Supporting Exploration Around the World
World Mining Magazine Feature
Innovative People Designing and Manufacturing Technical Drilling Equipment
A Geoprobe® rig collects subsurface information in the Canadian Rockies for an international mining company.
Geoprobe® was recently featured in World Mining Magazine. Click here to see the full article or read it below.
We are a Team of skilled designers and craftsmen sharing the simple goal of producing the best possible subsurface drilling equipment and tooling in the world. We use our strong engineering roots and stay focused on designing and testing new and innovative products for our customers. Our products are known for extracting high-quality soil, groundwater, and rock samples in a safe and efficient manner using direct push, rotary drilling, and sonic methods. We strive to be known as leaders, and desire to work with the best technical drilling service providers to deliver reliable products along with knowledgeable product service and superior training and support.
We are equipment and tooling designers and manufacturers, and we distribute products under the Geoprobe® brand all over the world. We equip the Environmental, Geotechnical, and Mineral Exploration industries with innovative ways to work safer and more efficiently, with a focus on collecting the highest-quality subsurface information with the most accurate results.
Our customers describe our equipment as “Versatile, Innovative, Easy-to-use, and Supported like no other drilling equipment” they own.
Geoprobe® machines range in size from small, Limited Access Machines that can fit into extremely tight spaces, to large platform/big performance Rotary Sonic Rigs. We were the developers of Direct Push equipment; machines that ‘push’ tools and samplers into the ground without the use of drilling to remove soil to make a path for the tool. And our Combo Rigs were designed to perform all types of sampling; from soil, to groundwater, to rock, completing the work that two machines have been required for in the past. All Geoprobe® equipment is easy to mobilize including our 8150LS, full-sized rotary sonic rig that fits inside a 15-meter cube shipping container. Our rotary sonic rigs have the power to compete with larger rigs, but their size and weight allow for access to remote or confined sites. They are also fuel efficient. Low maintenance. Low investment. Low mobilization and operating costs.
Compared to other types of drill rigs, our equipment is light-weight with a small footprint and has minimal impact on the surroundings and environment.
Geoprobe® machines are mounted on tracks or on heavy-duty trucks.
The Geoprobe® brand is sold all over the world to Technical Drillers in the Environmental, Geotechnical, and Mineral Exploration industries. As the manufacturer of this equipment, our people create and develop innovative ways to work safer and more efficiently, with a focus on collecting the highest-quality information with the most accurate results.
Great machines require great tooling. Geoprobe® brand tooling is designed to be used with Geoprobe® machines to get the optimal use and performance from the machines. Our tooling options span from small to large diameter casing, rods, samplers, bits and accessory parts completing the size spectrum needed for use with our machines. Geoprobe®customers refer to our tooling lines as “Dependable, Versatile, and Efficient.” Our engineers are constantly working to innovate improvements in soil, groundwater and rock sampling systems. Over the years we have never stopped designing, redesigning, prototyping, testing, and proving new and improved sampling processes.
A Geoprobe® Rotary Sonic rig and field team work at a remote mine rock dump site in the northern United States. One of the borings went to 55 meters within the Troutdale Formation, an alluvial sand and gravel deposit, characterized by cemented gravels, cobbles and ‘Volkswagon’ sized boulders. The field team attributes the success of the project to the power of the Geoprobe® Sonic Head. Even with soft ground conditions, rain showers, and other environmental concerns, the tracked rig allowed the field team to access the site and perform their work.
As with our machines, most Geoprobe® tooling is designed and manufactured in-house. Few of our tooling manufacturing processes are outsourced. It’s the only way we can assure the delivery of high-quality products with the consistency of performance our customers expect from our brand.
Our goal has been to produce superior products that improve existing technology, and to develop new technology that increases efficiency and improve results in the field. That continues to be our goal today.
Brand Continues to Grow
As Geoprobe® customers expand services to their clients, their work easily crosses industry boundaries, from environmental to geotechnical to mineral exploration. Geoprobe® customers are confident they have the equipment that can gather a lot of quality data without spending a lot of money to do it. We refer to this as High Value Holes.
From mineral exploration to mine development, from environmental monitoring to restoration and reclamation, Geoprobe Systems® has overburden and hard rock sampling equipment that’s compact, reliable and strong.
