Tag Archives: Qtec

Qtec, Wallis and UWA granted cash to expand real-time drill and assay technology

The Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science recently announced that the joint venture (JV) between Qtec, Wallis Drilling and the University of Western Australia has been awarded a three‑year grant from the Cooperative Research Centres Program (CRC-P) up to the value of A$2.8 million ($2 million).

Qteq, as the award recipients with Wallis and UWA as the JV partners, were awarded the grant for development of a real-time communications and downhole power generation system to be used with Qteq’s existing fleet of Measurement While Drilling instruments.

Following the initial phase of the project, the JV will work on developing Logging While Drilling tools that include nuclear magnetic resonance and spectroscopy, Qtec said.

The completed project will deliver the ability to provide real-time assay and moisture content during the reverse circulation drilling process, according to the company.

Qtec Chief Technology Officer, Dr Tim Hopper, said: “The ability to acquire assay and moisture content whilst drilling will dramatically change the face of minerals drilling in Australia. The cost and time reduction to clients is significant, with miners no longer needing to wait months to get cutting samples analysed before they can make decisions.

“When combined with the Wallis Drilling 300RC Autonomous Rig, the industry takes a step closer to achieving the ability to remotely drill and assay holes, with staff being able to monitor and direct operations remotely,” he said. “The mine of the future takes another step forward.”

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science’s CRC-P aims to improve the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Australian industries, especially where Australia has a competitive strength and is in line with government priorities, according to Qtec.

“While the programme wishes to foster high-quality research to solve industry-identified problems through industry‑led and outcome-focused collaborative research partnerships between industry entities and research organisations, it also aims to encourage and facilitate small and medium enterprise participation in collaborative research,” the company added.

With the award of the grant, the Western Australia-based JV will be looking to further promote the use of high-quality, high-technology equipment in the mining industry which it hopes will further encourage WA’s highly skilled workforce to consider a career in this usually “low-tech industry”, Qtec said.

Qteq’s recently appointed Chief Executive Officer, Ewan Meldrum, said: “The development of this new, advanced logging system will support Australia in becoming a world leader in the commercialisation of mining technology and services.”

Australia georesources sector set for further consolidation with QTEQ/WSG merger

Australia-based Qteq and Wireline Services Group (WSG) have agreed to join forces as they look to build a bigger domestic and overseas base in the georesources sector.

The merger, one of five corporate M&A transactions by Qteq in 2018, alone, signals an influx of innovative borehole measurement sensors and systems backed by two of the world’s leading geotechnical companies, Qtec said.

“The transaction will partner Qteq’s integrated technical services team with almost 80 field logging engineers across Australia and Canada,” the company added.

Qtec’s recent acquisition activity has seen it buy Surtech Systems and directional drilling and measurement-while-drilling (MWD) company WellServ, providing its clients with access to leading systems to collect accurate data on the composition and behaviour of subsurface rocks. WSG will complement this offering with its “safe, reliable and accurate” subsurface data acquisition and analysis services.

Qteq founder and CEO Simon Ashton said WSG shared the company’s vision for a “sustainable, environmentally responsible georesources sector”.

He added: “WSG’s 18 years of experience and dedicated team enhances Qteq’s national and international service capability beyond our current bases in every Australian state and core hubs overseas.”

The merger is supported by WSG founder and Managing Director Matthew Mayne, who will remain at Qteq as Managing Director of the Qteq Measurement Systems division, Qtec said. Mayne, who launched WSG more than 18 years ago, said the merger was a great opportunity for the company’s expertise to reach new markets.

“My first order of business will be driving the division’s regional and global growth, as Qteq continues to expand into South America, Africa and Canada,” Mayne said.

“The integration of the two companies will provide new opportunities across the georesources sector on a scale that has not been seen before. It will build and refine the skillset of our combined teams and provide our clients with direct access to Qteq’s innovative subsurface technologies.”

As a leading provider of subsurface geophysical and geotechnical measurement systems, and more than 30 logging units across Australia, Asia and Canada, WSG’s in-house data services team will work alongside Qteq’s client-focused team to increase the market uptake of Qteq’s technology portfolio, Qtec said.

Mayne said: “We aim to offer the most innovative, cutting edge subsurface data services and technology in the industry.

“Qteq’s research and development team, in Perth, is building a tech-based bridge from the oil and gas sector to the coal seam gas, mining and ground water industries, with elemental spectroscopy and MWD systems for RC drilling.”

Qtec said: “Qteq’s team is fully committed to providing an efficient and safe solution to the mine site automation trend that is changing the georesources industry. Measuring and monitoring the subsurface drives informed decision making, and protects the industry’s social licence to operate and meet community environmental expectations.”

Qtec sees benefits of M&A with BMR environmental logging order

Qteq is making the most of its recent acquisition of subsurface data logging company Surtech Systems, securing what it believes is the first of many expected contracts to provide borehole data using new measurement sensors and systems.

