A new phase of studies has been embarked upon as part of the Malta-Gozo tunnel project, Capital Projects Minister Ian Borg said today.

He said in a statement that contractor Geotec Spa, which won a tender last June, started extracting investigative samples from different spots on land and at sea.

These studies, each of which take 10 days, began on October 18. Transport Malta decided to start coring after summer to avoid disrupting activity in these areas during the season. A process of studies at sea is expected to begin in the coming days, he said.

During this investigative coring, the contractor is digging boreholes in Malta, Gozo, and the channel separating the two islands.

This is being done in collaboration with the Environmental Resources Authority to ensure the least environmental impact possible, Dr Borg said.

He said that Transport Malta was working with the university, which together with OGS Triesta has already conducted a series of seismic investigations in the past months.

The results and analysis of the seismic and geological investigations will be used to establish a geological model of the zone under investigation.

The studies form an important step in the process of guiding the design of the proposed tunnel between the islands.

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