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Drilling and equipment contracts finalised

28 January 2019

Contracts for Pike River Mine drilling and mining equipment have now been largely finalised.

The drilling programme started recently, with the first of three new boreholes that will be used for gas monitoring drilled through into the drift access tunnel about 1400m from the portal a couple of weeks ago.

South Island company Ecodrilling is now working on borehole 52 (BH52) which will be used for purging and gas monitoring. BH52 has a 150mm diameter and will descend around 100metres into the mine workings. After that the drillers will work on the 150mm diameter borehole 53, which is around 120m deep and will breakthrough on the portal side of the roof fall about 2.2km into the drift.

Chief Operating Officer Dinghy Pattinson says Ecodrilling have worked in West Coast coal mines for years, including drilling four boreholes at Pike River since 2010.

“What is required is specialised drilling – the locations and access are remote and it’s pretty challenging in terms of geology and geography. We needed someone with experience in the area as they’re dealing with faultlines and different types of ground and rock,” he says.

Hokitika man Kerry Gordon of CRL Energy Ltd has been appointed drilling supervisor and will be on site at the mine when required. Any time drilling is undertaken into the former mine, the Agency is also required to ensure a mine statutory official is on site.

Three contracts have been signed with Australian companies to hire critical mining equipment, including loaders and attachments, a drift runner, refuge chamber and roof bolting rig.

The Agency is still sourcing one final piece of mining equipment.


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