Meridian Drilling seeks fresh challenges following Ethiopia project
First publishedon www.AggBusiness.com
Meridian Drilling at work on the Allana Potash project, Ethiopia
UK and Dubai headquartered Meridian Drilling is looking forward to fresh challenges after concluding its four-year involvement with the Allana Potash project in Ethiopia.
The project saw Meridian Drilling complete 25,000m of drilling, operating two Atlas Copco CS14 wireline drilling rigs for 24-hours-a-day in the harsh and remote Danakil Depression.
The contract was initially for just 3,000m of diamond drilling, and Meridian’s managing director Jeremy Moore explained he was initially advised not to take it.
“When we first took the contract, everyone thought we were taking a considerable risk. The problems were obvious: the heat, the remoteness of the location and huge logistical challenges, but I had a hunch that the project could be extended, and the management and drilling experience that we could gain, would be invaluable.”
Those physical challenges included the fact there were no roads or infrastructure within miles of the proposed drill site, with daytime temperatures often exceeding 50°C. Meanwhile salt, whipped up by strong winds, kept Meridian’s maintenance team busy by causing regular damage to mechanical equipment.
Core sample results were positive, giving an estimated 60 million tonnes of recoverable ore within Alana Potash’s mining concession.