Precious Metals in Minnesota’s Arrowhead Region

2006 Dec 15

More than 700 metres below the surface, deep in the middle of Minnesota’s Arrowhead region, IDEA Drilling is taking core samples for what will one day be a mine
producing precious metals. An innovative technique and the power of its drill rig allows the company to survey huge areas of the mineralized zone via a single hole.




Ernest Lehmann, Chairman of Franconia Minerals Corporation of Minnesota, USA knew that there were significant metal resources in Northern Minnesota. After more than 20 years of exploration, Franconia is closer than ever to developing a new mine.

Since 1985, the venture and its predecessors have drilled 37 holes which, using wedged offsets, have added up to 91 intercepts. In the late nineties, the venture began working with IDEA to carry out their exploration drilling programme.

Exploration drilling is about more than getting the permits, telling the contractor where to drill and letting him go to work. This has been a real partnership between the venture and IDEA. Exploring for minerals is the goal, but because they have to reinvent ways to get to the mineral, IDEA is always investigating new ways to drill.

Wedge drilling is a perfect example of that. In 2000 they moved to maximize drilling efforts by employing the wedge technique. Dick Backstrom, owner of IDEA, says: ?This was a proven drilling method, but we knew of no-one doing it with PQ size pipe.?

?Wedge drilling maximizes confidence in the mineralized zone, and at these depths gives us a way of obtaining, economically, larger amounts of sample for metallurgical testing,? adds Lehmann.

Epiroc operated under the trademark “Atlas Copco” prior to January 1, 2018.