Tiger Fluids and Downer EDI Mining have combined to break site depth and metre production records at Highlands Pacific’s Star Mountains exploration site in Papua New Guinea’s Western Highlands with customised mud programs designed specifically for the region.
Downer EDI Mining is utilising Alton HD900 and Boart Longyear LF70 drilling rigs to explore this exciting but challenging and logistically difficult prospect. The handpicked crews consist of highly skilled local drillers, offsiders and expatriate trainers, bringing together some of PNG’s finest drillers. Coupled with Tiger Fluids’ products and engineering experience, the challenges of this difficult environment were easily overcome.
The exploration sites of Olgal and Kumkom are at 2280 metres and 3050 metres respectively in very steep terrain. Before the drilling starts each step of the logistics is pre-planned to the finest detail, ensuring that helicopter time is maximised so that the materials, equipment, and rig moves are carried out safely and efficiently. Tiger Fluids muds are optimised for the most efficient performance to limit the amount of necessary trips.
The drilling program has performed very well with excellent safety standards leading to new records in both depth and production for Kumkom and Olgal.
Tiger Fluids manager Australia and Papua New Guinea Rhys Clarke brings a wide range of experience and knowledge with the changing ground conditions common to the remote areas of PNG. With Highlands Pacific able to provide physical core samples and hole lithology data, a range of mud solutions was mobilised to site in readiness for drilling to commence. This was further facilitated by stock that Tiger Fluids already had in country.
Rhys Clarke was also able to provide local delivery of the required materials by arranging all of the freight and logistic hurdles to ensure smooth operations in these remote sites. Tiger Fluids provided training to all personal to ensure a thorough knowledge of the different muds and equipment used to ensure a suitable ‘mud mix’ is maintained.
Tiger Fluids were managing the mud system and mud programs both onsite and remotely due to the logistical challenges of accessing the drill sites regularly.
Information is being relayed real-time so drilling fluid assessments could be made and adjustments recommended immediately to suit the changing drilling conditions.
Together, the three parties have worked well together to improve drilling rates, with hole depths that are a testament to everyone’s success.