Tag Archives: Fleet Space Technologies

Fleet Space to deploy ExoSphere exploration solution at Barrick’s Reko Diq project

Fleet Space Technologies has announced the deployment of its end-to-end mineral exploration solution, ExoSphere, at Barrick Gold’s Reko Diq copper-gold exploration project in Pakistan.

Powered by the latest advances in space technology, AI, and 3D multiphysics, ExoSphere is being used to generate 3D subsurface maps of copper porphyry complexes and local groundwater systems for multiple zones of interest, comprising over 1,150 sq.km of the Reko Diq project, it says.

“Barrick Gold and Fleet Space are united in our use of cutting-edge technologies to enhance mineral discovery and unlock sustainability benefits across the exploration journey,” Flavia Tata Nardini, co-Founder & CEO of Fleet Space Technologies, says. “By applying the latest innovations in space, AI and 3D multiphysics to copper exploration, we demonstrate a more sustainable, scalable path to achieve the copper supply needed for our clean energy future, in alignment with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. We are proud to deploy ExoSphere to advance Barrick Gold’s ESG objectives and support the development of a world-class operation at Reko Diq.”

Reko Diq represents one of the largest undeveloped copper-gold projects in the world. The area is one of several volcanic centres in the Chagai mountain range and part of the Tethyan Magmatic Arc which is known to contain significant copper-gold ore deposits of various grades. With plans to begin production in 2028, Reko Diq is poised to be a major contributor to Pakistan’s economy, delivering employment opportunities, investment in development programs and regional economic growth in the Balochistan province.

Fleet Space’s ExoSphere solution has been leveraged to accelerate copper exploration across a number of projects. Recently, Fleet Space conducted the world’s largest real-time Ambient Noise Tomography copper survey with ExoSphere across 1,818 sq.km of Inflection Resource’s tenement portfolio in the Macquarie Arc of the Lachlan Fold Belt in Australia. After multiple new high-priority targets were identified at its Duck Creek project with ExoSphere, AngloGold Ashanti shifted the designation of Duck Creek from Phase 1 to Phase II under their Exploration Agreement with Inflection Resources − which includes drilling targets identified with ExoSphere’s geophysical surveys.

Fleet Space Technologies adds machine-learning powered features to ExoSphere platform

Fleet Space Technologies has announced three new features to its mineral exploration technology, Exosphere by Fleet®, designed to enhance and accelerate data-driven global mineral exploration efforts with machine learning (ML) capabilities and real-time survey diagnostics.

The introduction of new ML-powered features and real-time sensor diagnostics to ExoSphere enables faster on-site targeting decisions and provides access to greater subsurface insights before, during and after every survey, the company says.

Bringing together Fleet Space’s satellite constellation in low Earth orbit and patented seismic array technology, ExoSphere delivers 3D subsurface models of a survey area in days with near-zero environmental impact, according to the company. Over 35 global exploration companies have used the technology to complete hundreds of surveys for a wide range of commodity types across five continents, including Rio Tinto, Barrick Gold and Core Lithium, among many others.

“A future with near instantaneous access to subsurface insights that can lead to the next wave of mineral discoveries needed for the energy transition is within our grasp due to rapid advances in space technology,” co-Founder & CEO of Fleet Space Technologies, Flavia Tata Nardini, says. “Technologies like ExoSphere, and the ML-enabled, real-time features we are building for it, represent a major leap forward in the potential scale and speed of data-driven exploration while also reducing environmental impact.”

With ExoSphere’s 3D subsurface models and ML-enabled features, exploration customers will be able to leverage a variety of new subsurface insights on-demand to accelerate and enhance their data-driven exploration efforts, according to the company.

Outlined below are the new ExoSphere features available today and others that will arrive in the coming months, including Geological Sketch, Basement Depth, and Real-Time Diagnostics.

Geological Sketch
Starting today, customers using the ExoSphere platform will be able to access Geological Sketch – a powerful visualization tool that allows them to convey their understanding of the geology and lithology of their project. Using this visualisation, Fleet Space’s in-house team of geophysicists can refine the customer’s 3D model with a wider range of insights before, during, and after their survey is complete – enhancing model accuracy while also unlocking new insights to inform their targeting decisions, the company says.

Basement Depth Map
Understanding basement depth is critical since it is an important indicator of the economic potential of a project. In the coming months, ExoSphere will have a ML-enabled feature that will provide a projection of the basement depth based on customers’ ANT survey results (example below). Customers will also be able to upload other insights they have about the lithology and geology of the area to enhance the prediction on the ExoSphere platform. This gives customers an efficient way to evaluate and visualise the potential basement depth of a project as part of their data-driven exploration efforts, according to the company.

