Tag Archives: core scanning

Orexplore ready to build global technology company following ASX debut

Orexplore Technologies has commenced trading on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), following its demerger from Swick Mining Services Limited.

As part of this process, the company raised A$2.44 million ($1.76 million) at A$0.25 per share from existing Swick shareholders through a priority offer of shares, in addition to the A$12 million seed funding amount through the Swick demerger.

The demerger and listing will allow the mineral scanning technology company to accelerate its business and technology strategies, focused on the commercialisation of its technology platform through targeted customer “value propositions” across the mining value chain, it said.

Established in Sweden in 2010, and headquartered in Perth, Western Australia, the company is focused on accelerating market traction, and advancing the commercialisation of its non-destructive core-scanning technology across the mining value chain. Its flagship offering, the field-based core sensing GeoCore X10® product and remote Orexplore Insight software, enables a very rapid “drilled to insight” duration, connecting geological decision makers anywhere in the world to drilled core from exploration and deposits potentially hours after extraction, according to the company. GeoCore X10, specifically, is a transportable X-ray rock mass scanning technology that converts drill core samples into a 3D dataset to provide a “through the rock” image of internal structures and texture in addition to elemental detections and density.

With its strong research and development capability, Orexplore is actively advancing the existing hardware and software technologies to bolster its competitive IP portfolio, with research and development remaining critical to the business, it said.

Swick Mining Services has been looking to spinoff this unit since late 2020 following a strategic review.

Orexplore is seeking to capitalise on its research and development program and fleet of 12 GeoCore units, as it looks to capture opportunities across the global mineral sensing and analysis market. Orexplore GeoCore X10 units are currently being trialled at customer sites and the company’s laboratories across Western Australia and Europe, with company continuing to advance its customer collaborations and engagements.

Orexplore’s Chair, Dr Alan Bye, said: “Resource characterisation is fundamental to the success of exploration, extraction and mine closure. The mining industry is adopting digital sensors and analytics to improve productivity and Orexplore has the potential to add significant value to mining exploration and operations. We are excited to become a listed company and thank our shareholders for their support.”

Orexplore’s Managing Director, Brett Giroud, said: “We are fortunate to be building on a strong base of advanced research and development from our origins in Stockholm. With a healthy balance sheet, a rapidly advancing technology platform, and a highly skilled team, we are well positioned to create shareholder value as we aim to build a global technology company.”

Swick Mining to pursue battery-electric, remote control diamond drilling

Swick Mining’s latest market update has indicated its postponed demerger of Orexplore should now go ahead by the end of the year, allowing it to concentrate on the development of new underground drilling technologies including battery-electric diamond drill rigs and remote control drilling.

In a release issued today, Swick said it was recommencing the demerger process for Orexplore with the appointment of Brett Giroud as Managing Director of the Mineral Technology business. Giroud, who joined Swick in May as General Manager, has been reviewing Orexplore’s technology and its future potential and will take on his new role as of July 1.

Back in February, Swick Mining Services said it as pushing back the delivery of Orexplore’s first in-field commercial agreement for its core scanning technology with St Barbara Ltd at the Gwalia mine in Leonora, Western Australia, following discussions with the gold miner, deferring the contract into the 2022 financial year (from July 1, 2021). This decision saw the ASX-listed company also push back the demerger process.

In the meantime, Swick, which reported unaudited financial year 2021 (to June 30, 2021) expected results of A$153-156 million ($115-117 million) of revenue and A$29-31 million of EBITDA, has established a Future of Drilling department. This newly established department includes its Gen3 E-Rigs and Remote Control Drilling (RCD) innovations.

These Gen3 E-Rigs have the capacity to reduce the power consumption per metre drilled by around 50%, leading to overall lower carbon footprint, Swick said. The underground diamond drilling rigs remove all diesel power and a large portion of the hydraulic components currently on the “Swick GenII drill rig”.

“The Gen3 E-Rig will have a large battery capacity allowing for electric tramming and will also utilise the latest in DC electric motor technology to power the drilling components,” the company said.

A research and development drill rig fitted with an electric drill head is nearing readiness for field testing and a prototype rig is expected to be test drilling at a Western Australian client’s operation within the next three months, the company said. A fully proven Gen3 E-Rig is expected to be available for commencing service by mid 2022.

Its RCD system allows drillers to perform automated drilling through video-linked controls from surface effectively and safely, with an additional four non-productive hours a day converted to drilling time, Swick claims.

The RCD system consists of three major components – automated drilling, high speed communications to surface and semi-automated robotic handling of tubes and rods. “Swick has developed an advanced automation capability and is working with specialist consultants on the communications and robotics to establish the final system,” it said.

While the company is talking up its Gen3 E-rigs, its GenII mobile drill rigs – offering the smallest footprint, but highest power on the mobile drill market, Swick says – have recently reached a milestone, with units built and sold to clients in Canada and Tanzania.

“This new division has enabled Swick to participate in significant mining markets and regions where it does not have a presence operationally,” Swick said of the Swick Engineering business which the rigs come under. “Rig sales in financial year 2022 of eight to 12 rigs are targeted and, with a growing global demand for high-quality mobile underground drill rigs, Swick is well placed to service this market.”

This demand will be served by an expanded engineering facility in South Guilford, the company said.

Swick’s Orexplore mineral scanning tech ready for first mine site trial

In announcing the appointment of John Pizimolas as General Manager of the APAC region for Orexplore, Swick Mining Services has revealed that the first mine site trial of its mineral scanning technology is scheduled for the December quarter.

Since launching in May 2018, 18 different customers have used Orexplore in laboratory trials, according to the company.

Pizimolas, meanwhile, has more than 20 years’ experience as a metallurgical engineer in the resources industry, with senior executive expertise in leading mineral analysis across the full mine project life cycle and in new technology start‐ups, Swick said.

Prior to joining Swick, Pizimolas was Vice President, Minerals South East Asia and Pacific for SGS SA and, before then, General Manager Mine Site Services (Global) for ASX‐listed ALS Limited.

Swick Managing Director, Kent Swick, said Pizimolas’ expert industry knowledge will help drive Orexplore’s growth as it targets revenue generation in its second full year since launch.

Pizimolas said: “I strongly believe in the power of digital core tomographic imaging and the need to progress to more real-time information from drilling than has previously been available. The innovative Orexplore technology certainly delivers real commercial value and I am excited to be leading the business in driving its next phase of growth.”

Swick said the Orexplore business is transitioning towards capturing long term, in‐field digital core tomographic imaging opportunities, with the first mine site trial aimed for the December quarter. To support this field trial, Orexplore has recently taken delivery in Australia of three new specification GeoCore X10 machines (pictured) from its Stockholm facility, capable of imaging 6,000 m/mth of core.

The company said: “Successful completion of this trial is expected to enhance market confidence in the technology and drive revenue growth in Orexplore’s second full year since launch.”

Orexplore was developed over a seven-year period in Sweden and provides real-time, non-destructive assay and tomography results using whole of core data that is an improvement on the multiple weeks delay currently used in destructive chemical testing, according to Swick.

GeoCore X10 core scanning machines use patented attenuation and X-ray fluorescence combined measurement techniques to enhance the identification and understanding of key features within the entire core including:

  • Geochemical composition and mineralogy;
  • 3D structures;
  • Texture, fabric and grain size;
  • Density; and
  • Controls on mineralisation.

The scan results are made available to the client for viewing and analysis through Orexplore’s Insight software. This enables interactive 3D manipulation of the tomography data which can lead to accurate definition of geological structures, the ability to define lithological contacts and the true boundaries of mineralisation. It also provides element concentration data for further analysis.