Young July Drilling Program, 2018 : Washing the Core……

Gawd I love my job!

So most of my work for this program is in an administration capacity. But from time to time, I annoy the boys enough that they allow me near the geology and I can get my hands dirty! And in this case, my whole self dirty!

Today I learnt to wash the core! The core comes to us straight from the drillers covered in a special substance that can only be described as gooey mud. It’s kind of like a sticky, oily substance – some drillers even use a canola based lubricant – so picture oily, slippery, viscousy slime and then add dirt to it. It has a very distinct smell – a mix of dog vomit, really sweet cow shit and slops. As the core comes out of the drill, it’s covered in this slime to help it come out of the drill barrel. It makes sense from a physics point of view, but it messes with the geology!


So to view what the core really looks like, all this sludge has to be washed away! Apparently no one likes this job as it is slow and tedious. Enter the very keen, mature aged geology student with experience in prepping Megafauna bones and teeth using a paint brush and tooth pick! I was in my absolutest happy place!


So I set myself up with a plastic drinkie cup of dirty water (I have repeatedly told the boys not to drink water out of the shed tap – or even fill the kettle up with it as it is brown with floaty things in it), my paint brush and my water spray device thingy that looks like that gadget you use to spray weed and feed on your garden but just contains water.


Once getting into the rhythm of dab dab with the paintbrush and water, spray spray with the mist of water, bit more dabbing, bit more spraying – and voila! Magic happens! You go from this…….


…….to this!


You can see more lithology, the cracks and fissures where the saprolite has seeped into the rock crevices, beautiful shiny Micas and spectacular ultra-mafic serpentinites. It’s like a magic trick – you think it’s an ugly brown piece of dirt, but underneath it’s totally different! Look at this one for instance……


Oh my LORD! I nearly wet my PANTS!!


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