Work at Star Mountains site, PNG. Image courtesy Tiger Fluids.

Work at Star Mountains site, PNG. Image courtesy Tiger Fluids.

CUSTOMISED mud programs designed by Tiger Fluids have helped Downer EDI Mining break site depth and metre production records at the Highlands Pacific Star Mountains exploration site, Tiger says.

The drilling fluids company’s manager in Australian and Papua New Guinea, Rhys Clarke, said the Star Mountains exploration sites of Olgal and Kumkom were being drilled using an Alton HD900 and a Boart Longyear LF70 drilling rig.

“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,” he said in a statement.

“With Highlands Pacific being 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,” he said.

“This was further facilitated by stock that Tiger Fluids already had in country.”

Mr Clarke said he was able to provide local delivery of the required materials by arranging all of the freight and logistic hurdles to ensure smooth operations.

The company also provided training to all personnel to ensure a thorough knowledge of the different muds and equipment used to ensure the right “mud mix” was maintained.

Tiger carried out management of the mud system and mud programs both onsite and remotely due to the logistical challenges of accessing the drill sites regularly.

For remote management, information was relayed in real-time so drilling fluid assessments could be made and adjustments recommended immediately to suit the changing drilling conditions, Tiger said.

“Together, the three parties (Highlands / Downer / Tiger) have worked well together to improve drilling rates, with hole depths that are a testament to everyone’s success,” the company added.

Phase one of the drilling program had been completed and phase two was set to commence later in 2016, the company said.

Crews being used to drill Olgal and Kumkom, located in very steep terrain at elevations of 7,500 feet and 10,000 feet respectively, consisted of skilled local drillers, their offsiders and expatriate trainers.

Mr Clarke said the Tiger Fluids muds were optimised for efficient performance to limit the number of unnecessary trips.

“The drilling program to date performed very well with excellent safety standards leading to new records in both depth and production for Kumkom and Olgal,” the company said.