Geoprobe® equipment is extremely well suited in the areas of:
- Preliminary site assessment
- Drilling in mine tailings
- Mine site drilling (geotechnical and environmental)
- Rock coring
- Shallow exploration screening and sampling
- Sampling overburden materials
- Installing monitoring wells in tailings piles/ponds
- Heap leach sampling
- Mine expansion investigations
Working in New Zealand, this Geoprobe® Rotary Sonic was used with sonic dual tube tooling to retrieve samples of mostly cobble-sized Greywacke on the west coast of the south island. The filled liners contained vesicular Basalt rock. Because the control panel on the Geoprobe® Sonic Rig is adjustable, it can be located at a comfortable distance from the working hole to keep the rig operator safe and away from spinning tooling.
The Right Machine
As mentioned, Geoprobe® offers three types of machines for the mineral exploration industry:
- High-performance Rotary Sonic Rigs
- Direct Push Machines
- Limited Access Machines
Rotary Sonic Rigs.
The Geoprobe® Rotary Sonic offering has surprising power in a compact package that customers are utilizing in very difficult-to-access locations. All aspects of the Sonic Rigs focus on safety, efficiency and accuracy in order to help make the job successful. Rig operators also benefit from two main safety features of the Sonic Rigs. One is the adjustable, easy-to-use control system which features an operator presence bar and emergency stop for operator safety. Multiple emergency stops are located around the rig and on the wireless and tethered remote systems. The control panel also features an integrated systems display that provides real-time systems analysis and a suite of built-in diagnostic tools. The swing-arm controls swings freely from the rig and lets the operator be in the position needed to help align a rod or to be at a safe, comfortable distance away from a spinning drill string.
Another key safety feature is a rod-handling system and indexing rack that also increases productivity while decreasing operator fatigue. The operator can safely manage large diameter 1.5 m and 3 m diameter rods and casings, minimizing heavy lifting and manual effort.
Three 8x10 (left) and 6x8 sonic core samples were retrieved from a site in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States using a Geoprobe® Rotary Sonic rig. Geoprobe® Tooling designed for Rotary Sonic rigs pull samples using both conventional 8x10, 6x8 and 4x6 sampling or by using Geoprobe® exclusive sonic dual tube systems.
The power for our Sonic Rigs comes from a ten-year researched and tested Sonic Head program before introducing them to the market. The Geoprobe® designed and manufactured patented Sonic Heads are capable of running 3 m tooling. The 50K dynamic force has the power to advance 114 mm to 254 mm diameter tooling. And the two-speed oscillation has the torque needed to maintain rotation in tight formations. The Sonic Head features a centerline side-shift function which moves the head side-to-side so you can work the inside diameter of the rod without moving the foot or without re-positioning the machine. This allows the operator to easily and safely access the dual pivoting winch mast system.
We continue to design and manufacture our own Sonic product line which offers 8 x 10, 6 x 8, and 4 x 6 sampling and our exclusive dual tube sonic sampling and weighted wireline tools. Geoprobe® is the only manufacturing company that offers different sampling methods … in collection bags or liners … in the industry. With our sonic liner collection system, you can view the accurate depths from which a sample is pulled.
Geotechnical information and confirmatory samples for a new gold mining site were gathered in Canada using a Geoprobe® Direct Push machine. The mining company was constructing an open pit mine and building a berm surrounding the entire mine. Geotechnical information was collected using standard penetration tests in the overburden by casing the hole with hollow stem augers and using split spoon samplers until they hit bedrock. They continued into the rock, through some pieces as large as a full-sized truck, to confirm the consistency of the bedrock. They completed the borehole by installing a monitoring well to monitor any leaching that may have occurred over time. The project was completed in record time while other previous attempts failed using much different and larger machines.
We invest in state-of-the-art manufacturing processes to produce the widest array of sonic bits and sampling systems available for the sonic market, from conventional telescoping soil coring to dual tubing and face flush bits for rock coring. Our sonic tooling is engineered for ease of makeup and breakout with no galling or deforming in the thread area.
A Geprobe® Rotary Sonic rig was used to take 114 mm diameter granite cores in 1.8 meter and 3.7 meter lengths for 13.7 meters into the subsurface. Geoprobe Systems® manufactures many sizes of sonic coring bits, casing bits, dual tube bits (exclusive to Geoprobe Systems®), and special purpose bits. Our coring bits, most commonly used in ‘core and case’ applications, feature different carbide button configurations, water channels for flushing cuttings, and provisions for the use of core catchers to help retain sampled material in the sampler.
Our sonic owners know with their rig purchase comes comprehensive training for rig operation and maintenance, and one-on-one, individual training for the use of tooling and the rig. We also provide the best sonic service support in the drilling industry. When our customers call with a need, we respond.
