Tag Archives: BLAST DOG

IMDEX signs agreement with Tier 1 miner to fast-track development of MAGHAMMER

IMDEX has signed a joint development agreement with a Tier One mining company to fast-track development of the IMDEX MAGHAMMER™ for commercial use, according to Chief Executive Paul House (pictured).

The MAGHAMMER uses a hybrid drilling technique combining rotary diamond drilling with fluid driven percussive drilling to achieve higher penetration rates compared with conventional coring. The technology enables an entire drill hole to be completed with a coring rig where RC and diamond drilling is required, according to the company.

IMDEX only exercised its option to acquire Flexidrill and its patent-protected drilling productivity technologies, COREVIBE and MAGHAMMER, in December, but it had carried out test work on the MAGHAMMER technology far in advance of the transaction.

Speaking at the company’s AGM this week, House reported a new rental fleet record and month-on-month increases in revenue since May as IMDEX recovered from a COVID-19-related downturn earlier in the year.

With the strength of the gold price and other key commodities, and exploration activity surging, IMDEX’s tool rental fleet is 19% up on the same time last year and exceeds the previous record set in 2012, the company said.

House told the AGM that the recommencement of activity globally since May had continued in most regions, albeit at different speeds.

“We achieved revenue of A$61.4 million ($43.5 million) in Q1 2021 (September quarter of 2020), which was up 26% on Q4 2020 (June quarter of 2020),” House said. “This result is only slightly behind the previous corresponding year at A$67.6 million, or 4.9% on a constant currency basis.”

House said the company is seeing multi-commodity demand, with clients “well-funded” and focused on resuming sustained activity as soon as possible.

The pressures of COVID-19, which forced various governments to impose border and travel restrictions, created strong demand for IMDEX technologies linked to its cloud-based IMDEX HUBIQ™, the company said.

“We have made great progress both because of and in spite of COVID-19,” House said. “The global pandemic has increased demand for our connected technologies that support remote operations. Conversely, it has hindered client trials due to limited access to site for non-essential personnel.

“On balance, the momentum for disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation, and the industrial internet of things is gaining cadence.

“The outlook for mining tech is brighter than it has ever been.”

On top of the MAGHAMMER reveal, House said client trials of the award-winning IMDEX BLAST DOG™ had resumed.

IMDEX BLAST DOG is a semi-autonomously deployed system for logging material properties and blasthole characteristics at high spatial density across the bench and mine and is commodity agnostic.

Just last month, the technology, being developed in collaboration with Universal Field Robots and tested at Anglo American’s Dawson coal mine in Queensland, won the Greyhound Innovation (METS) Award at the 2020 Queensland Mining Awards.

IMDEX, UFR win plaudits for Blast DOG deployment at Anglo’s Dawson mine

IMDEX’s Blast DOG™ technology is gaining recognition, with the drill and blast innovation winning a Queensland mining award last week.

IMDEX Blast DOG, being developed in collaboration with Universal Field Robots (UFR) and tested at Anglo American’s Dawson coal mine in Queensland, won the Greyhound Innovation (METS) Award at the 2020 Queensland Mining Awards.

A semi-autonomously deployed system for logging material properties and blast hole characteristics at high spatial density across the bench and mine, IMDEX Blast DOG™ is commodity agnostic. It is a semi-autonomous system that helps optimise blasting based on high-resolution three-dimensional material models built from sensor data. It is aimed at helping miners get predictable fragmentation and determine ore and waste boundaries, and control vibration, dust, fumes and heave, the company says.

“No other technology has the capacity to produce the same data and provide as large an impact on downstream processes including enhancing productivity,” IMDEX said.

The judges said UFR and IMDEX conquered the challenge of logging blast holes, while removing operators from harm’s way.

IMDEX Chief Executive Officer, Paul House, said: “To be the winner among such esteemed competition is a testament to the team and our collaboration partners, Universal Field Robots, Anglo American, Teck Resources Ltd and Orica, supported by METS Ignited.

“IMDEX has a passion to provide the mining industry with purpose-built solutions. IMDEX Blast DOG is no exception and we are investing heavily in solutions that provide significant benefit to our customers.”

The IMDEX Blast DOG solution moved from concept to prototype in just four months which provided the platform and justification to develop a commercial version, IMDEX says.

The innovation category was hotly debated, with judges looking at all five finalists as addressing the industry’s big issues. This included Emesent’s Hovermap drone payload for “mapping the inaccessible”, Polymathian – “Transforming Mining Value Chains with Industrial Mathematics”, Redeye Apps – “Optimising O&M Inspections – The Redeye Digital Twin” and Sedgman – “SMART Condition Monitoring”.

IMDEX ready for mining uptick as global COVID-19 restrictions start to lift

IMDEX is seeing light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, with some restrictions affecting its international operations to be eased during May and June, prompting mining operations to resume and drilling contractors to return to work.

