Gib Hice (President)
Expertise in technical detail, patent-pending application status, historical and future application of methods and apparatus evolution of Hydro-Mining:

Tele: (541) 582-3880
Cell: (541) 291-0529
Fax: (541) 582-3880

Tom Hice,CPA
(Executive Vice-President)
Financial engineering expertise in fund raising, project development, mineral rights expansion, public marketing and equity building:

Tele: (541) 582-0803
Cell: (541) 621-2657
Fax: (541) 582-6052

Doug Devine (Vice President)
Expertise in advanced survey technology in satellite imagery, 3-D modeling, ultra-modern survey technology, and mapping development:

Tele: (541) 772-5777
Cell: (541) 944-1708


Gilbert Alan Hice and Thomas Joseph Hice have filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) as well as patent applications that are pending.

Patents and applications are owned by Geodrilling Technologies, Inc. - an Oregon regular “C” Corporation.

Low-frequency pulsing sonic and hydraulic mining method - Patented

Patent number: 9995127 (ClickHERE for full USPTO documentation of this Patent)

Abstract: Enhanced method for borehole mining comprising: drilling a borehole using a low-frequency pulsing sonic, hydraulic mining system including a pulsed jet assembly; inserting casing into the borehole above target deposit depth; inserting and rotating assembly into the casing with a sub-coupling and a shoe rock bit positioned below the casing; pumping fluid into the borehole; evaluating slurry at surface; fracturing and disaggregating materials at target deposit with pulsing jets from the sub-coupling and rock bit causing light slurry to flow upwardly to the annulus between the borehole casing and the downhole assembly, then upwardly through the annulus to the surface of the borehole thereby causing heavy slurry to concentrate in a sump, located below the pulse jet rock bit; continuing to form cavity at target location; removing pulsed jet assembly from borehole; running core barrel to extract heavy slurry from sump; analyzing slurry to determine whether to continue with operation.

Type: Grant

Filed: July 6, 2016

Date of Patent: June 12, 2018

Assignee: Geodrilling Technologies, Inc.

Inventors: Gilbert Alan Hice, Thomas Joseph Hice

Low-frequency pulsing sonic and hydraulic mining system - Patented

Patent number: 9995126 (ClickHERE for full USPTO documentation of this Patent)

Abstract: An improvement to a sonic drilling system comprising a high-pressure, high-volume water pump connected to a fluid supply and a length of casing in a borehole; an elastic sonic rod string; an eductor coupling having an upwardly directed convergent nozzle; a transition rod; a sub-coupling having a laterally directed convergent nozzle; and a shoe rock bit having a downwardly directed convergent nozzle. The water pump provides fluid down the bore of the sonic rod string, the eductor, the transition rod, the sub-coupling and the rock bit whereby adjustable high-pressure, high-volume fluid is forced through the sonic rod string, the eductor, the transition rod, the sub-coupling and the rock bit to fracture, cut and agitate targeted mineral into slurry and whereby the light slurry is directed effectively upwardly through the annulus to the surface for extraction and heavy slurry gravitates into a sump trap and is recovered with a core barrel.

Type: Grant

Filed: July 6, 2016

Date of Patent: June 12, 2018

Assignee: Geodrilling Technologies, Inc.

Inventors: Gilbert Alan Hice, Thomas Joseph Hice

Borehole Mining System and Methods Using Sonic-Pulsed Jetting Excavation and Eductor Slurry Recovery Apparatus - Pending

Publication Number: 20160084083

Abstract: A borehole subsurface mining system and methods for generating sonically pulsed hydraulic jets for subsurface excavation and slurry extraction, combining modulated oscillating energy at relatively low frequencies produced from a sonic drill head of working sonic core drilling rigs in combination with energy and water flow from a pressurized pumping system, to perform pulsed jet slurry mining of underground resource deposits through at least one partially cased subterranean borehole using a sonic drill head member and rod string members in relation to which the attached inventive pulsed jetting apparatus and methods operate. The system design and methods includes an adaptably attachable, sectional, tubular combination apparatus assembly with at least one casing member in general axial alignment comprised of sonic rod, jetting educator coupling, transition rod, jetting sub-coupling and jetting shoe rock bit members.

