Tag Archives: Geological Survey of South Australia

DIG CT to bring MinEx CRC’s RoXplorer coiled tubing drilling tech to the market

MinEx CRC says has struck a commercialisation deal with DIG CT, a niche Australia-based drilling company set to bring MinEx CRC’s RoXplorer® coiled tubing (CT) drilling technology to market.

The CT drilling platform enables mineral exploration companies to significantly improve their environmental footprint and productivity by meeting the challenges of exploring in deep cover frontier provinces, barely touched in decades of previous exploration, according to MinEx CRC.

Developed in collaboration with industry partners Anglo American, BHP, Epiroc, LKAB Wassara, South32 and the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA), the CT platform can drill through unconsolidated cover and hard-rock formations to depths of 500 m, delivering safety, efficiency, productivity and high-quality sampling with minimal infrastructure and streamlined operating processes.

“The key feature of RoXplorer CT drill rig is the patented mast design and over-the-hole positioning of the coil reel,” MinEx CRC CEO, Andrew Bailey, said.

“This enables increased coil life, seamless transition between CT and conventional top-drive drilling, rapid loading and unloading of tooling and drill string incorporated on the rig for ease of set up, pack down and transport.”

DIG CT Founder and Director, and Global Drilling Specialist, Craig Lavrick, said: “I’m proud to have been involved with the CT rig platform’s development since its inception, for over a decade. I consider coil tubing technology a ‘game changer’ and necessary next generation equipment to elevate exploration drilling to a safer, greener and more productive industry.”

Since August 2021, the CT platform has safely completed over 14,000 m of drilling in collaboration with Geological Survey of South Australia, Geological Survey of Western Australia, Geoscience Australia, Anglo American and EnviroCopper. Drilling trials demonstrate the system’s success and application to real-world, deep cover exploration scenarios while providing cost, productivity, safety and environmental benefits when compared with conventional drilling platforms.

The commercialisation deal between MinEx CRC and DIG CT will see the RoXplorer CT drilling platform offered as a drilling service for hire, with one initial drill rig in operation, with the intent to grow the fleet as mineral explorers recognise the value and utility of the novel CT technology, MinEx CRC says.

In February 2023 MinEx CRC announced a manufacturing deal with rig manufacturer, Schramm – now a subsidiary of the Epiroc group – who are ready to build the new fleet of CT drill rigs as demand increases, according to the organisation.

New survey to open up undercover exploration in South Australia’s Gawler Craton

New data collected from the Geological Survey of South Australia (GSSA) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is set to open up undercover exploration in the Gawler Craton.

The Gawler Craton Airborne Survey has been designed to capture approximately 1.8 million line kilometres of new magnetic, radiometric and digital elevation geophysical data over an area of some 324,000 sq.km.

The data will far surpass the current patchwork of surveys and provide a single, uniform dataset that will be fundamental in reinterpreting the geological structure of the Gawler Craton, according to the South Australia Government.

The Gawler Craton is host to the world-class Olympic Dam iron ore copper gold deposit, which hosts the world’s largest uranium deposit, as well as sizeable copper and gold resources. Several major copper mines including Prominent Hill, Cairn Hill, Mount Gunson, Hillside and Kanmantoo are also located here, in addition to projects like Carrapateena, Khamsin, Emmie Bluff and Punt Hill.

This week, the first data release of rock depth from the programme – focused on the north-western Gawler Craton – was published.

Officially opening the South Australian Resources and Energy Investment Conference (SAREIC) in Adelaide on July 30, Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the information “will give explorers a head start on their exploration programmes and save precious time and money”.

“When it comes to exploring undercover, knowing the depth of prospective rocks is critical, given the cost and expense involved in drilling. This project is an international standout bringing an amazing clarity and precision in seeing through earth’s cover,” he said.

Today’s release is the first of 16 packages to be rolled out by the GSSA over the next 12 months covering the remaining Gawler Craton survey, and builds on previous releases of magnetic, radiometric and digital elevation data across a vast region of South Australia.

Despite many mines and prospects, the Gawler province is largely underexplored due primarily to the cover of regolith making exploration difficult. Statistical analysis of the type of orebodies present in the Gawler Craton, compared to similar style deposits globally, suggests there is an opportunity for more economic mineral discoveries to be found.