Thursday, January 27, 2011

Second drill goes down

After the fantastic high of perfectly coring the Alpine Fault on Sunday, We started to focus our attention on our second drill hole which we call DFDP 1-B.  

By Tuesday we saw the establishment of site DFDP-1B and installation of 6” steel casing. On Wednesday we continued to install casing, but had a failure and detachment of the casing shoe (see photos 1 and 2) at around 34 m depth. Coring operations were delayed to cement the loose shoe in place.

Photo 1: The drill bit is attached to drill rods inside the steel casing. The inner part of the casing shoe is fixed in place at the end.
Photo 2: When ready to drill, the outer part of the shoe is attached
and it is able to turn with the drill bit.

This morning we successfully drilled out the cement grout, through the shoe and into rock. Unfortunately a hydraulic hose blew during the first core run, so we are waiting to have it fixed.

We expect to resume today and then continue coring 24 hr/day until the hole is at its final depth. Our target depth is between 160 and 200 m, depending on geology beneath the fault, and finance.
We have had lots of public contact. I was live on three radio stations on Monday. Yesterday, we had newspaper photographers and TVNZ on site.
I expect there will be a story about us on Close Up tonight. Finally, we had a public meeting in the local village of Whataroa that was very well attended. There is clearly a high level of public interest in what we are doing.

Finally, I expect some preliminary results of our geological logs to be ready to report on soon.

Third Photo: A cement-bentonite grout is pumped through a Tremie tube to fix the loose casing shoe in place at the base of the hole.

Last photo shows a view of the drill site.

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