New rig for Meridian

Fast expanding UK and Dubai based Meridian Drilling has added a new rig to its fleet.

The Beretta T44 rig will be deployed in Ethiopia, where it will be used on the potash project Meridian is working on – Allana’s potash project.

The rig, which has adjustable tracks for restricted access and a silenced engine, has a rotation speed of 0 – 352rpm and a drilling diameter of 258mm.

During operation the 4,500kg rig stands at 6,280mm tall and 3,800mm in length.

Jeremy Moore MD of Meridian Drilling said: “Taking delivery of the Beretta T44 rig was a great start to 2013 and will boost our capacity on the Dallol Project, which we have been working on since January 2010.”

The project is located Ethiopia’s north-eastern Danakil Depression totalling approximately 312 square kilometres.

The potash mineralization in the Danakil Depression is well known with small-scale potash mining carried out intermittently from the early 1900’s.

In April 2012 Allana released an updated NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate based on the results of 45 drillholes and results of the 2D seismic survey.

It measured and indicated mineral resources totaling 1,298 M tonnes containing 251M tonnes of KCl and additional Inferred Mineral Resources of 588M tonnes containing 109M tonnes of KCl.

In addition to the strong and promising technical aspects of the project, the Ethiopian government is strongly supporting mining initiatives in the country.

Allana has had advanced discussions with the Minister of Transportation, Minister of Mines and the Minister of Defense regarding infrastructure improvements in the Danakil region which would greatly enhance the economics of the projects.

The Beretta T44 rig adds to a fleet that includes a Ingersoll Rand T4W, Gemsa MP1300H multi-purpose rig, two Atlas Copco CS14 track mounted diamond core rigs, three Coretech YDXL diamond core rigs and a small footprint Integrol Explorer MD rig.