As 33 trapped miners waited more than 2,000-ft underground for their rescue, a whole team of Chilean government officials, mining engineers, equipment manufacturers and of course drillers came together get the job done. Jeff Hart, a driller from Denver, Colorado was one of the stars of the day. Hart was in Afghanistan drilling deep water wells when he got the call and hopped on a plane. He works for Kansas-based Layne Christensen, and along with 3 other Layne employees, he manned the Schramm T130 drill rig that was part of “Plan B” that eventually became the shaft from which the trapped miners were rescued.
On the drilling platform overseeing the drilling was James Stefanic of Layne, and crew members Matt Staffel, Doug Reeves and Jorge Herrera. The rig and I presume some of the support equipment was owned by Layne’s Latin America affiliate, Geotec Boyles Bros, SA. The drill bits were from Center Rock, Inc. of Berlin, Pennsylvania. The Center Rock CEO, Brandon Fisher, was on site throughout the operation as well.
Read on for more info, photos, video and links on the drilling, drillers and geology of the Chile Mine rescue.
The National Geodetic Data Center (NGDC) of NOAA has an online collection of photos of various geologic hazards. Many of the photos are from older sets of 35mm slides that have been digitized. They are free to use provided you credit the photographer and the NGDC as the source. The would be really useful for educators and for powerpoint presentations. The only drawback is that they are in TIF format and some of them could use some retouching. (Photo by University of Colorado, made available by NOAA/NGDC)