Real-Time Diagnostics
Fleet Space’s patented, space-enabled seismic sensors (Geodes) have been deployed across the globe. As part of their deployment, customers will soon be able to review the diagnostics on each individual Geode used as part of a survey in real time to determine if any corrective measures should be taken to optimise their performance while in the field, the company says. Real-Time Diagnostics is a powerful tool for on-site teams to make quick adjustments to the Geodes without the need to remove them from the survey area which is common with other methods.

The addition of these new features follows several other additions to ExoSphere last year, including the Sensitivity Model, Data Processing Report and Source Data Pack.

Alongside this Exosphere announcement, Fleet Space Technologies announced that it has been named an industrial affiliate of Stanford University’s Mineral-X program – a premiere research organisation combining deep expertise in geoscience, resource optimisation, and artificial intelligence to enable a resilient and decarbonised mineral supply chain. Through this collaboration with Stanford University’s Mineral-X, Fleet Space aims to advance research, unlock innovation and accelerate humanity’s clean energy future leveraging space technology.

Fleet Space Technologies joins Ideon Technologies in being named as an industry affiliate of the program, who made a similar announcement in November last year.

Fleet Space’s new EXOSPHERE features to enhance agility, accuracy of customers’ exploration efforts

Fleet Space Technologies, a leading Australian space company, has announced three innovative features to its mineral exploration technology, EXOSPHERE BY FLEET®, each purpose-built to enhance the agility and accuracy of data-driven exploration efforts worldwide.

Starting today, for all in-progress or future surveys, exploration customers will be able to download several new data intelligence assets on-demand from the ExoSphere platform that will deliver greater insights into ambient noise conditions, data quality and confidence levels across different parts of their 3D model, the company says.

Leveraging Fleet’s constellation of low Earth orbit satellites and the latest advances in passive seismic array technology, EXOSPHERE has rapidly disrupted the mineral exploration industry by reducing the time it takes to receive an actionable 3D model of a survey area from months or years to a matter of days – with near-zero environmental impact, Fleet says. Over 30 global exploration companies have used the technology to conduct surveys on a variety of commodity types across 5 continents, including Rio Tinto, Barrick Gold and Core Lithium, among many others.

Flavia Tata Nardini, CEO of Fleet Space Technologies, said: “We have arrived at an inflection point in humanity’s journey towards renewable energy. The mineral exploration industry is on the brink of unprecedented transformation as shallow discoveries are exhausted and demand for critical minerals needed for the energy transition continue to intensify. Fleet’s space-enabled EXOSPHERE technology has demonstrated a path to scale critical mineral exploration globally while also helping to reduce environmental impact, which is the only approach that will enable humanity to reach its net-zero ambitions over the coming decades.”

Traditionally, data acquisition and processing from geophysical surveys can take years or months before they can be leveraged as part of any exploration campaign. This has made it difficult for field teams to make quick operational decisions on-site and home in on new waves of discoveries. As global demand for critical minerals intensifies, advances at the intersection of space technology and geophysics are helping the exploration industry to become more data-driven and agile in a rapidly changing landscape, the company says.

Fleet brings together the benefits of satellite connectivity, remote geophysical data acquisition, and near real-time data processing to deliver actionable 3D models of the Earth’s subsurface for customers around the world, it says. With today’s announcement, Fleet has added several new features to its ExoSphere platform which include the Sensitivity Model, Data Processing Report, and Source Data Pack.

Customers can now access a Sensitivity Model (pictured above) to help them visualise and quantify confidence levels for every 3D model that is generated. This will provide customers with a relative indicator of the likely resolution and quality across different parts of the model, highlighting areas on a spectrum from higher to lower confidence. Ultimately, the Sensitivity Model will give customers an enhanced view into the confidence levels about potential subsurface findings in addition to areas of the model that would benefit from further surveying.

Featuring 14 technical charts, data processing parameters, and an explanatory narrative, the Data Processing Report is designed to give customers enhanced insight about the ambient noise conditions of the survey, data quality, and the steps taken to generate their 3D model.

Edge-processed data from the passive seismic sensors, called Geodes, used within a customer’s survey area will be downloadable on-demand from the ExoSphere platform as a Source Data Pack. This will enable customers to re-process the data using different geophysical tools or update their existing 3D velocity model with additional insights they unlock as part of their exploration efforts in the future.

