ATI Panamaricana S.A. completes a major project at the Argos Mine in Colon, Panama
Alex Pommier
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ATI Panamaricana S.A. completes a major project at the Argos Mine in Colon, Panama

The ATI Companies, through its international affiliate ATI Panamaricana S.A., completed a major drilling, coring, sampling and geophysical project at the Argos Mine in Colon, Panama. The crew drilled a 312 feet (95m) HQ coring hole and installed a 289 ft (88m) deep 2-inch diameter piezometer so water levels could be monitored at depth. The holes were continuously cored to collect rock samples with an HQ double-core barrel and HW casing. Once the rock core drilling reached its final depth, the piezometer was installed and developed. An ACKER XSL track mounted rig was utilized for the project. ATI Companies also performed a geophysical investigation. Readings of electrical resistivity using the Schlumberger 4-pin method with maximum spread lengths of up to 2,625 ft (800 m) were performed in ten locations. In addition to the 4-pin testing, several electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) transects were performed. The ERT data was collected with an AGI 112-channel system using a 20 ft (6 m) spacing between individual electrodes. This information was used to both characterize the site geology and to help determine the required depth for the piezometer. Potential impacts to the groundwater aquifer is an important issue in Panama as there is a concern that the quarry operations could adversely affect nearby Lake Gatun and the associated availability of sufficient water for the continued operation of the recently-expanded Panama Canal. ATI Companies performed this work for the engineering firm Hydrogeocol and ARGOS, the owner of the mine. -

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