We Were the First.
Geoprobe Systems® introduced the first Direct Push machines to the Environmental Industry and changed the way soil, groundwater, and soil gas samples were collected. Ever since those first Direct Push machines went to the field, our company has invested heavily in engineering to continue the development of new designs and innovative techniques for safer, faster, and easier collection of high-quality subsurface samples.
Geoprobe® Direct Push machines rely on the static (vehicle) weight of the machine combined with a percussion hammer mounted on a drill mast as the energy for advancing a tool string. Although many Direct Push machines are equipped with augerheads for rotary drilling, Direct Push tools do not remove cuttings from the probe hole during the sampling process. Instead the machines depend on the compression of soil or rearrangement of soil particles to permit advancement of the tool string. Soil samples are collected in liners and can be viewed from the depth they were extracted for the precise location and identification of subsurface materials. This is especially useful when identifying the location of metals in tailings piles or tailings ponds. The lighter weight of the tracked Direct Push machines also allows them to drive on extremely wet tailings piles.
One of the Geoprobe® Limited Access machines is heli-portable and can be easily disassembled in three pieces … the drill mast, the tracks, and the power unit … and re-assembled in about 15 minutes. Here, the track section is flown in to a mountainside and lowered to the site. The machine was then used to advance 4.25 in. hollow stem augers to install 2.0 in. groundwater monitoring wells. The rig is well-suited for continuous soil sampling, groundwater sampling, and monitoring well installation at remote drilling sites, including this one in Alaska.
Our Direct Push machines are the most popular in the environmental industry, and continue to grow in popularity in the exploration industry. They are loaded with features and capabilities that enhance subsurface sampling … from direct push to hollow stem augering, from air and mud rotary to concrete and rock coring. Our customers find these machines flexible to perform multiple tasks in a single mobilization which allows them to reduce their client’s time and expenses.
A Geoprobe®customer in South America recently commented that he is no longer using a rotary drill for overburden sampling because the water required for rotary drilling was flushing minerals from his sample. He now uses a Geoprobe® Direct Push machine to collect samples, which does not require water during the sampling process, so he can be assured of the validity of the sample. He has also eliminated bringing up contaminated materials and no longer uses an auger for the process.
These machines are also ideal for monitoring well installation in tailings, and can eliminate the need for using conventional augers for well installation. The light weight of Direct Push machines plus using Geoprobe® tooling is ideal for monitoring well installation especially for determining levels of arsenic or other metals in tailings that may be threatening water sources for nearby communities. Prepacked monitoring wells can be installed without bringing contaminated cuttings to the surface, thereby eliminating the need and cost for proper waste disposal.
Limited Access Machines.
These machines go where others can’t. They were designed for customers who must focus on size for sampling in remote locations, where roads or travel is limited, or for tight, hard-to-access areas that place limits on the height, weight, and overall size of a machine. But power and performance are still key. Geoprobe® machines in this category are light-weight. They can be, for example, mounted on two wheels and powered from an independent power source, they can be a tracked model to squeeze through heavy forests or easily loaded on to airplanes or small shipping containers, or they are heli-portable and can be disassembled into three sections for easy and quick assembly on the ground.
A highly portable and easy to mobilize Limited Access Geoprobe® machine works at a potential mining site in Greenland. The machine was used to complete field investigations and geotechnical surveys. The area had limited access and no roads, and equipment was mobilized to the site using a helicopter with a sling capacity of 1,200 kg. This machine, which operates from an independent power source, weighs only 595 kg (including the power unit) and could be lowered with supplies to the survey areas. Based on previous work with this machine, the field team knew they could retrieve intact soil samples even in unfrozen friction soil, resulting in higher-quality samples compared to similar core drilling equipment.
The Limited Access machines push smaller diameter tooling packages, but are equipped with a powerful Geoprobe® percussion hammer for shallow sampling. They are cost-effective to purchase and operate, but can still get the job done, especially in less-than-ideal environments.
Our company goals include producing the best drilling equipment and tooling for the drilling industry. We continue to work towards that goal by developing and manufacturing innovative, high-quality machines and tooling that are safe to operate, and productive and efficient in the field. If our brand is new to you, we encourage you to go to our website … geoprobe.com … and check out who we are. We have distributors in the United States and all over the world who would be glad to talk to you about how Geoprobe® can help you be successful. Or call us, 1-785-825-1842.