Hemant Chaurasia, Chief Product Officer at Fleet, added: “Space-enabled technologies in the field today will profoundly shape the future of mineral exploration. With over 150 EXOSPHERE surveys completed across five continents, it’s clear that near-real time access to 3D velocity models, combined with these new EXOSPHERE features announced today, are unlocking new data-driven approaches that reduce the time, resources, and trial-and-error needed to build valuable subsurface insight and accelerate mineral discovery. This will be critical for the mineral exploration industry as we work towards the renewable energy future that our world so desperately needs.”

METS Ignited - IMARC 2022

Critical minerals discussion to continue at IMARC 2023

The announcement by Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, to double the investment in the Critical Minerals Fund sets the scene for this year’s International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in Sydney, New South Wales, next week.

The A$4 billion ($2.5 billion) plan is aimed at expanding the production and processing of critical minerals in Australia to secure the country’s position as a global critical minerals powerhouse.

Albanese said Australia is in a strong position to help the global shift to net-zero due to its large deposits of critical minerals.

He said: “Australia is committed to building sustainable and secure critical minerals supply chains with the United States. This is central to building a clean energy future and delivering economic growth. The expansion of the Critical Minerals Facility will help to build supply chains with the United States and support our shared clean energy, manufacturing and defence ambitions.”

Minister for Resources of Australia, Madeleine King, said the road to net-zero runs through Australia’s resources sector.

“The Critical Minerals Facility is a cornerstone of support, providing finance to strategically significant projects which can crowd in private investment,” King said.

“Coupled with our support for processing, we are well positioned to be a world leading provider of critical minerals, including rare earths elements, and to support global efforts on clean energy transformation.”

Australia is fortunate to be home to some of the largest recoverable critical mineral deposits on earth, with abundant reserves of rare minerals including lithium, graphite, cobalt and nickel.

But unlike iron ore and coal, these critical minerals are also found in many other countries, meaning Australia’s traditional competitive advantage no longer comes so easily.

As the world scrambles to secure these resources of the future, this new competitive landscape has spurred an effort to unlock Australia’s potential as a critical mineral powerhouse given its large reserves of rare earth minerals.

Critical minerals are integral to the global clean energy economy and are key components for products such as solar panels, batteries, medical equipment and telecommunications technology. Thankfully, Australia is well-positioned to meet the growing demand for responsibly produced minerals.

Roland Hill from FYI Resources, a producer of critical minerals for the electric vehicle and high-tech appliance industry, notes that despite Australia’s leading position in the critical mineral market, there remains a lot of catching up to do to meet global demand pressures.

He said: “Australia is probably punching above its weight in terms of supply and is therefore boasting some of the largest production of lithium. However, much like the rest of the world, Australia has been caught short a little in terms of the preparedness to address the shortfall in critical minerals supply. We still have a long way to go before we can say we are global leaders in critical minerals, in the same we do for traditional resources.”

The global race to secure critical minerals

One of the biggest challenges facing the industry is the vulnerability of supply chains and the concentration of production facilities, particularly in China. As a result, Australia is looking to improve its trade partnerships with other nations such as India, Japan and South Korea to help diversify global supply chains.

Allison Britt, Director of Mineral Resources Advice and Promotion at Geoscience Australia, said nations around the world are looking to ensure stable supply chains for their economic and sovereign security.

“Developing the large-scale mineral supply chains needed for the new energy transition requires new partnerships among like-minded countries in addition to existing trade relationships,” Britt said.

“Australia’s international partnerships, trade agreements, extraordinary geological endowment and objectives to grow production, processing and manufacturing capacity should underpin our own energy transition.”

To help alleviate the supply chain constraint, the Australian Government penned a strategic cooperation agreement with South Korea during diplomatic visit by President, Moon Jae-in, in December 2022. South Korea is a major producer of technologies and materials that require Australian critical minerals, including products with batteries, semiconductors and electric vehicles. The nation is already Australia’s third-largest export destination.

The South Korea-Australia partnership further entrenches South Korea’s standing as an important energy and resources export partner. The agreement also aligns with a call made in October 2021 by the head of the South Korean Government’s new critical minerals planning team, which asked for greater engagement with Australia’s mining and processing capacity.

Australia’s role as a hydrogen gas producer has also not gone unnoticed and has been gaining traction, particularly with South Korean resource companies. Sun Metals, owned by Korea Zinc’s Australian business, Ark Energy, is building a green hydrogen plant in Townsville. Once at capacity, Korea Zinc hopes to ship more than 500,000 tonnes of hydrogen a year from Queensland to Korea to power their factories.

