An Australian technology that provides new knowledge on orebodies and associated alteration rapidly and cost-effectively could soon benefit the global mining industry, thanks to a commercialisation deal that will open doors to international markets.
CSIRO’s advanced mineral analysis and logging technology – HyLogger – has been licensed to Australian Mining, Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) company Corescan, who operate a network of hyperspectral mineralogy labs across Australia, Southeast Asia, North America, Peru, Chile and Argentina.
HyLogger uses the spectra of reflected light from mineral surfaces to interpret the mineralogy of the material. It is far more reliable for systematic mineral identification than visual techniques used in most drilling programs.
It also provides near real time analysis so that costs and delays associated with laboratory analysis are greatly reduced.
CSIRO Research Director, Dr Rob Hough, said commercialising the technology with Corescan opened the way for the industry to truly take advantage of hyperspectral analysis of drill materials for exploration and mining and further reinforces Australia’s place as a global leader in the provision of mineral exploration and mining technology.
“Through our partnership with the Australian state geological surveys, the National Virtual Core Library and AuScope, hyperspectral data is now routinely acquired at government core repositories and is generating new knowledge on mineral systems,” Hough said.
“Transferring the technology and ongoing development to Corescan, an Australian SME, will enable CSIRO to focus on the application and integration of hyperspectral information with other data sets to support mineral exploration through cover and for rapid resource characterisation in deposits.”
Managing Director, Neil Goodey, said Corescan plans to integrate HyLogger into its existing suite of advanced hyperspectral imaging equipment, giving the company a broader range of solutions to accommodate different commodities and better meet customer requirements at different stages of the exploration and mining cycle.
“Corescan will also be offering support services to the existing HyLogger community and will leverage its global reach to bring the technology to new international markets,” Goodey said.
“Corescan will be working closely with the Australian geological surveys and the National Virtual Core Library to continue on the great work that CSIRO has done in this area over the last decade.”
The Australian exploration industry spends close to A$600 million per year drilling holes to locate economic mineral resources.
Detailed knowledge of the mineralogy and alteration patterns associated with prospective mineral regions is crucial to guide exploration success and attract further international investment into Australia.
Operating on an automated scanning platform, HyLogger uses visible and infrared light to characterise selected minerals from drill cores, chips and pulps that are often difficult or impossible for human observers to interpret correctly. Reflected light from the samples is broken into hundreds of different wavelengths by several spectrometers, allowing the recognition of unique spectral signatures for each mineral.
Corescan is global services company specialising in the scanning, analysis and interpretation of drill core, rock chips and other geological samples.