Equipment company Bauer Maschinen and its local joint venture partner, Nuna Logistics, have completed the first 228m cutter bulk sample on the FalCon project in Canada.
It was said to be the first time the depth has been achieved by a trench cutter in any commercial application worldwide. A Bauer BC 50 cutter on a Bauer MC 128 duty-cycle crane was used to a maximum depth of 250m for the bulk sampling.
Gary Hodgkinson, FalCon project director, said, “This is a significant milestone in using proven technology for a very different application. For us it means that we will be able to make important exploration decisions on what has been one of the most challenging diamond evaluation projects in the industry.”
The FalCon project is being run by mining company Rio Tinto Exploration Canada and natural resources firm Star Diamond Corporation. It aims to prove the commercial viability of the Fort a la Corne kimberlite fields in Saskatchewan, Canada.
Kimberlite is an igneous rock that sometimes contains diamonds. According to Bauer, Rio Tinto decided to use the Bauer trench cutter as it could obtain a large-volume, high quality sample.
The sample, which was put through a multi-stepped evaluation by experts at Rio Tinto, will be part of the final evaluation of the project in regard to diamond content and recovered diamond quality.
Bauer Maschinen will execute several more bulk samples throughout 2019.