According to Joshua Dellios, Partner at MinterEllison, as the world looks for access to critical minerals, Australia is emerging as a preferred market given the country’s well-established regulatory framework that aims to ensure the sustainable development of its mineral resources while minimising their environmental impacts.

However, these safeguards also raise barriers to investment and exploration that could jeopardise Australia’s attractiveness in an increasingly competitive global market. Australia will have to overcome challenges such as, limited infrastructure, high capital costs, and the need for advanced technologies. This will require collaborative efforts among industry, government, and research institutions, as well as targeted investments in infrastructure development, technological advancements, and streamlined regulations to create a more conducive environment for the growth of the critical minerals sector.

Deliios said: “Navigating the barriers to critical mineral exploration and mining in Australia demands a united front, with industry, government, and research working hand in hand to unlock the potential of this vital sector and propel our nation towards a greener future.”

New technologies key to reaching targets

Given the relative scarcity of critical minerals, companies like Fleet Space Technologies are encouraging the mining and resource sector to reimagine how they search for minerals and embrace technologies from other industries. Hemant Chaurasia, Chief Product Officer at Fleet Space Technologies says there is a lot to learn from the latest advances in the space sector.

“It is clear that mineral exploration is getting harder, as we start to exhaust shallow discoveries and are forced to search deeper into the earth. This demands a much more data-driven approach to exploration,” Chaurasia said.

“Today, using satellites and sensors, geophysical exploration data can be transmitted to the cloud in near real-time from anywhere on earth, shortening the time it takes to create actionable 3D models of the subsurface from months to days.”

With uncertainty remaining around the supply chains of critical minerals, digital technologies are becoming increasingly important assets to mining and production companies. The solutions are allowing organisations to extract greater quantities of resources from existing materials whilst also lowering production and maintenance costs. IFS, a global leader in enterprise software solutions, is assisting the broader industry by helping them optimise supply chains and production and refining processes through its products.

Warren Zietsman, Managing Director of IFS Australia and New Zealand says embracing technology, software, and AI (Artificial Intelligence) is not just a ‘take it or leave it’ for mining organisations; t’s a vital cog in the process to achieving business and sustainability goals.

“By leveraging technologies such as AI, Augmented Reality, Digital Twins and machine learning, mining organisations can effectively manage and maintain the mining of critical minerals, while extending the life of their assets and invariably reducing their carbon footprint,” Zietsman said.

“By taking advantage of the capabilities that intelligent operational planning and simulation tools can provide, organisations can foresee unexpected scenarios to protect a value chain that relies on minimal disruption.”

Critical minerals a key theme at IMARC 2023

The International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in Sydney, October 31-November 2, will feature a major focus on the global issues facing the critical mineral sector, and the challenges Australia must overcome to realise the potential to be a global critical minerals powerhouse.

With over 380 technical talks, panel discussions, and strategic keynote presentations across seven concurrent streams, IMARC offers attendees the opportunity to hear from experts across the sector as they look to revolve the varying challenges facing the mining and resource industry as they pivot towards critical minerals. Sessions will include:

• Driving International Supply Chain Collaboration in Critical Minerals;

• Investing and Financing Australia’s Critical Minerals’ Independence;

• The EU’s Critical Raw Material Policy and Initiatives in Europe and with Third Countries; and

• Sustainable Mining for Green Technologies.

International Mining is a media sponsor of IMARC 2023 and will be on site in Sydney

Thor Energy to tap Fleet Space’s EXOSPHERE BY FLEET tech for Alford East copper-REE project exploration

Thor Energy Plc has announced a collaboration with Fleet Space Technologies to undertake Ambient Noise Tomography (ANT) surveys to advance Thor’s understanding of the Alford East copper-REE project, in South Australia.

The exploration-focused agreement will see Fleet deploy its EXOSPHERE BY FLEET® technology, which scans the ground using the advanced ANT seismic tomography technique, where highly transportable ‘Geode’ devices listen to faint background vibrations from natural and man-made sources. The data is then processed rapidly and transmitted through Fleet’s constellation of low earth orbit satellites, recently launched by SpaceX.

This technology will be used in surveys over the Alford East project to successfully delineate the low velocity, weathered ‘troughs’ that host the oxide copper-REE mineralisation with the Alford Copper Belt, Thor says.

Fleet will then integrate ANT results with Thor’s 3D geological model by using AI and machine learning to generate a new model for drill targeting higher-grade oxide copper-gold mineralisation.