The contract for environmental logging in the Northern Territory, Australia, will use Qteq’s patented Borehole Magnetic Resonance (BMR) technology to provide real-time accurate measurement of the aquifer.

BMR technology, which has been used in the oil and gas industries since the early 1990s, is sensitive to both the fluid volumes present in a rock, and the geometry of the pores containing these fluids. It, thus, provides information on both storage and flow potential.

Not only does BMR provide fluid volume and porosity, independent of any lithology effects, it can also differentiate the volume fraction of mobile fluid that can be produced from the fluid volume fraction bound in place in the rock. The pore geometry information obtained directly from BMR measurements also allows permeability and hydraulic conductivity to be derived, providing an understanding of how effectively the fluids will produce.

Tools developed for BMR application (Qtec’s own, pictured above) have typically been too large, too complex and too costly for use in other georesource sectors, however Qtec has developed fit-for-purpose tools that meet both the environmental and commercial requirements of a number of sectors.

Qteq said its recent acquisitions made its exploration analysis offering that much more complete.

“The addition of Surtech Systems and directional drilling and measurement while drilling company WellServ, means Qteq clients now have access to industry-leading systems to collect accurate data on the composition and behaviour of subsurface rocks.”

Qteq Chief Technology Officer Dr Tim Hopper said the two acquisitions, which will be re-branded as Qteq Measurement Systems, expanded the company’s operational footprint and market adoption of BMR, spectroscopy and logging while drilling services that are currently being developed.

“We now have a platform for commercialising a range of new technologies in our R&D pipeline,” Dr Hopper said.

Earlier this month, Qtec was one of eight recipients of government funding through the METS Ignited Collaborative Project Funds.

METS firms receive Australia government backing

Eight METS (mining equipment, technology and services) companies will receive A$7.14 million (US$5.3 million), combined, to “launch collaborative industry projects that will deliver highly-advanced solutions to a variety of mining challenges and contribute to the growth and capability of the METS sector”, METS Ignited has confirmed.

The METS Ignited Collaborative Project Funds is a government-funded, $15.6 million, four-year initiative to support, encourage and fund sector-wide collaboration. It, like the industry-led, state-backed METS Ignited organisation, was set up to improve productivity, competitiveness and innovative capacity in the country’s METS sector.

The latest announcement represents the second round of government funding, with the first round of recipients being Austmine, Unearthed Solutions, CORE Innovation Hub, Resources and Engineering Skills Alliance, and the Coalition for Energy Efficient Communition.

This round of funding recipients includes:
• The University of Western Australia (UWA)
• Manufacturing Intelligence
• Emapper
• Energetique Mining Vehicles
• Qtec
• Resolution Systems; and
• Micronised Mineral Systems.

METS Ignited CEO Ric Gros said the funding would spur necessary collaboration in the sector: “Opportunities for the sector to band together and innovate are vital to the growth of the sector. Facilitating such innovation is part of the mandate for METS Ignited, and the recipients of this round will be making invaluable contributions to the mining and METS sectors through their initiatives.”

Recipients of the funds are required to secure equal or greater investment from an industry partner. As a result, the total value of the eight projects is $17.4 million.

The largest share of the funding – $2 million – was awarded to Resolution Systems, a South Australia-based business conducting a project to develop fleet management software to allow different operational areas of mine sites to communicate with one another, increasing truck fleet productivity by 20%.

Resolution is partnering with Barrick Gold, South 32, Macmahon Holdings, Petra Data Science and Manta Controls on this project, which has been able to source $3.5 million of industry investment.

Other projects to receive funding in this round include:

• Technology testing facilities (UWA, partnered with BHP and Core Innovation Hub)
• Battery-powered vehicles for underground mining (Energetique Mining Vehicles, partnered with Aeris Resources, Safescape, Minetech Australia and Cougar Mining Group)
• Data acquisition software for environmental rehabilitation and drilling (Emapper, partnered with Roy Hill Iron Ore, Mt Gibson Iron, eagle.io and Astron Environmental Solais Geoinformatics)
• A new water treatment process (Micronised Mineral Systems, partnered with Tronox, Acadis Australia Pacific, Tech Bakery)
• Real-time data collection during blasthole drilling (IMDEX, partnered with Orica, Anglo American and Tech Resources)
• Software for data transfer between different platforms (Manufacturing Intelligence, partnered with Fortescue Metals Group, South 32 and Mining3 Enterprise Transformation Partners); and
• Production of drilling sensors and instrumentation (Qtec, partnered with Wallis Drilling and Gyromax).

METS Ignited said: “Collectively, the projects will benefit the mining sector by optimising the value chain, increasing productivity for mining and mineral processing, supporting and enhancing environmental management, and improving operational safety.”