Tag Archives: core analysis

IOC to test government-backed hyperspectral core scanning technology

Advanced drill core imaging technology being developed by College of the North Atlantic (CNA) and trialled at Iron Ore Company of Canada’s (IOC) site in Labrador, Canada, has received federal and provincial government backing to the tune of C$4.5 million ($3.6 million).

The Government of Canada, together with the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, believe the “game-changing” tech being developed by CNA “will position the region as a global leader in the mining industry”, the CNA said.

Their investments, which come on top of support from IOC and Agnico Eagle Mines, are helping advance the development of a Hyperspectral Scanning Unit (HSU) currently at IOC’s site in Labrador City conducting its first drill core scans.

The HSU, CNA says, produces high-resolution drill core images that will give mining companies a better understanding of a region’s geology. The new technology will make drill core logging more accurate, improve exploration processes and increase the potential to discover new, lucrative mineral deposits, according to the college.

Liz Kidd, President and CEO, College of the North Atlantic, said: “This state-of-the-art technology – one of the most advanced, high throughput hyperspectral drill core scanning units available globally – aligns perfectly with the college’s vision to further expand and develop its applied research and innovation arm so that we can assist industry in achieving positive, breakthrough results in the mining sector.

“We are also excited that our graduates will benefit from the training associated with the HSU that, in turn, will provide meaningful long-term benefits for the province’s future workforce and lead the way in the advancement of hyperspectral technology for the mining sector. We are proud to play a major role in this initiative.”

Chantal Lavoie, Chief Operating Officer, IOC, said the company looked forward to testing equipment at its operations in Labrador West to make IOC an even “more efficient, competitive and sustainable business for generations to come”.

Guy Gosselin, Senior Vice President of Exploration, Agnico Eagle Mines, added: “Agnico Eagle is pleased to be part of this partnership and excited with the potential it represents for our industry. The mobile HSU, developed by CNA, is breakthrough and innovative technology that will bring more robustness to data analysis in a field traditionally based on human observation, while improving its consistency and quality. Ultimately, it will lead to increased exploration and potentially more discoveries, which is key for the future of our business.”

LKAB to trial AI-backed XRF drill core logging with help of Minalyze and Sentian

LKAB, Minalyze AB and Sentian say they have joined forces in a consortium to develop the latest technology for scanning drill core.

In March 2020, LKAB started a test with the Minalyzer CS drill core scanner where the goal was to improve the workflow for core logging – ie how the results of exploration drilling are analysed. The test led to a permanent installation in Kiruna (Sweden) and expansion to Malmberget where data from the Minalyzer CS is used to help geological logging of the drill core.

The consortium of LKAB, Minalyze and Sentian are now set to take the use of data to the next level when boreholes in LKAB’s deposits are to be investigated. The new artificial intelligence application being developed by the trio will make the analysis much faster, with the time to evaluate a drill core reduced from weeks to minutes, with increased accuracy.

This could see Minalyze’s X-ray Fluorescence-backed CS scanner analyse LKAB drill core while leveraging Sentain’s industrial artificial intelligence solutions to make real-time decisions relating to drilling and exploration activities.

The technology development driven by the consortium will be a world first, changing the entire industry, the companies say.

Jan-Anders Perdahl, Specialist at LKAB’s Exploration Department, said: “With the collaboration, the core logging takes a big step through machine learning and artificial intelligence. The geologist can, at an early stage, place greater focus on the parts of the core that show chemical or other changes. Opportunities are opened up to gain increased knowledge about ore formation processes and alterations in a completely different way than before. One can also get indications that you are close to mineralisation and where it may be located, and thereby streamline exploration.”

The technological leap will give LKAB’s staff increased competence, increased quality in and efficiency of the work, as well as reduced need for other analysis methods, according to the companies.

Annelie Lundström, CEO of Minalyze AB, said: “We are at an interesting time when the hardware to extract consistently high-resolution data from drill cores is available and we can now take the next step and generate value from data together with our customers. In this collaboration, we will develop algorithms that can map rock layers in so-called lithological logs with very high confidence. This can only be done by combining expertise from all three parties.

“The results from our collaboration will forever change how drill core logging takes place everywhere and will result in a more efficient, non-subjective and consistent process.”

Martin Rugfelt, Sentian CEO, added: “We see great power in the application of modern artificial intelligence to data from the mining industry and there is major potential in further combining our machine learning technology with Minalyze’s unique capabilities in data collection and analysis.”

Jason Marinko to lead new Orexplore Technologies business

Swick Mining Services has appointed Jason Marinko as Managing Director of Swick’s Mineral Technology Business as a key step along the pathway to demerge Swick’s Drilling Business and Mineral Technology Business, the latter of which will operate under the new company name of Orexplore Technologies Ltd.

Marinko is an experienced public company CEO, Chairman and Company Director, with expertise in the technology and investment banking industries and a proven track record in leading technologies to commercialisation, Swick says. This includes a stint as Executive Chairman of geospatial imagery company Spookfish, where he oversaw its ASX-listing and growth before leading negotiations with North America’s largest aerial imagery and data analytics company, EagleView Technologies Inc, that resulted in a successful takeover of Spookfish.

He also has extensive corporate finance experience as associate director at Perth-based firms Azure Capital and Euroz Securities.

Marinko complements Orexplore’s highly credible management team, which has expert capabilities covering the whole breadth of the business from theoretical physics, manufacturing, software engineering to operations, the company says.

Swick Managing Director, Kent Swick, said: “We are extremely pleased to announce Jason as Managing Director of Orexplore Technologies. I believe the wealth of experience that he brings in managing listed companies, combined with his extensive technology and financial expertise both in Australia and overseas, will provide significant benefits to Orexplore as it moves to demerge from Swick and beyond.

“Swick has made significant progress along the Orexplore journey since our first investment in 2013 initially funding R&D, consolidating the ownership to 100% in 2017 and continuing to support Orexplore to develop the technology it has today. Orexplore is progressing its commercialisation pathway and can now move to address a large potential market for the product. I am confident Jason will be able to navigate the opportunity that lies ahead and look forward to working alongside him.”

Marinko commented: “I am excited to be leading Orexplore’s highly talented team in Australia and Sweden into the next stage of its growth. A decade of pioneering research, development and investment in Orexplore’s unique and disruptive technology that enables fast, accurate, three dimensional non-destructive core analysis has created significant opportunities in the brownfield drilling market that are ready to be realised and I look forward to driving its commercialisation and delivering value to Swick shareholders.”

Commercialisation of Orexplore has gathered momentum with an agreement secured in August 2020 with St Barbara Limited. Under this agreement, approximately 1,500 m/mth of core will be scanned over a six-month period at the Gwalia mine in Leonora, for a total value of approximately A$700,000 ($505,724). The GeoCore X10 instruments will be mobilised to site during this month, with Orexplore Technologies working towards ensuring the value is extracted from the rich 3D data set and adding long-term value beyond the initial six-month period, it said.