An Offshore Borehole Mining Experiment: Its Operational and Environmental Implications

by Barry S. Drucker, Dep of the Interior, Herndon, United States,
Bradley J. Laubach, Dep of the Interior, Herndon, United States,
Dorothy Bargeron O'Niell, Dep of the Interior, Herndon, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '91


The Continental Shelf Division of the Marine Minerals Technology Center (MMTC), conducted a miniborehole mining experiment offshore Georgia in June 1990. A remote placer drill developed by the MMTC was modified, permitting it to operate in a manner similar to that of onshore borehole mining systems. The drill was placed aboard a conventional drill barge and a two-ton phosphate bulk sample was obtained from a subsurface depth of 3.5 to 6 m at a site 5 km northeast of the Savannah Light Tower. Data collected during the operation indicate that borehole mining may be an environmentally and economically attractive technology for future extraction of the phosphate deposits offshore the southeastern United States.

Subject Headings: Boring | Minerals | Drilling | Phosphate | Economic factors | Sediment transport | Developing countries | Barges | United States | Georgia

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