Ice Island: Bulk Sample

Ice Island: Bulk Sample

The problem:  Setting 42″ diameter surface casing to 200 feet, through an ice island and into granite boulders, then sealing it into the diatreme at minus 45 degrees.

The Kinley solution:   This was accomplished with a resonance casing driving system.  Operated by a driller with a head set, he tuned the casing to the right level, allowing the resonance to vibrate through the overburden. The casing was then cleaned out with a 36″ down hole hammer.

36″ diameter, bulk sample drilling, through the kimberlites in the Lac de Gras area of Canada’s north, was completed at a rate of one tonne of sample per meter drilled (2,200 lbs/3 ft).  The full spectrum of kimberlite was found as expected, as was a giant redwood tree, drilled through at 1,200 feet,  about 1,500 miles from the nearest redwood of that size.  Kimberlite samples were handled in alcohol heated containers for transport to the mill.

Operating in severe arctic conditions necessitated the construction of an ice airstrip capable of handling a Herc.  We also needed to build safe ice islands to operate the rig from – a rig that would displace close to 900,000 lbs.  In this case, ice engineers were flown to start the process early each winter and were provided with divers  to measure and monitor ice conditions below the surface throughout the season.

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