Numac recently completed a mineral exploration drilling program with a sonic rig in unconsolidated formations for Nickel Laterite in Western Australia. There were many "firsts"on this project. We had to construct and manage a fully self sufficient camp running 24/7. We employed our first cook, which was a tad surreal, and chartered our first small plane to ferry crews from Perth to a remote dirt "airstrip".
We took the Sonic to over 100m for the first time and all reports were that it handled those depths quite well and there is still some additional capacity available. The sonic drilling method was exceptional in the unconsolidated formation. It was very fast, efficient and provided full sample recovery from 0-100m.
Although we have done previous mineral exploration projects with sonic, particularly with large diameter bulk sampling, this was certainly a steep learning curve. That said, the Numac crew attacked it the patience and precision we are now accustomed to. We all learnt a lot and it proved a challenging but enjoyable experience for the team.