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5/29/2017 by mdc
http://insite.boartlongyear.com/insite/sonic-sampling-and-well-installation-h...
Boart Longyear Drilling Services reports that as the value of minerals continues to rise in the marketplace, mining companies are revisiting their heap leach pads. A heap leach pad can contain a wealth of minerals that are waiting to be discovered. Boart Longyear Drilling Services was contracted to implement their sonic program to sample and install wells into targeted heap leach pads.

Heap leach pads are large piles of rock waste from a mine operation that receive further processing through a leaching solution to remove the mineral ore from the rock. The leaching solution is applied via an irrigation or sprinkler system to the top of the heap leach pad. The solution penetrates the heap leach pad and separates the mineral ore from the rocks. At the bottom of the heap leach pad is an impermeable liner that is angled to allow the solution to be collected in a reservoir and then be sent for further processing.

Using one of their sonic rigs, the LS600, Boart Longyear can collect highly representative samples and achieve excellent sample recovery. Leach pads are made up mostly of unconsolidated material and the LS600 has proven effective in these conditions by producing 100 percent accurate in-situ core samples. The rig is also used to install wells in the heap leach pad.

Boart Longyear was contracted to sample and install solution wells for the largest gold heap-leach pad in the USA, located in Northwest Nevada. The heap leach pad is over 400 feet tall. To achieve that height the mine operation built up the heap leach pad via 50 foot lifts.

When constructing each level, the haulers unavoidably crush and compress the previous top layer of the pad while adding material to the top of the pile. This creates a dense layer that causes a dam effect and does not allow the leaching solution to penetrate through the heap-leach pad properly.

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