Tag Archives: IMDEX HUB-IQ

New IMDEX rig count shows strong growth in major mining regions

New mineral exploration rig use figures released by IMDEX have revealed strong growth in major mining regions across the globe.

The rig use snapshot, which account for seasonal factors, were contained in an IMDEX presentation to the Macquarie WA Forum on December 2. They were taken in October and updated a similar assessment conducted by IMDEX earlier this year.

The figures, of surface and underground coring and RC rigs, show the fleet is close to capacity in Australia and New Zealand at 81%, up from 72% in April.

European rig use in October was 50%, up from 39%, South America 48% (39%), Africa 57% (54%), Canada 65% (46%), Mexico and Central America 48% (44%).

Globally, rig use increased from 46% in April to 55% in October.

The USA, at 64%, was down from 72% but North America was up from 49% to 59% utilisation.

IMDEX Chief Executive Officer, Paul House, said delivery times for new rigs had increased, and the sector was facing skilled labour shortages and mobility restrictions — but these were short-term constraints.

“We’re seeing recovery and growth in all key IMDEX regions,” he said. “This is flowing through to revenue, and is reflected in increasing demand for IMDEX HUB IQ™ connected sensors and software as companies continue to embrace innovation and new digital ways of working.”

House said there was continuing strong demand for gold, copper and other base metals, but that demand for critical minerals was expected to increase at a faster rate because of the push for decarbonisation.

The profile of exploration spending is shifting, through a combination of targeting, compliance, and drilling at depth, he added.

House said the company’s recent acquisition of Mineportal and investment in Datarock had added strength to IMDEX’s geoscience analytics, artificial intelligence, and computer visualisation capabilities as part of its integrated rock knowledge expertise.

“IMDEX technologies enable us to provide critical insights right through the mining value chain,” he said. “Our global presence is unrivalled and provides a compelling opportunity to embed real value for clients.”

In-field mineral analysis key to unlocking further exploration dollars, IMDEX says

Exploration companies planning to cash in on the rush of capital into the mining sector risk losing out if they fail to take advantage of the latest tools to deliver real-time results from drilling programs, according to IMDEX.

Exploration activity is on the up ‒ spurred on by strong commodity prices supported by government stimulus, decarbonisation targets and demand across a broad range of sectors, the mining tech company says, referencing an Australia-focused exploration report from BDO.

In a sign of the surge in activity, there are reports of long delays at minerals testing laboratories in Western Australia, with miners and drillers waiting weeks for results, according to IMDEX.

IMDEX General Manager Product Development, Mark Gabbitus, said while verified laboratory samples were vital for mine planning, real-time in-field data also played an important part in decision making.

“The problem explorers face is that by the time they get the results back from a laboratory ‒ if it’s the only data they have ‒ it’s too late to make changes to the drilling program,” he said. “The holes have all been drilled and the rig is off site.

“IMDEX allows the geologist in the field to get quality data in near-real time that will allow them to make informed decisions. This data might not be the same as they use to build a model and make a billion-dollar investment to mine, but it is still material.

“With this real-time data, the geologist can make informed decisions about where to drill next, thereby maximising their limited exploration dollars.”

Additionally, using in-field solutions from IMDEX allows the geologist to decide which samples to send to the lab, or at least to prioritise which samples they need back quickly, helping them beat lab delays, according to Gabbitus.

“Capital will move to those who move quickly. Explorers who take weeks or months to get assay results risk being left behind,” he added. “With trusted data that shows promising results, you then have the opportunity to raise more cash or just change the way you go about drilling by drilling efficient holes.”

Gabbitus concluded: “Having indicative results from the field will help to put exploration and mining companies, alike, ahead of their competitors.”

IMDEX has a suite of downhole survey tools, core orientation and gamma logging technologies and in-field sampling and analysis products all linked to cloud-connected IMDEX HUB-IQ™ and data analysis software IMDEX ioGAS™.

IMDEX accelerates cloud-connected solutions on COVID-19-related demand

IMDEX says interest in its cloud-connected technologies has spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic, the positive effect of which will flow through for the next 10 years.

There has been strong interest in IMDEX’s software technologies including IMDEX HUB-IQ™, IMDEX MUD AID™ and IMDEX IoGas™, it said, with registrations for webinars on digital workflow and training for data-related products having jumped.

Adoption of IMDEX EZ-TRAC™, a digital downhole survey instrument that uploads data to IMDEX HUB-IQ, has also doubled in the past 12 months, according to the company.

IMDEX Chief Executive, Paul House, said the new ways of working had accelerated the adoption of some of its products and training services by as much as 12 months.

“Things like our online training platform, IMDEX Academy; we had this training platform available to our employees but not our clients at the beginning of COVID-19,” House said. “It was an important project to us, but it wasn’t urgent. When COVID-19 came along, it went from being important to being urgent, and it accelerated both that product’s development and the time to market almost overnight.”

IMDEX is at least 12 months ahead on the rollout of its online training platform because of the adoption rate during the pandemic, it said.

Registrations for webinars and training related to digital products have increased significantly, with the most recent webinar on digital workflow attracting about 500 registrations, compared with previous webinars with no more than 100, IMDEX said.

House says IMDEX can move the knowledge base of the industry quickly.

“It’s a conversation in the marketplace, it validates our leadership position and our domain knowledge ownership, it’s transformational for us and that will pay off for us for the next 10 years,” he said.

“Where would usually have to ask customers to consider a change in behaviour, to take a leap of faith, all of those things are being pulled into the market rather than pushed. The processes that are being disrupted have a solution, which is some of our IMDEX solutions.”

House concluded: “We always say once you have started working with our solutions, you won’t go back. So, the adoption rate is faster, and the conversation rate is locked in.”