Fission Uranium’s Patterson Lake South Project (PLS) is the most exciting uranium discovery in recent years in Canada’s Athabasca Basin, which is host to the richest producing uranium mines in the world. The PLS project hosts the spectacular Triple R high-grade uranium deposit, which is located at a shallow depth. The project presents certain drilling challenges as the deposit is overlain by 50 m of gravel and boulder-rich overburden. In addition, much of the deposit is located beneath Patterson Lake. Historically, drilling in the Western Athabasca region has been challenging with many drill holes failing to reach target depths. In particular, the success ratio of angled drill holes has been low.
“We required a drilling solution, which would increase the ratio of diamond drill holes successfully reaching target depths. Because of the orientation of the project geology, angled drill holes were needed. Furthermore, the company required a solution, which would prevent diamond drill cuttings and/or muds from entering the waters of Patterson Lake.
In answer to these challenges, Northspan designed and constructed the Attacus dual-rotary drill. Equipped with the latest in water hammer technology and casing advancer systems, the Attacus drill successfully pre-collars holes by inserting casing through the overburden beneath Patterson Lake.
This allows diamond drilling to proceed rapidly with over 95% of drill holes reaching target depths. In 2013-14 more than 200 vertical and angled holes were completed, helping our technical and management teams advance the project at a pace rarely thought possible in the Athabasca Basin. The pre-collaring carried out with the Attacus drill complements the diamond drillers of Bryson Drilling Ltd. as they drill this spectacular deposit without drill cuttings or muds reaching the waters of Patterson Lake.
It is a pleasure to work with Northspan. They are an innovative company that continually improves its drilling methods and equipment with a focus on environmental stewardship and efficiency.”
Raymond M. Ashley