LargeRotoSonic crawles on the Russian plains in search of valuable minerals

Share this page
LargeRotoSonic crawles on the Russian plains in search of valuable minerals

Mineral sampling in the Far East of Russia

The conditions are harsh even further towards the east than Siberia, Russia. In the region of Kolyma, where the temperature varies from +40ºC to -60ºC life is very difficult and extremely remote. Gornaya Kompanija Mayskaya samples for alluvial deposits on an enormous mining concession.

To make there mining activities profitable they require very accurate mine mapping. The Permafrost overburden geology brings major problems to conventional drilling systems. It also takes too much time to get all the data to stay ahead of their excavators. To get the best possible data they use SonicSampDrill’s biggest model the LargeRotoSonic.

In the past dissidents were banished to these outskirts of Russia, like Magadan. Magadan can be seen as a true no man’s land. So far away from everything and everybody that jail wasn’t even necessary to hold the prisoners. Today the biggest challenge for mining companies like Mayskaya is to find a skilled crew that is willing to work in this harsh environment. Also provisions and spare-parts take some time before arriving on the job site. To provide a workable situation to the drill crew, SonicSampDrill together with its partner Fraste developed a Track mounted drilling rig that is fully covered by a tent. The rig contains all necessary equipment for a 24-7 operation. 

The geology ranges from coarse to fine sand, large cobles and boulders, and all this rock solid riveted to each other due to the permafrost. The mixed permafrost is the reason why Mayskaya went full on the SonicSampDrill method of drilling, there is little known about the precise location of the placer deposits. SonicSampDrill is specialised in providing equipment for drilling and sampling resulting in the greatest accuracy and high recovery.

SonicSampDrill manufactured a custom designed drilling rig to face the difficult circumstances of Magadan. The LargeRotoSonic Arctic, nick named as the “Beast of the Far East”, consists of two segments. The first part is the drilling rig contains the engine, mud pump, MudPuppy drill mud cleaning system, drill mast and rod loading system for both drill pipe and casing. On the second crawler there is an area for handling and packing the samples. This crawler is non propelled and pulled by the drill rig. Beside sample quality and production speed we have taken a lot of care on safety and workability when designing this rig. The fully automated rod and casing handler makes it possible to have a safe environment for the driller. No winch is used in handling the drill tooling. A triple floatable foot-clamp ensures that the driller can break the screw tread on any position. the drilling rig is multifunctional and build to handle all different formations. On the first locations the drilling process is fully dry. Getting water for drilling is a problem. If they want to use fluids in the drilling process the rig contains a MudPuppy 170series to make it possible to reuse the water on a clean and efficient manner.

Sample diameter: 150mm to 200mm
Max drilling diameter: 280mm
Drilling depth: 40m max
Production: 3-5 times more than conventional sampling techniques