Monday, May 19, 2008

Resolution Copper's core facility is breaking new ground

I spent a few hours today at Resolution Copper's operations center outside the town of Superior, being blown away by their core operations. My guide and host, geologist Brad Calkins, is understandable proud of the team, facilities, and procedures they've put together.

Resolution currently has 7 drill rigs running 24/7 although two are gathering hydrogeology data and one geotechnical information. The others have been coring down 2,100 meters with multiple, directional boreholes from each main hole. [right: old shaft #9, which will eventually be used for ventilation in the new mine]

Every core is oriented, and each hole has borehole video and acoustic logs run. The breadth and detail of structural, textural, and compositional information collected is staggering. Another surprise is the extent of quality control and ability to re-capture any data misplaced or mishandled. Brad said their procedures manual is 170 pages long and repeatedly revised.

Any given joint, fracture, or fault, may have a half dozen or more descriptors with it. Every core is slabbed and photographed. The cores are tied to the borehold image logs and descriptions are entered into a custom-built database. All the information goes into 3-D models, while some of it is used for specialized studies on mechanical properties in the proposed mine. They have designed and built their own core racks for examining and describing the new cores.

Company policies prohibit any photos from inside the main gate otherwise I would have loved to grab shots of the many innovations Resolution is employing.

Based on what international visitors all tell them, Brad says the Resolution core analysis program is the most advanced in the world. I've never seen anything to compare to it.

No comments:

Post a Comment