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™.