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

NDI Delamerian Orogen Campaign features in the lates edition of the MESA Journal

January 31, 2022

The MinEx CRC National NDI Campaign currently underway in the Delamerian Orogen in collaboration with the Department for Energy and Mining, South Australia, features in…

MinEx CRC awarded Company of the Year by APAC Business Headlines

January 20, 2022

We are pleased to advise MinEx CRC has been awarded Company of the Year – Mining and Metals by APAC Business…

Kapunda Field Trials feature in the January edition of Australasian Drilling Magazine

January 17, 2022

The recent MinEx CRC Kapunda CT Drilling Trials in association with EnviroCopper feature in the January edition of Australasian Drilling Magazine.…

MinEx CRC 2021 ANNUAL REPORT

November 8, 2021

Our Annual Report has now been submitted to AusIndustry and is available via the Publications page of our website. Please…

MINEX CRC CODE OF CONDUCT

November 8, 2021

To meet its vision, it is a requirement for MinEx CRC to exchange research and development ideas across broad disciplines…

Delamerian drilling ramps up

November 2, 2021

The MinExCRC National NDI Campaign currently underway in the Delamerian Orogen in collaboration with Department for Energy and Mining, South Australia is utilising both Coil Tube drilling and conventional Diamond drilling. Whilst…

First conventional NDI Delamerian drillhole complete

November 1, 2021

Complementing advanced trials of the MinEx CRC CT rig, conventional drilling in the Delamerian NDI has completed its first conventional drillhole (NDIAW_D01).…

MINEX CRC WELCOMES NEW AFFILIATE UTAS TO THE TEAM

October 30, 2021

MinEx CRC welcomes new Affiliate, the University of Tasmania (CODES), to the team. MinEx CRC postgraduate student Richard Hill will…

GEOCHEMISTRY RESULTS FROM MINEX CRC NDI CARRARA 1 NOW AVAILABLE

October 28, 2021

Geochem results from the MinExCRC NT National Drilling Initiative (NDI) Campaign in collaboration with Industry Northern Territory and Geoscience Australia…

2021 ANNUAL CONFERENCE REGISTRATIONS

October 8, 2021

As you are aware, the 2021 MinEx CRC Annual Conference will now be held in an ‘online’ and ‘in-person hub’…

STAY UP TO DATE

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