EXPLORATION in WA has been hampered by access difficulties. In brownfields areas, issues often include the positioning of flooded open pits, waste dumps, tailings dams or even roads preventing access. In greenfields areas, awareness of environmental impacts in previously undisturbed or sensitive areas has seen a substantial reduction in the amount of clearing allowed for access.

WA-based diamond drilling company West Core Drilling – the quality coring company, is assisting exploration and mining companies to overcome these obstacles by providing access solutions.

Its modified LF90 core drilling rigs allow them to drill at much shallower angles than most conventional surface coring rigs (-30 degrees compared to the standard of -50 degrees).  This has allowed clients to test otherwise inaccessible areas, such as immediately below a flooded pit (as shown below); under waste dumps and into steep hillsides.

West Core Drilling is able to achieve this without the reduction in production which can be experienced if utilising an underground rig on the surface, which was previously the only drilling alternative.

West Core’s use of highly manoeuvrable, small footprint, track-mounted rigs facilitates compliance with the access constraints that minimise site disturbance. Those rigs have dimensions of less than half the size of conventional truck-mounted rigs. In WA, standard drill pads are 20m by 30m in size; in contrast, West Core has just completed a program where the maximum mandated pad size was 10m by 10m. Again, this was achieved safely with no reduction in production.

West Core Drilling is a full service diamond drilling contractor, with a focus on top-quality product and best possible recovery; excellent presentation, personalised service and safety in operations.  Its management is “hands-on” and available to clients and crews 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Throughout the challenging times of the past two years, West Core’s philosophy has been to reduce costs, not quality.  It has been able to maintain a core of very experienced drillers, allowing them to offer the best quality service for all surface diamond drilling requirements from deep directional drilling, through remote-area exploration to wide diameter coring in iron ore.

For more information on its services, visit their website www.westcore.com.au