Tag Archives: Nomad

ERG debuts world-first smart exploration rover at Future Minerals Forum

Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) is looking to change the early-stage mineral exploration process with a ground-breaking smart exploration rover, NOMAD, launched at the Future Minerals Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, today.

A remotely-operated soil sampling robot, NOMAD has been specifically designed to thrive in challenging terrains, such as those found in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as contribute to a smarter, greener and more sustainable economy.

NOMAD, based on Mars rover technology and developed by ERG Technology Intelligence, a division of ERG, incorporates three core elements that, according to the company, makes it fit-for-purpose in exploration contexts:

  • A remote, all-wheel drive semi-autonomous navigation system, key to navigating the Kingdom’s challenging terrain;
  • The inclusion of a multi-sensor platform that allows for efficient and immediate scanning of samples, integral to efficient, safe and methodical sampling; and
  • A built-in, percussion soil drill, that drills 800 mm into the earth’s surface, to fast-track sampling and transfer to scanning trays.

These features boost efficiency by taking more than 120 samples per day, which, the company says, is a major improvement on the maximum of 30 samples that can be achieved manually.

“With rising temperatures and increasingly arduous geological work conditions, NOMAD can perform formerly manual work more safely and proficiently, while allowing exploration of larger surface areas at pace,” the company explained.

Chile-based robotics company, Godelius, has partnered on the NOMAD development, while the unit incorporates Geotek’s BoxScan multi-sensor platform, which includes a BoxScan X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) sensor for chemistry analysis, a hyperspectral sensor for mineralogy assessment, a magnetic susceptibility laser profiler for magnetic property analysis, and a high-resolution line scan imagery solution for detailed visual data.

“This solution was chosen strategically based on their comprehensive range of exploration capabilities as a multi-element geochemistry solution,” Aaron Baensch, Head of ERG Technology Intelligence, told IM. “NOMAD’s uniqueness lies in its integration of these sensors in a single, mobile, fit-for-purpose drilling and scanning unit, making it the first of its kind to combine these advanced technologies.”

NOMAD can take more than 120 samples per day, which, ERG says, is a major improvement on the maximum of 30 samples that can be achieved manually

Once samples are collected by NOMAD, it returns to a central, remote, mobile analysis base station which houses the robots and also re-charges the batteries that power them. The base station, part of ERG Arabia’s complete end-to-end smart exploration solution, conducts analysis of the collected sample on site, working to fast-track operations, by helping the geology teams on the ground to make decisions in real time.

“This level of agility is integral to developing a more responsive and sustainable mining sector,” ERG says.

Baensch added: “With NOMAD, we aim to analyse a wide range of characteristics beyond just ore grade, including: elemental composition, mineralogy, magnetic properties and visual data. The units are equipped with low-level sensitivity sensors to detect even trace amounts of elements and minerals.”

The unveiling of the first NOMAD follows successful field testing in Ad Dawadmi, a location where ERG has exploration assets, in December. This focused predominantly on the navigation, autonomy and drilling aspects of NOMAD, according to Baensch.

“The terrain in the areas tested comprised shallow cover over residual regolith and proved the suitability of implementing NOMAD in the region perfectly,” he said. “The robot excelled in boosting operational efficiency by an astounding 400% compared to conventional manual exploration methods.”

In addition to deploying the unit for ERG Arabia’s use, the company is also seeking partnerships with industry, government and research institutions as a means to contribute to sector-wide exploration progress.

CEP to scale up Nomad solar tracker production with Scatec Solar deal

Cambridge Energy Partners (CEP), the manufacturer of the Nomad redeployable solar generator, has signed a cooperation agreement with Scatec Solar, a large Norwegian independent power producer.

Under the agreement, Scatec Solar will use CEP’s movable solar tracker to offer short-term offtake agreements to commercial and industrial customers worldwide.

Tom Miller, CEP’s CEO, said: “The collaboration with Scatec Solar is an important step in CEP’s evolution, and puts us in position to become the leading manufacturer of movable solar solutions worldwide. We remain optimistic of the potential to deploy solar in remote locations, and feel our Nomad solar tracker is uniquely placed to service this market.”

Nomad is a prefabricated and movable solar generator that uses single-axis solar tracking to maximise solar yield. The prefabricated trackers can be installed in modular 15 kW units, reducing installation costs for large scale projects in challenging locations.

“With a market leading transport density of more than 150 kW per container, units can be packed-up and redeployed multiple times over their useful life,” the company said.

In mining, CEP’s Nomad solar trackers have already found its way into Newmont Goldcorp’s Akyem gold mine in Ghana, where four of them are helping power a 120 kW solar plant at the operation.

CEP said the collaboration with Scatec Solar allows it to “significantly increase” the future production volume of its Nomad solar tracker to hundreds of megawatts per year.

For Scatec Solar, the agreement will help launch a service that offers mining operations in emerging markets access to flexible, reliable and low-cost power through solar plant leasing.

The new service, called Release, offers miners flexible leasing agreements of pre-assembled solar and battery equipment, from 1 to 20 MW capacity.

Scatec said: “The solution is particularly attractive for mining companies in remote locations that rely on diesel driven power generators but would like access to cost efficient and clean energy. Today, approximately 600 GW of large-scale diesel is installed globally. This represents a significant market opportunity for small scale solar power.”

Initially, Release will target the African market with its new solar power plant solution. The company is currently also developing opportunities in Asia and Latin America.

Hans Olav Kvalvaag, responsible for Scatec Solar’s Release redeployable solar solution, said: “CEP’s modular and movable Nomad will help us rapidly deliver projects to the previously underserved commercial and industrial market.”