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This Program will extend the capability of Coiled Tubing (CT) drilling so it can drill deeper, is steerable and delivers the highest quality sampling. Coiled tubing technology promises drilling at 1/5th the cost of conventional diamond drilling and thus has the potential to drive a revolution in mineral exploration whilst delivering significant health, safety and environmental benefits. Drilling tasks that are more suited to conventional drilling will also be tackled by the MinEx CRC, developing technologies for optimising the performance and increasing the productivity of Reverse Circulation (RC) and diamond drilling techniques.
This program will develop technologies for capturing geochemical, petrophysical and seismic data either during drilling or within the drilling workflow. The program will also deliver software that will enable drilling data to be integrated into 3D geological models in real-time, delivering timely data to inform decisions on drill holes during drilling. This will contribute to drilling productivity through more efficient targeting, by minimising mobilisation costs and by allowing modifications to the drilling program during deployment.
The National Drilling Initiative (NDI) will manage and deliver drilling programs in multiple case study areas proposed by MinEx CRC’s partner geological survey organisations. The NDI vision is to drill multiple holes in a region to map the regional geology and architecture and define the potential for mineral systems in 3D. A range of drilling methods may be used however it is intended that the NDI will take advantage of new low-cost Coiled Tubing (CT) drilling technology and associated sensing, in order to maximise the number of drill holes and the volume of data collected.