With 20 offices internationally, sales in 102 countries, and a presence in 70% of mineral drilling projects globally, the company and its clients have been dealing with restrictions and government declarations in multiple jurisdictions, IMDEX said.

The restrictions have not affected IMDEX’s supply chain and it has been able to service clients, it says.

Mexico has recently emerged from a 30-day, COVID-related shutdown after mining was deemed an essential service, joining South Africa, Argentina, Peru and parts of Quebec and Brazil as countries where operations have recently started ramping back up.

In Australia, IMDEX and its clients have been able to continue operations while working within state restrictions, it said.

In a presentation hosted by Goldman Sachs released to the ASX, IMDEX said business disruption appeared to have stabilised and there had been an increase in demand in late April for remote working technologies.

The company had followed a strong first half-year result (six months to December 31, 2019) with its strongest March quarter revenue on record, up 11% on the same period of 2019, before the effects of the COVID-19 crisis hit during April.

Chief Operating Officer, Paul House, said the company was fielding enquiries from clients looking to resume operations. At the same time, the company was alert to the risk of renewed government and company responses to secondary COVID-19 infections.

“As we see restrictions being lifted, we are receiving enquiries from our clients asking for confirmation of supply to remobilise on drilling projects around the world and we expect this to continue through May and June,” House said. “We are establishing new ways of working internally and with our clients, which will continue and be beneficial when the pandemic eases.

“IMDEX invests heavily in research and development. We have always worked with industry to solve problems and this period is no different. It just means that we have to think creatively – and we have some of the best in the business at doing that.”

He added: “We have a positive growth outlook with solid underlying mining industry fundamentals. Major and intermediate resource companies have strong balance sheets and are focused on replacing reserves.”

IMDEX is also set to benefit from the strong gold mining sector, with House noting that Bank of America recently forecast “gold would hit $3,000/oz in 18 months”. The price currently sits just above $1,730/oz.

About 50% of IMDEX’s commodity exposure is within gold, with copper and iron ore exposure representing 25% and other metals the remainder.

IMDEX’s drill and blast technology gains traction

IMDEX, known for its technical sensing capabilities in exploration, is looking to lock in non-cyclical global revenue streams through the development of technology for drill and blast applications.

The company, in an update last week, said its BLAST DOG™ technology remains on track to increase mine to mill efficiency for clients globally and it was conducting trials in multiple commodities with global resource companies.

To date, successful trials have been undertaken in Nevada, USA, and in Queensland, Australia; with additional trials planned in Chile and Australia in the first half of 2020, IMDEX said.

“The company continues to have strong support from industry partners including: Orica; Anglo American; Teck Resources; and METS Ignited and expects to generate revenue from the drill and blast technologies in the 2020 financial year,” it said.

In addition to updating the market on its BLAST DOG technology, the company also revealed details about drilling productivity technologies COREVIBE™ and MAGHAMMER™.

Back in January 2018, IMDEX revealed it had an exclusive option agreement to acquire Flexidrill and its patent protected drilling productivity technologies, the COREVIBE and MAGHAMMER.

“The company has been progressing the development of these technologies based on strong demand from drilling contractors and resource companies,” IMDEX said, adding that it undertook successful trials at the company’s test site in New Zealand, which concluded that COREVIBE generated a productivity gain of 33% over conventional coring. These results were also validated by SGS, a leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, according to IMDEX.

More recently, IMDEX conducted client trials with the COREVIBE in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia. “These trials were successful and supported the results achieved at IMDEX’s test site,” the company said.

Further trials with another large drilling contractor in Arizona, USA, are scheduled for late July 2019 and IMDEX expects to have COREVIBE units on rent in the current September quarter, it said.

Development of the MAGHAMMER at IMDEX’s test site in New Zealand is also progressing and the company intends to commence client trials in the second half of 2020, it said.

“The first iteration of the MAGHAMMER will be targeting high speed pre-collar drilling through barren rock to the coring zone,” IMDEX said. “This eliminates the need for multiple drill rigs at site and accordingly, the MAGHAMMER will significantly reduce the cost of drilling these targets. Additional development of the MAGHAMMER will provide geological samples.”

On the basis of continued positive development of the drilling productivity technologies and ongoing successful client trials with COREVIBE, IMDEX said it anticipated exercising its option to acquire Flexidrill in December 2019.

IMDEX Managing Director, Bernie Ridgeway, said: “We have an exciting pipeline of new technologies and connected devices to support our growth strategy. The new technologies have the potential to grow our core business by enhancing technical leadership; and extending our capabilities into the larger adjacent mining market, to create an additional non-cyclical revenue stream.

“Our new technologies – including the COREVIBE, MAGHAMMER and BLAST DOG – have the ability to deliver important advancements in drilling methods and mining workflows. New deposits are likely to be deeper and under cover; and resource companies are embracing innovation to achieve greater productivity. These new technologies position our company to benefit from changing industry dynamics.”