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Project Description:

Cameco, world leading supplier of uranium for use as fuel for nuclear power stations, and their contractor, Cubex Ltd, had to look for new innovative technology in order to mine the uranium ore deposit at McArthur  River. In order to mine the deposit located at depths between 530 and 640 meter it was necessary to control groundwater inflow by freezing the ground to -40ºC. The biggest challenge was drilling the 105 mm holes for the freeze pipes. Air hammer drilling was impossible due to the water inflow. Wassara W100 Drilling System was the solution


Result:

75 freeze holes were successfully drilled to a depth of 120 meter each. The average rate of penetration was 10 times faster compared to conventional drilling technology.
 

Equipment:

Hammer

Wassara W100

 

Bit

Tubex XL 115

 

Pump

Cubex high pressure pump module, 2600 psi

 

Drilling fluid

Clean water

 

Drill pipe

Wassara Ø 89 mm and 142,9 mm casing

 

Rig

Cubex Megamatic 6200W

 

Formation

Mixture of uranium ore, sands, clays and fractures with high pressure water, up to 1500 psi.