After 69 days underground, the Chilean miners were rescued through a joint effort of Layne and Latin American affiliate Geotec.

The Layne and Geotec team applied unique capabilities, including unparalleled experience from worldwide operations and 128 years of drilling experience. Minera Collahuasi and Minera Escondida funded the project and also provided an outstanding team of geologists and engineers. Though their professionalism and skill, the entire team was able to successfully overcome all obstacles.

The whole world watched as the miners emerged to safety, culminating a multinational, multi-disciplined team effort involving highly coordinated and selfless cooperation. We take great pride in our people and their role in this heroic undertaking. A great team makes all the difference.

Key Events in the Chilean Miners Rescue

  • Day 1

    Aug. 5 - Cave-in traps 33 miners 1/2 mile underground. Layne's affiliate Geotec Boyles Bros. S.A. - the largest drilling company in Chile and Peru - loads Accu-dril directional drilling equipment for transport.
  • Day 3

    Aug. 7 - Geotec makes an urgent call to International Drilling Services (IDS) in Arizona.
  • Day 11

    Aug. 15 - IDS directional drilling manager accompanies the equipment, which is then flown from Satiago to Copiapo and transported to the mine. Meanwhile, Geotec uses a Schramm 685W and two diamond rigs (CS 3001 and CS 4002) for the first drilling stage.
  • Day 13

    Aug. 17 - Directional drilling begins on two separate HQ core holes and continues around the clock.
  • Day 18

    Aug. 22 - Chilean President Pinera officially confirms that the 33 miners trapped in the San Jose mine are alive and well in the refuge area.
  • Day 22

    Aug. 26 - Geotec works to ensure that the 5 1/2-inch 6C pilot hole is drilling to reach the underground workshop. After five days of constant drilling, the third attempt succeeds.
  • Day 32

    Sept. 5 - The Schramm T-130XD is brought in to drill Plan B using the 6C pilot hole. Reaming to 12 inches begins.
  • Day 35

    Sept. 8 - The T-130XD comes to a halt at 880 feet when the "nose" of the 12-inch hammer bit breaks. It's a major setback when the metal piece blocks the well. At this time, Layne drillers flown from Afghanistan and helpers flown from the U.S. arrive on location. The entire team is now complete and works to clear the hole.
  • Day 44

    Sept. 17 - Reaming the hole to 12 inches is completed at 2,040 feet, proving the theory of following the 5 1/2-inch hole to the mine workshop.
  • Day 45

    Sept. 18 - Reaming of the hole from 12 inches to 28 inches begins.
  • Day 66

    Oct. 9 - Cheers go up as the Plan B drill rig reaches its target - the mine workshop, allowing the rescue to begin.
  • Day 69

    Oct. 12 - Final preparations and test runs are carried out. Rescuers begin pulling miners to safety in the Phoenix capsule.

    Layne and Geotec receive official recognition from President Obama at the White House.
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Rescue 33

"Rescue 33" became the theme that guided our efforts. We recognize that the real heroes are the miners.

Geotec

Layne's Latin American affiliate, Geotec, brought essential experience and local expertise to the rescue operation.

Multidisciplinary

Contributing their skills to the multidisciplinary rescue team were (standing) James Stefanic, operations manager, Geotec; Jorge Herrera, helper, Layne; Mat Staffel, drill operator, Layne; Eugenio Eguiguren, executive vice president international, Geotec; (seated) Doug Reeves, helper, Layne, Pedro Buttazzoni, CEO, Geotec; Jeff Hart, driller, Layne; and Raul Lyon, executive vice president for Chile, Geotec.