Type: Application

Filed: September 22, 2015

Publication Date: March 24, 2016

Inventors: Gilbert Alan Hice, Thomas Joseph Hice

(for Hydro-Mining Assemblage for Commercial Sonic Borehole Mining)


We, HERC, will initially focus our concept into a relatively narrow scope of excavation and recovery development that allows for mining slurry through one borehole using inventive attachable components and methods, then we will work on more optimal designs as time-line allows. A fundamental working prototype will be established as soon as possible, likely providing suboptimal performance (while optimizing safety measures). To begin with we intend to quickly establish a relatively successful subsurface mining approach with an initial baseline of predictable performance. We will address as necessary any questions regarding siphon coupling eductors and components of the bottom-hole assembly in relatively deep jet-excavation, evaluating for baseline performance objectives including sump recovery and processing as well as surface slurry/water separation and water clarification/filtration. Since the heterogeneity of placer mining sites is so variable and the complexity of understanding mining specificity will also require longitudinal experience, the process of acquiring optimal performance will take time. Empirical testing of various designs will be done with performance comparisons being made at multiple sites with variants within variables being examined. The prime site (prototype Alpha Unit working site) will be the first commercial site and will also be used to improve efficiency relative to the beta test site performance baselines and for further assessment and on-site adjustments to system/methods to match the challenges of the prime site and others to follow.

The Following General assessment QUESTIONS will be addressed:

Question #1:

What are the difficulties associated with designing, manufacturing and combining effective attachable Hydro-Mining apparatus components (i.e. jetting eductor coupling, frustum transition rod, jetting sub-coupling and jetting shoe rock bit) to be used with a sonic core drill rig’s system to form a new mining rod string system attached to water pump volume and pressure?

Question #2:

What are the performance and safety parameters assessed with (i.e. effective production and movement of both water in air and slurry subsurface at beta testing site) assembly and working of proposed designs of rod string attached eductor coupling, transition rod, jetting sub-coupling, bit jet using a high-pressure/high-volume pump using inactive sonic core drilling rig in a shallow mining procedure (excavation and extraction)?

Question #3:

What is the general assessment of the efficacy (i.e. improved effective production and movement of pulsed water in air and slurry compared to findings from Question #2) when combining proposed assembly of effective design of eductor coupling, transition rod, jetting sub-coupling, bit jet and sump trap using high-pressure/high-volume pump energy combined with an active sonic core drilling rig in a shallow (e.g. 20-30 foot and also deeper) mining procedure (excavation and extraction)?

Question #4:

What is the assessment of improved efficiencies associated with design variations to increase efficacy (i.e. effective production and movement of slurry) of combining proposed designs of eductor coupling, transition rod, jetting sub-coupling, bit jet and sump trap using a high-pressure/high-volume pump and an active sonic core drilling rig in both shallow and deep jet-mining events?

Stage 1


Establish working parameters for developing attachable mining apparatus to sonic rig and make initial contacts for ancillary equipment.


  1. Collaborate with TerraSonic, sign working agreements for developing sonic mining rig, establish time-lines, goals and objectives for developing apparatus including purchase of 1-2 sonic drill rigs.
  2. Contact seismic engineering group, sign working seismic mapping agreement to establish both pre-mining and while mining (RAMPS).
  3. Advertise for hydraulic engineer or other (per TerraSonic referral and direction) to act as chief operations officer (COO) with experience in sonic research, mining and/or multilayered development of project along with establishing chain of command.
  4. Advertise for sonic driller and two USMC officers or noncom officers (retired or honorably discharged with engineering experience) to act as initial company crew leaders.
  5. Prepare beta testing site in Oregon to establish a working mining model and feasibility study using the Hydro-Mining process with a rate of production between 10 and 20 yards per hour in deposit site with ~25% cobbled, 50% sand/loam, 25% boulders placer.
  6. Establish company contacts and/or obtain use by rental/purchase of downhole camera (e.g. Spectrum 90), handheld XRF spectrometer, digital density meters (e.g. radiation-based gauge), seismic mapping instrumentation, etc.
  7. Establish feasible designs and industry contacts for initial mini-processor and mining processor for sample analysis and deposit extraction recovery as well as for a main slurry processor, with grinder, hydro cyclone, centrifugal classifier, etc.

