Picture1

FIRST LIBS PROTOTYPE BEGINS SIMULATED DOWNHOLE TESTING

The first real-time downhole assay prototype based on LIBS technology has reached the first stage of “real world” testing – analysis of a simulated drillhole in the lab based on real lithologies from the field.

The very ambitious aim of developing a novel, real-time downhole elemental analyser has reached an important milestone – actual testing in a simulated laboratory drillhole. The four main parts of the project that have been progressing in parallel – LIBS hardware, LIBS calibrations from real lithologies, dual-spectrometer software, and data analysis and modelling – are now sufficiently advanced that they will be incorporated for the first time into a real-time downhole analysis platform.

The LIBS hardware (laser, optics and spectrometers) has been incorporated into a very narrow probe that has undergone a variety of tests and is now ready to be lowered into an accurately-characterised set of drilled ore blocks and will allow elemental analysis of a vertically-oriented drillhole. The experimental setup allows for a range of contaminants to be introduced, as would be expected in a real drillhole.

The 21 accurately-characterised ore blocks have been evaluated by various independent analytical techniques and can be assembled vertically into a synthetic drillhole and used to compare the results obtained by the downhole prototype. Part of this work also involved developing LIBS calibrations for major and minor elements in our second LIBS lab at UniSA, further strengthening our understanding of LIBS analysis of typical lithologies.

The data analysis and modelling aspect of this project has a range of novel components incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning. LIBS spectra will be degraded to various degrees by typical drillhole contaminants, and modelling the changes will give an ability to more accurately reconstruct the underlying composition.

Finally, bespoke software that allows control, acquisition and analysis of the dual-spectrometer hardware is now at the beta-testing stage, allowing spectral data to be instantly stored and handled remotely.

The ability to obtain real-time elemental composition of a deep drillhole will dramatically reduce the time taken for this analysis to be incorporated into a commercial exploration campaign. For the first time, it will allow the results of one exploratory drillhole to directly influence the decision for the placement of subsequent drillholes.

Posted in

Recent Posts

MinEx CRC EDI Policy finalised

June 8, 2022

MinEx CRC is committed to growing and supporting an equitable, diverse and inclusive environment where everyone feels safe, valued, supported,…

FIRST LIBS PROTOTYPE BEGINS SIMULATED DOWNHOLE TESTING

June 3, 2022

The first real-time downhole assay prototype based on LIBS technology has reached the first stage of “real world” testing –…

2022 Q1 VNEWS EPISODE

May 17, 2022

The latest episode of the MinExCRC quarterly vNews is now available to view. This edition features the following technical highlights for…

MINEX CRC EQUITY, DIVERSITY, AND INCLUSION (EDI) COMMITTEE APPOINTED

May 10, 2022

MinExCRC is committed to growing and supporting an equitable, diverse and #inclusive environment where everyone feels safe, valued, supported, and…

SEEKING YOUR INPUT FOR POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH SURVEY

May 4, 2022

A key part of the MinEx CRC agenda is to train the next generation of professionals in the skills required…

RIO TINTO JOINS MINEX CRC

May 4, 2022

MinEx CRC welcomes Rio Tinto as a new Participant. Rio will be contributing to our Drilling Technology and Data from…

EAST TENNANT NDI GEOCHEMICAL DATA NOW AVAILABLE VIA THE GA DATA PORTAL

April 5, 2022

Whole rock inorganic geochemical data for basement rocks in the East Tennant region of the Northern Territory have been released…

NDI Carrara 1 Quantitative X-ray diffraction data release

February 25, 2022

Geoscience Australia is undertaking a range of investigations on the lithology, stratigraphy and geotechnical properties of the MinEx CRC NDI…

CT RIG CONTINUES TO DELIVER IN PHASE II OF THE DELAMERIAN OROGEN NDI CAMPAIGN IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA

February 23, 2022

Phase II of drilling is now well underway in the MinEx CRC NDI Delamerian Orogen Campaign in collaboration with Department for Energy and…

SUMMARY OF FIELD DATA ACQUISITION FROM THE EAST TENNANT NDI CAMPAIGN NOW AVAILABLE

January 31, 2022

As part of the East Tennant National Drilling Initiative campaign, ten stratigraphic boreholes were drilled in the vicinity of the…

STAY UP TO DATE

Subscribe here for all the latest MinEx CRC updates...