The results from the surveys will play a pivotal role in shaping decisions and refining the targeting strategy for upcoming drilling campaigns, Thor says, adding that these future drilling efforts will be concentrated on regions characterised by low seismic velocity, known for hosting oxidised copper-gold mineralisation conducive to the possibility of in-situ recovery (ISR).

In line with this, an investment fund associated with Fleet Space will make a direct equity investment of A$250,000 ($161,797) in Thor via a share subscription at A$0.04/share.

Nicole Galloway Warland, Managing Director of Thor Energy, said: “Thor is delighted to have formed a collaborative partnership with Fleet Space Technologies to accelerate mineral exploration at our Alford East copper-REE project. EXOSPHERE BY FLEET is a low environmental impact method of exploring undercover and at depth, which through our 30% equity in EnviroCopper (ECL) have successfully completed a similar project at Alford West project, located to the south.”

Federico Tata-Nardini, Chief Financial Officer, Financial Strategy & Investment Officer of Fleet SpaceTechnologies, said: “In a groundbreaking collaboration, Thor and Fleet Space are set to redefine mineral exploration through the innovative integration of space technology. This partnership marks the convergence of advanced technologies. Fleet’s cutting-edge space technology will merge seamlessly with Thor’s expertise in mineral exploration. The Alford East project will act as the catalyst for this transformative journey, ushering in a fresh era defined by heightened efficiency and unparalleled precision. This will unlock a realm of opportunities for highly targeted drilling campaigns and expedited exploration endeavours.”

The Alford East project covers the northern extension of the Alford Copper Belt, located on the Yorke Peninsula, South Australia. The Alford Copper Belt is a semi-coherent zone of copper-gold oxide mineralisation, within a structurally-controlled, north-south corridor consisting of deeply kaolinised and oxidised troughs within metamorphic units on the edge of the Tickera Granite, Gawler Craton, South Australia. Thor completed an inferred mineral resource estimate by using historic drill hole information, which came in at 125.6 Mt at 0.14% Cu containing 177,000 t of contained copper and 71,500 oz of contained gold.

AIMEX 2023 conference to highlight tech innovation and decarbonisation importance

The conference program for Asia Pacific’s International Mining Exhibition (AIMEX), taking place at the Sydney Showgrounds from September 5-7, has just been released, with over 25 leaders from resources, minerals processing, METS and policy sectors set to feature at Australia’s longest-running mining event.

Each day of the three-day conference will address a specific theme. Day one covers decarbonisation in mining, one of the biggest topics for the industry currently. The opening day will have panel discussions featuring leaders from METS Ignited, Australian Hydrogen Council, ISN and the International Copper Association Australia.

John Fennell, CEO of the International Copper Association Australia, says the conference comes at a critical time for the resources sector.

He said: “The world’s move to electrification has compounded supply and demand issues across industry. There are key technologies that will help us to move forward with higher operational efficiency and lower emissions, but in order to implement these technologies industry-wide we need to talk about them as an industry first.”

Day two will cover technical innovation, with a keynote from Nathan Kirchner of Robotics Australia Group, plus panel discussions with academic experts from the University of Newcastle and UQ’s Sustainable Minerals Institute, and contributions from Accenture, CR Powered by Epiroc and Fleet Space Technologies.

The final day of the conference will focus on the hot-button topic of ESG, with speakers discussing renewable integration, the circular economy and leveraging technology.

Associate Professor, Liza Forbes, from UQ’s Sustainable Minerals Institute is speaking as part of two panels at the conference, and notes the importance of industry collaboration and conversation.

Dr Forbes said: “One of the biggest barriers to industry collaboration is that systemic incentives for academic work are often not in step with industry needs, resulting in siloed operations. It is vital for academic research to build and maintain industry relevance by staying abreast of the common problems that industry encounters and the solutions that are sought for such problems.

“By coming together at events like AIMEX, we open important channels for discussion and collaboration that work towards removing those knowledge silos.”

The conference runs alongside the AIMEX exhibition, where over 250 national and international exhibitors will be present. New features of the exhibition this year include the Transformative Technology Pavilion and the Decarbonisation Zone, further emphasising the importance of technology innovation and decarbonisation to the industry’s future.

AIMEX Exhibition Director, Samantha Martin, says this is no coincidence, and the focus reflects industry trends and attendee feedback across multiple events.

She said: “We aim to make our events both a gathering place for the industry at all points of the supply and value chain, and a launching pad to move industry discussions forward into a sustainable future. I’m excited about the conference program at this year’s AIMEX, with plenty of content for attendees from engineers to management, consultants, decision makers and suppliers.”

International Mining is a media sponsor of AIMEX. More information here.