Johnny Mountain Mine Reclamation – Heli-Sonic

  • SECTOR: Mining- Geotechnical
  • LOCATION: Golden Triangle, BC - Johnny Mountain Mine
  • DATE: 2017
  • EQUIPMENT: Hydracore Heli-Sonic 4000 and HP200

Geotech and Tahltan Nation Development Corporation (TNDC) partner company, Tahltech Drilling completed a geotechnical investigation for SnipGold Corporation (a Seabridge Gold subsidiary) on the Johnny Mountain Mine Property, near the Bob Quinn airstrip in 2017.

A heli-portable sonic drill was used to advance five boreholes to depths of up to 15 meters, through compacted tills, clays, boulders, and rock. Due to the sensitivity of working on an existing tailings dam facility, a methodology utilizing no water was used during the process to chase casing. The sonic core barrel was advanced six meters ahead of the casing each time, ensuring that as the casing was chased all slough and cutting would fall into the piloted hole to prevent skin friction and plugging of tooling.

Further to the sonic drilling, a second helicopter portable drill was utilized to complete ODEX drilling for the installation of 2” piezometers. The drill was flown into the site and then moved into place with existing equipment.


  • Dry hole drilling with sonic methodology causing slower production and more wear and tear on equipment.
  • Trained staff to be able to work on both ODEX and Sonic methodologies to reduce crew training and enhance site synergies.


  • Geotech and Tahltech’s first program utilizing a heli- portable sonic drill.
  • First program completed through the joint venture company with the Tahltan Nation Development Corporation.
  • ODEX methodology was used to increase production for the purposes of installations only and no need for sample.
  • Successful completion of all drill holes on time and on budget.
  • No safety incidents.

“Tahltech Drilling Services proved to be a valuable partner for SnipGold. We set rigorous technical expectations for this group and they were met. With the Johnny Mountain Mine Project, it was extremely important that all our partners adhered to set schedules and timelines, which Tahltech did. Because they reflected our commitment to safety in all their operations, they helped to build a strong relationship and we believe their latest technology will be beneficial for Projects in the area.” Elizabeth F. Miller M.Sc., R. P.Bio., Program Manager, SnipGold.