MAY 2022

From the ground to the Core Shed

Fosterville Gold Mine is currently carrying out exploration diamond drilling both underground and from the surface at Robbins Hill. You may be wondering what happens after the drilling has been completed, and the answer is that the samples retrieved are delivered to FGM’s Core Shed facility.

What happens in the Core Shed?

Diamond drilling utilises a hollow drill bit impregnated by diamonds to produce a ‘stick’ of core that preserves details of the geology, ground conditions and mineralogy of the area. These sticks of core are delivered to the Core Shed where:

  • the core is transferred to specially designed racks;
  • orientated and metre-marked by field technicians;
  • geologists then log the characteristics of the rock, its quality, mineralised boundaries and take structural measurements to assist with geological interpretation;
  • trays are then split into those marked for cutting and those to be disposed of;
  • the remaining trays are photographed and transferred to the cutting facility; and
  • in the cutting shed, field technicians prepare, cut and dispatch the samples to Onsite Laboratories in Bendigo for further analysis.

Core Shed upgrade

In 2020, with increased exploration and increased personnel, FGM identified a need to upgrade this facility and planning commenced to build a new, state of the art core shed. Construction of the new core shed commenced in January 2021 and on 3 November 2021, the Core Shed team officially moved into the new facility.

The main core shed is 60m long, 31m wide and 6m high. There are 14 logging racks inside, all roughly 55m long, which can hold approximately 3.5 km of drill core at any given time. The state-of-the-art facility has been designed to reduce manual handling, whilst improving throughput of core logging and sampling from the 15 drill rigs currently in operation (10 underground, 5 surface).

The shed, now located within the main mine site, is close to the geology office buildings, which facilitates greater collaboration between the geologists planning the drill holes and the geologist logging the drill core.

The new facility was built at a cost of $4mil and is already paying its way with plenty of work to be done each day.