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Piggy-Backing Hydrogeological Testing On To Resource Drilling Programmes

William Harding
Thursday, January 16, 2020
First presented: 
SRK Insights

Some years ago, I was visiting a Client at a large operational mine where the subject of field investigation requirements to support a slope optimisation study was being discussed. The Client was deliberating over the (not inconsiderable) costs of undertaking a dedicated hydrogeological borehole drilling and testing programme to make up for the shortfall in knowledge about the local groundwater regime. Various options were explored during this meeting, including piggy-backing the hydrogeological investigation on existing or future resource holes. The Client seemed surprised at this juncture and explained that whilst the company had drilled ‘hundreds’ of exploration holes over the years, none had ever been used for purposes other than resource evaluation and all had been backfilled or had subsequently collapsed. Unfortunately, this realisation by the Client that they had unwittingly thrown away the opportunity to save large sums of money through the simple act of using their resource holes to capture other forms of information useful to the project is still encountered in the mining industry.
SRK Africa