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Thermal drilling for project in Colorado begins at Mount Princeton

As reported in Colorado, "Thermal gradient drilling began Monday for six holes to gather information about possible generation of electricity using geothermal energy in Chaffee County.

Personnel at Mount Princeton Geothermal LLC said the first hole will be on land owned by Taylor Adam east of the intersection of CR 289 and 290 at the bridge south of Deer Valley Ranch and west of Dead Horse Lake. The drilling is the first in several events occurring this week regarding geothermal exploration.

The wells, the first such exploration in the area since the 1970s, are permitted as monitoring test holes by the Colorado Division of Water Resources.

"The holes are non consumptive (no water pumping) and will be used to measure thermal gradient (temperature change at varying depths) and rock types to determine heat flow in each well," Fred Henderson III, chief scientist for the local geothermal group, said.

"The goal with these six holes is to complete the western side of the high heat flow anomaly drilled by AMAX Exploration Co. in the 1970s."

Test holes will be capped, Henderson said, but left available for later temperature measurements to serve as monitoring holes to detect changes as the program continues. ASAP Drilling of Buena Vista is conducting the operation which will continue two or three days.

Hole sampling will be conducted by geothermal consultant Dr. Harry Olson, who was manager of geology for AMAX Exploration Co. when it drilled heat flow exploratory holes in the Mt. Princeton area from 1973-75.

Dr. Paul Morgan, geothermal consultant, will conduct actual heat flow measurements. Additional wells are planned for May and possibly June."

Source: The Mountain Mail

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