My exploits in Mineral Exploration – Working with Andrew Thompson, Greg Douglas, Sven Dean for Sonic Soil Sampling

One of my earlier careers that directed me straight to more “office” like work was working for Sonic Soil Sampling.  Working for the archibald family.  This was a very physically taxing job.  There were two elements to the Job, one was the environmental aspect of it, testing for groundwater contamination in hard to reach locations for example Basements and low ceiling height areas / inaccessible parts of buildings  and the other was the highly portable equipment could be used in hard to access areas like Northern Quebec, you could be flown in or take ATVs or snowmobiles into hard to access areas.

Patrick Egan carrying a motor for the Hydraulic Jack that we used for extracting the BQ rods.

Patrick Egan carrying a motor for the Hydraulic Jack that we used for extracting the BQ rods.

One of these places was Dolbeau-Mistassini in Northern Quebec.  This was a remote area of Quebec that was literally a mining / lumber town.  There was an absolute absence of women.  And the ones that were there, were highly sought after, they had their pick of the crop so to speak. 

Our base camp for Titanium Mineral Exploration in Northern Quebec.

Our base camp for Titanium Mineral Exploration in Northern Quebec.

We were there for 4 months over the winter, so the key thing to know about this is the lack of light.  We would have to be up @ crack of dawn to drive then ski-doo or ATV to our site, which was glacial riverbed , where we were looking for Titanium in alluvial soils.  We would spend the day hard at work in minus 25-35 degree temps and drill 70′ holes with our Pionjar drilling systems.

Pionjar

Helicopter dropping equipment for mineral exploration.

After a hard day we would go back to “town” a meager motel where all they had was French tv, not a single english channel, would proceed to get dressed up like we were heading out to a night club.  We would have a gargantuan dinner to make up for the lost calories during the day, then drive to the local bar / club / hangout, where the rest of the all male population was competing for the attention of the 3 women within 300 miles.

I tried to be clever and purchased a pocket french dictionary, which I would carry with me wherever I went and be the “translator” for our little crew.

A short but intense period of northern adventure that I will never forget.

Andrew Thomspon with a Pionjar, portable drilling rig.

Andrew Thomspon with a Pionjar, portable drilling rig.

 

 

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