Oil drill joins miners rescue in Chile

13:26, September 17, 2010      

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Chilean Mining Minister Laurence Golborne said on Thursday that the oil drill, also called Plan C, has begun working to rescue the 33 miners trapped in a cooper mine in the north of Chile since Aug. 5.

A computer screen shows one of the miners trapped underground in a copper and gold mine, inside the mine at Copiapo, some 725 km (450 miles) north of Santiago August 26, 2010. Thirty-three miners trapped for 21 days in a Chilean mine may get videos of Maradona and other soccer greats to beat boredom as they face several months deep underground until they are dug out. Picture taken August 26, 2010.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

The drill RIG-421 joined the work already started by other two drills, which are aimed at making a well from the surface to the mine's shelter, where the miners are, some 700 meters underground in San Jose mine.

Golborne told reporters that "this machine has a very good performance depending on the kind of rock, we do not know exactly which will be its performance in this kid of rocks. We expect it to drill between 20 to 30 meters per day, a reasonable expectation."

"This machine drills very deep wells, it is its specialty, so we think it will work fine. This machine directly drills in the final diameter, it begins drilling in 36 inches the first 30 meters and then continues drilling in 28.5 inches till it reaches its goal" he added.

Meanwhile, the machine Strata 950, also called Plan A, stopped working once it reached 320 meters deep, while the drill T-130, also called Plan B will reach the 500 meters soon, so it is expected it will finish its goal this weekend.

Golborne said that the Plan A and B, once they reach their goal, will have to make a second drilling, however the Plan C will make one.

Source: Xinhua


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