Epiroc starts work on ‘unique’ exploration drilling test centre

Epiroc is about to start construction on a new Test Center in Örebro, Sweden, that, it says, will help perform different types of exploration drilling tests and data acquisition.

The centre is a close collaboration between industry, research institutes and academia, according to the company.

With this Test Center, we can continue our way towards being the competence center within exploration drilling – and build networks within the industry,” Thomas Hallmén, General Manager Product Company Örebro, Epiroc Surface and Exploration Drilling division, said.

“It will create opportunities to cooperate with customers and universities as well as with researchers in order to improve our technologies and products for future requirements.”

The new Test Center, called Innovative Exploration Drilling and Data Acquisition Test Center (I-EDDA-TC), will provide a unique environment for the development of drilling, and related equipment and methods used for the exploration of mineral resources, such as borehole geophysics, according to Epiroc.

The goal for the future is to establish a leading centre that supports and creates innovation, Epiroc said, adding that it  features two boreholes each 1 km deep with fully characterised core samples.

Bjarne Almqvist, Project Leader for I-EDDA-TC and Researcher at the Department of Earth Sciences, Geophysics, at Uppsala University, said: Effective exploration drilling for mineral resources is an area where industrial innovation plays an important role. Despite this need, there is a complete lack of test beds that allow industry to actively test novel drilling equipment.”

He added: Our hope is that the Test Center becomes a focus for both small and large companies that work within exploration drilling and related technologies.”

The Test Center will be built next to the Epiroc Surface and Exploration Drilling division Production Center in Örebro.  It will be developed over three years and be available for customers from the beginning of 2022. The European Union has helped finance the project through the EIT Raw materials initiative.

The centre is a collaboration project between Uppsala University, Lund University, Luleå University of Technology, Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg, Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum , RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden) and Epiroc Surface and Exploration Drillling division.