Murray River Mine- Deep Coring Installs

  • SECTOR: Mining- Geotechnical
  • LOCATION: Tumbler Ridge, BC
  • DATE: 2018
  • EQUIPMENT: Zinex A5

Geotech participated on an 8-month deep hole drilling program in the Peace River region of British Columbia for the purposes of instrumentation installations including a 1,000+ meter Westbay Multi-Level Groundwater Monitoring system. Numerous faults and challenging ground conditions were encountered while drilling, requiring cementing and multiple variations of mud programs to ensure successful completion.

Due to the historic presence of methane, Geotech implemented gas mitigation procedures such as cementing casing up to 45-meters into competent rock and the installation of a hydraulically actuated diverter system for shutting the hole if methane was encountered. Geotech experienced several holes with pressurized (artesian) methane systems that required specialized risk management plans to safely continue drilling or to close holes under pressure.


  • Strong presence of methane gas in all drill holes at deeps as shallow was 50 meters.
  • Holes over 1000 meters HQ through several coal seams.
  • Completed during challenging winter drilling conditions.
  • Due to mud/clay stone formations, Geotech continually encountered challenges with casing being washed down the hole due to erosion in these types of rock.
  • Some holes required continual cementing of side walls where possible to assist in the advancement of the borehole.


  • Deepest monitoring well west-bay installation in the history of British Columbia. The installation took a total of 7 days, with specialized third-party crews setting and calibrating instrumentation in several zones throughout the course of the borehole
  • Safely containing methane encounters and able to complete installations in pressurized artesian conditions with the use of plugs and weighted barite/cement programs
  • Extensive cementing operations and procedures.