Through the Deep Exploration Technologies Cooperative Research Centre (DET CRC), we helped to build and road-test an innovative new drill rig that delivers continuous samples and information while drilling for rapid, in-field exploration decision-making.

The challenge

Reducing the costs of exploration drilling

Reducing costs of drilling to enable more efficient minerals exploration.  ©DET CRC

The exploration challenge in Australia is to discover new deposits at depth and under covered regions.

Exploration drilling is key to identifying minerals below the surface, but it's expensive and the single biggest cost for companies.

Coiled tubing (CT) drilling has been effectively used by industry for over 20 years and offers greater efficiency and safety than other drilling techniques because it eliminates drill rods. Recent research efforts have looked at ways to improve the technology to make it more cost-effective.

Our response

New and improved coiled tubing drilling rig

As part of a DET CRC project, we helped to build and test a new coiled tubing (CT) drilling rig for greenfields mineral exploration.

RoXplorer offers better productivity, safety and environmental performance.  ©DET CRC

We worked on modifications to improve the conventional CT drilling rig so that it lasts longer and has a smaller, more lightweight design.

The ultimate solution developed through DET CRC – called RoXplorer® – provides real-time information to enable more effective and safer exploration in areas of deep cover.

It delivers continuous samples and information while drilling to allow companies to make decisions about exploration strategy in the field.

The results

Brought to industry to improve productivity, safety and environmental performance

RoXplorer® is currently licensed to Barrick.

It offers significant productivity, safety and environmental performance compared to conventional drilling methods.

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