Drilling of First Bulk Sample Hole at Star-Orion South Diamond Project Commences

(Last Updated On: October 7, 2018)

SASKATOON, Oct. 5, 2018 /CNW/ – George H. Read, P. Geo., Senior Vice President Exploration and Development of Star Diamond Corporation (“Star Diamond” or the “Corporation”) is pleased to announce that Rio Tinto Exploration Canada (“RTEC”) have commenced the drilling of the first bulk sample hole on the Star Kimberlite using the Trench Cutter Sampling Rig, which consists of a Bauer BC 50 Cutter mounted on a Bauer MC 128 Duty-cycle Crane.

The Trench Cutter Sampling Rig is designed to sample large volumes of kimberlite to depths of up to 250 metres below surface. The Star Kimberlite is located within the Corporation’s Star – Orion South Diamond Project, in the Fort à la Corne diamond district of central Saskatchewan, Canada, on mineral dispositions held 100 percent by Star Diamond. RTEC refers to Star Diamond’s mineral dispositions in the Fort à la Corne diamond district as Project FalCon.

Bauer MC 128 and the BC 50 Trench Cutter

Bauer Maschinen GmbH (“Bauer”) and Nuna Logistics Limited (“Nuna”) have a contractual arrangement with RTEC for the manufacture, supply and operation of equipment to be used for the bulk sample program.

The Trench Cutter Sampling Rig excavates a rectangular hole of 3.2 by 1.5 metres and each ten metres of advance down hole, within the kimberlite, will yield some 100 tonnes of sample. The Trench Cutter Sampling Rig’s cutter head is designed to excavate kimberlite fragments up to 80 millimetres in diameter, which are pumped to surface, directly to a desanding and bagging plant where the -80 +0.85 millimetre size fraction will be washed and bagged in preparation for processing plant feed for diamond recovery.

The Trench Cutter Sampling Rig and associated desanding and bagging circuit have been designed by RTEC to minimize diamond breakage during sample excavation, washing and bagging. The desanding plant will remove fine kimberlite particles and bentonite slurry from the material pumped to surface. Well washed kimberlite material will help ensure optimal performance of RTEC’s proposed on-site bulk sample processing plant.

Final diamond recovery is to be conducted by RTEC at a secure off-site facility.

The commencement of the Trench Cutter Sampling Rig bulk sample program is an important milestone in the evaluation of the Star Kimberlite. The successful use of this new Trench Cutter Sampling Rig technology by RTEC for the recovery of kimberlite bulk samples, has the ability to revolutionize future bulk sampling and mining of kimberlites, particularly those covered by substantial depths of overburden. RTEC is optimistic that this new and innovative bulk sampling method will be successful on the Corporation’s Star – Orion South Diamond Project.Senior Vice President Exploration and Development, George Read

View the complete Star Diamond Corporation press release here



The FalCon Project is located 65 km East of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. The area, known as Fort a la Corne, hosts one of the most extensive kimberlite fields in the world. – Nuna Group of Companies – FALCON (Satr-Orion South)

In partnership with Bauer Maschinen GmbH, Nuna has introduced to the mining industry the first cutter in the world capable of cutting to a depth of 250 metres in a commercial application.

The Cutter Rig comprises a Bauer BC 50 vertical cutter mounted on a MC 128 duty-cycle crane. Under contract to Rio Tinto Exploration Canada Inc., Nuna Bauer Joint Venture commenced vertical cutting services for a 3-phase kimberlite bulk sampling program comprising up to 30 holes (trenches) measuring each 3.2 m x 1.5 m with a maximum depth of 250 m.

The project will be managed by Nuna; and with the exception of the Cutter Rig, all equipment will be operated by Nuna. 

Prior to mobilizing into the FalCon site for the kimberlite bulk sample program, significant upgrades were required to the 30 km site access road which included the installation of a bailey bridge.

Nuna mobilized water trucks, haul trucks, excavator, dozer, loader, grader, tractor with wobblies, smooth drum packer, fuel truck, mechanic’s truck, pickups, and crew for the road upgrade scope.

Work was carried out over a one-month period and comprised the installation of 250 linear metres of Neo-web reinforcement material, 3,075 linear metres of Combi-grid, and haul and placement of 2,430 m3 sand and 8,373 m3 gravel for road topping.

Road grading, contouring and compacting completed the road activity.Nuna Group of Companies – FALCON (Star-Orion South) https://nunalogistics.com/project/falcon-star-orion-south/

Computer simulation of how the 
Bauer MC 128 and the BC 50 Trench Cutter work
A Bauer MC 128 pulls the BC 50 Trench Cutter out of a 7.4′ x 10.5′ x 200-foot deep excavation at Center Hill Dam in Tennessee.

Editor’s Note: Nuna Logistics has removed their job posting on their website for Multi Operators, however you can still submit a resume through their general application process at this link;


Post Author: Joanne Francis

Joanne Francis is the Editor and Journalist for Nipawin News