills operation, successfully completed 3 HQ3 holes up to 500 meters in depth and several shallow sonic holes with 4” sonic continuous core.Geotech completed similar coring programs at the Fording River site on the Turnbull and Lake Mountain area of the project. HQ coring was completed on both of these programs up to 400 meters in depth with piezometer installations and packer testing.

In 2019 Geotech was selected to complete a drilling program in the Phase 5 area of the Greenhills operation.Due to the large amount of waste rock in the area, another contractor completed 6” welded casing installation using dual-rotary drilling methodology. Geotech sleeved each hole with 5” and 4” casing to depth to prevent rod whip, and completed HQ coring up to 375 meters. Two of the holes required a 4”casing advancer up to 190 meters in depth to reach competent rock.

 

CHALLENGES

  • Drill holes were in an active mine site and in close proximity to large mining equipment.
  • Large coal seams requiring continual conditioning and reaming to keep open
  • Challenging weather conditions based on elevation at certain sites and no shelter from wind and snow
  • Deep casing set by another contractor. No chance for a re-start on holes with issues, subsequently needing to complete them to final depth
  • Core recovery in challenging coal seams. Coal was extremely unconsolidated and powder like.


ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Up to 97% core recovery in holes with successful mud plan and training. Based off of this, Geotech was awarded an additional two holes for exploration purposes to test recovery techniques vs RC drilling.
  • Implementation of additional infrastructure to assist in coring operations (i.e. helpers shack)
  • Casing advancement techniques up to 190 meters through broken rock.
  • Efficient packer testing in challenging area where possible (i.e. coal seams grabbing rods while not circulating the hole)
  • Deep hole vibrating wire installations with staged and measured grouting intervals.
  • The program utilized a skid mounted Zinex A5 diamond drill with rod manipulator.