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SOIL MECHANICS recently finished a ground investigation for a major expansion of a granite quarry at Sullom Voe on the Shetland Islands.

Site operator Nicholson Plant wants to extend the quarry to allow it to export aggregate into northern Europe. Soil Mechanics was brought in to put down 12 boreholes to a maximum of 80m to confirm the available reserves.

Consultant for the work was Pell Frischmann.

The site is rugged, undulating and hilly, covered with soft peat deposits, so stone access tracks and working platforms had to built in advance of the drilling operations.

To deal with the high bedrock strength, Soil Mechanics used a combination of T6 131 and T 614 size core barrels and equipment to produce cores of 103mm and 76mm diameter with water flush. It used three rotary rigs: a lorry mounted Beretta T51, a tracked Casagrande C6 and a trackmounted Beretta T51 rig.

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