Stage 2


To establish a working mining feasibility study and exploratory prototypes using the Hydro-Mining process with a rate of production between 10 and 20 yards/hour in a ~25% cobbled, 50% sand/loam, 25% boulders placer.


  1. prepare a working excavation beta test site at 15 to 30 feet deep using an approximate 9.0”borehole diameter with casing emplaced (having a 9.25”O.D / 8.4”I.D.) which accommodates a sonic rod/rod string (having 4.25”O.D. / 3.75”I.D.) to be inserted to target deposit depth to jet excavate and facilitate annulus passage of 0.5” particulate material in slurry without bridging having an approximate mean 2.1” annular space for slurry passage upward.
  2. Design, manufacture, assembly and testing will be coordinated with TerraSonic so that attachable components will comply with and complement existing sonic core drilling apparatus parameters of performance, including additional pumping components. Variations in quantity of components will be examined.
  3. The bottom hole assembly will first be tested for efficacious generation of continuous jetting using a water pump both with and without attachment to an inactive sonic drill, in air on cinder blocks and in shallow ground (to establish effective pump energy system). Obtain pump, e.g. Goulds or other with industry established flow and pressure rates. Evaluate various pressures, flow rates, mining power parameters and others, including:
    1. convergent nozzle size and shape variations, with several vane permutations incorporated into sub-coupling with diametrically opposed nozzles at 90 degrees to rod axis maintaining external rod diameter to evaluate jet forms and flow rates;
    2. incorporate use of the transition rod as a guide vane internal frustum shape, various lengths to determine laminar flow facilitation;
    3. shoe rock bit and nozzle with shape and size variations aligned with rod axis, incorporating vane structures to examine for flow rates and sump contents impact dynamics.
  4. Then with an active sonic unit in air using cinder block to determine efficacious nozzle design for baseline erosion/fracturing capability of pulsed jet performance parameters (second energy generating system evaluated to produce pulsed jetting). A shallow subsurface test will be made to further establish efficacy of pulsed jets, examining for rates of slurry production verses depth, variable flow rates and ground variation.
  5. Preliminary sump trap depth will also have preliminary assessment.
  6. We will evaluate coupling eductors to establish general efficacy of using jetting components within rod string juxtaposed to casing to design variation to increasing efficiency of whole unit and integrate with a processing unit. Transparent plastic tubes for casing components may be used for visual assessment and modification until a facilitated upward flush of slurry is generated relative to both the differential hydraulic lift and eduction.
  7. Cavity size and floor angle for effective evacuation and sump effect will be assessed.
  8. An effective Beta Unit can be deployed to prime site for evaluation once #7 is complete, mini-processor assembled and crew trained.
  9. We will establish crew training for the Alpha Unit and develop the processing plant asap for deployment to prime site.

Stage 3


Commercial Hydro-Mining


  1. Deploy Alpha Unit and crew to prime site (alpha test site) identified and confirmed as a measured resource by Beta Unit. Confirm profit parameters needed to finance franchise.
  2. Continue Beta Unit deployment to analyze multiple Beta test sites for Alpha locations.
  3. Negotiate Alpha locations with crew and IPO for Alpha franchise contracts and conversions from Beta test drills to Alpha mining rigs.
  4. Franchise Hydro-Mining begins production.