posted by Rod McCoremick, Blog author, Fordia Powered by Epiroc
February 19, 2018
A lot of the time I talk about the different challenges and problems diamond drillers face when the drill site is off in some remote location. It gives the impression that all diamond drilling is done in rural settings, off the beaten track. Now we know that geotechnical drilling happens in urban centers but there are times when a mineral exploration drill site is located in the city.
When your drill site is in the city there are different challenges that arise, and many of them revolve around municipal regulations and environmental standards that must be respected. We have a customer who had earned a reputation for performing highly technical work and for their commitment to the environment. They had a drilling project in a Northern Quebec municipality. The site had been mined for many years and most of the city had been built around the mine. Our customer was required to test for vertical mine extensions and proper management of the drill cuttings was crucial part of the project.
The company decided to use EDDY, Fordia’s water treatment system as a way to manage the drill cuttings and limit water consumption. The primary function of the EDDY system is to separate drill cuttings from water. Once the drill water is treated and cleaned, it can be re-used so that a minimal amount of additional water is required. The drill cuttings are then disposed of in environmentally approved ways. In this particular case, roll-off containers were used to transport the cuttings to landfills. No cuttings were left in the heavily populated area and no polymers other than biodegradable rod grease had been used.
For companies who value corporate responsibility and social acceptance by the local communities, the water treatment system is a great addition to operations. Unlike older systems, EDDY is small, lightweight, and easy to transport. The customer set it up in a 40 foot container and there was still a lot of room left for the staff to store their stuff. It is easy to operate and requires minimal training.
A lot has changed in the years since I’ve been in this industry and one of the better outcomes is the push to use greener methods. Biodegradable drilling products and water treatment systems have done a lot to protect the environment and its fragile natural resources. You can read about this story here for more details.