|Floorhands Olakunle Akingbehin (originally of Nigeria), left works alongside Carlito Antonio who comes from the Philippines. They were on this drilling rig south east of Provost making a connection while driller Cliff Brazier of Swift Current, Sask. (not shown) had his hands on the controls as they were at a depth of 378 metres on October 25. This Ensign rig number 521 had been recently drilling for potash in the Saskatoon area and this is the first known drilling for the product in Alberta. Darrell Tupechka, wellsite operations supervisor for The Barlon Engineering Group (Calgary) says they began working on the test hole on Saturday, October 22 and adds that “quite a few people are excited about this” as the search for potash gets underway in the province. The work crews were heading for a depth of over 1,300 metres where they expect to find potash 380 million years old. Story in this week's paper. ©Provost News Photo.
Search for Alberta Potash Underway Here
A drilling rig made history in Alberta 28 kms south east of Provost on October 22 when it began work to recover what investors are hoping will be signs of enough quality potash to spawn a new industry.
The plan is for the Ensign drilling rig number 521, with slightly modified equipment to drill down over 1,300 metres (4,265 feet) to the Prairie Evaporite geological zone and bring up cores of solid rock for chemical analysis to see what sort of potash evidence there is.
Millions of dollars are being spent on the test project here before more testing is to take place elsewhere inside the Alberta-Saskatchewan border.
Potash is an essential ingredient of fertilizer which is becoming in higher demand as populations around the world grow.
If enough potash is found to be recoverable then the best of three eastern Alberta sites will be returned to—likely next year for commercial development according to one of the developers who recently spoke to The Provost News.
The second test drill site will be approximately 90 miles north of Provost while the other has been picked approximately 190 miles south.
Drillers, geologists and others have been working on the first test site and immediately after all cores required are pulled up, the rig will be moved six miles north for another test hole.
Two companies with interests in this area are Vancouver’s Pacific Potash Corporation who drilled the first well at its Provost 11-29-37-1W4M site, located immediately west of the Alberta-Saskatchewan border (just east and north of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church site; the building was moved to town in February, 2006).
The second firm is Grizzly Discoveries Inc. headed by Brian (Grizz) Testo who is in a joint effort with Pacific Potash Corp.
CEO of Pacific Potash Corporation, Steven Khan says “We are excited to be taking this major step forward in our quest to be the first company to uncover an economic potash resource within the boundaries of Alberta.”
The first location targets a “strong gamma ray response” at a depth of approximately 1,340 metres, within the top of the Prairie Evaporite formation adjacent to the historical Sage et al. at 11-20-37-1W4 well (Northern Development Company Ltd., 1952).
Rest of story in November 2 edition of The Provost News.
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