Aquirian Ltd’s wholly owned subsidiary, TBS Mining Solutions Pty Ltd, has entered into a binding technology Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with MACA Mining Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of MACA Ltd, related to collaborating on the development and commercialisation of the Collar Keeper® System.
MACA is an ASX-listed contracting group providing services to the mining and construction industries. It specialises in contract mining and crushing, civil construction and infrastructure maintenance, and mineral processing solutions.
The MoU marks a significant milestone in TBS’ strategy to develop and commercialise its exciting technology, Aquirian said. The support and access to equipment in an operating environment, provided by MACA, is a crucial part of the development, prototyping and testing of the Collar Keeper System.
This patent-pending system is a combination of Aquirian-developed, retrofittable drilling apparatus combined with its existing Collar Keeper. The technology represents a step change in managing blasthole quality and is targeted to provide a unique solution to a range of different blasting environments with global applications, the company said.
Greg Patching, Aquirian Executive Director Business Development & Innovation, said: “We are thrilled to partner with MACA, and it’s exciting to see our technology pathway take another key step forward in terms of development and commercialisation for our customers, their clients and our shareholders.”
The initial focus for the Collar Keeper System will be on mines in Western Australia operating with smaller diameter holes in challenging ground conditions, where high-cost and time-consuming collar piping is traditionally used.
The traditional method of collar piping has not changed in over 40 years and introduces hazards as well as, cost, time and quality issues, and poor blast outcomes for clients, according to Aquirian.
In addition, the poor blasting outcomes lead to further downstream costs in load and haul, and the processing of mined material.
Last month, Aquirian reported it had successfully completed the Stage II prototype trial of Collar Keeper on an existing drill rig operating in a hard-rock gold mining environment in the mid-west of Western Australia. The trial successfully tested fitment to existing drill rigs and delivered marked improvements to drilling rates and drill hole quality, according to the company.
TBS, under the MoU, will be responsible for all design, engineering, testing and management of the Collar Keeper System from development through to commercialisation. It will maintain ownership of all IP associated with the development of the Collar Keeper System and ongoing commercialisation control and management.
MACA, meanwhile, will provide operational and site support to TBS for testing and refinement of the Collar Keeper System from development through to commercialisation. It will also receive Foundation Customer status from TBS for the system, including preferred commercial terms for the system and associated products for a period of three years from the date of commercialisation.