Mine Tailings Investigation (marine)

  • SECTOR: Mine Tailings- Geotechnical
  • LOCATION: Houston, BC
  • DATE: 2017
  • EQUIPMENT: Sectional Barge, B-53 & TerraSonic

Geotech completed a drilling and cone penetration testing (CPT) investigation at a closed tailings storage facility for Goldcorp at their Equity Mine, near Houston, BC.

Geotech’s sonic team completed a land-based program for this scope. This included 8 boreholes advanced by 4×6″ sonic drilling with 7″ override casing totaling 221m of drilling, and 6 SPT’s in three holes. Of these holes, 2 were installed with 2″ PVC monitoring wells, 5 holes installed with VWP’s and all holes grouted to surface.

Geotech also completed drilling, sampling, and CPT testing (ASTM Standard D5778-12) using a skid-mounted B-53 drill and independent 2-ram, 20-ton CPT ramset carried aboard its sectional drill barge. The portable spud barge is capable of carrying several different units for different scopes, and provided our crews safe and controlled access to drill sites throughout the challenging shallow water tailings environment. Work consisted of CPT, submarine seismic CPT data collection, cased mud-rotary drilling, split-spoon sampling, and hydraulic piston sampling in water depths ranging from 2 m to 9 m deep; and test depths from 5 m to 38 m below mudline. Total drilling and testing were nearly 600 m total across 30 sites.



  • Through the late fall and early winter weather, the crews faced challenges with changing conditions.
  • Marine program over tailings


  • First program Geotech utilized its custom sectional barge, specifically purchased for the program.
  • With a strong behaviour-based HSE culture and robust execution plan, the project was completed the project safely, on schedule and within budget.