HyLogging ticks two boxes for the Australian mining industry – it is making a demonstrable difference to exploration and mining competitiveness and it is improving our mining services exports. It has enabled AuScope's National Virtual Core Library, an open-access resource of Australia's geology used by government, industry and researchers.
Reducing the need for drilling and making logging more accurate
The Australian exploration industry spends close to $600 million per year drilling holes to locate potentially economic mineral resources.
Detailed geological models and knowledge of mineralogy greatly assists industry to locate these resources and can reduce the need for expensive drilling, saving time and money.
Hyperspectral logging technologies provide a means to gain this information from the materials or drill cores derived from drilling.
Until recently geologists, metallurgists and geotechnical engineers had to manually interpret and record minerals present in these materials. This reliance on visual interpretation of drill cores was prone to error and labour intensive.
A new automated logging technology
Our hyperspectral logging technology or HyLogging system, characterises minerals in drill core samples, and is helping the industry improve the efficiency of this process.
The HyLogger is largely automated and driven by a robotic sampling system. It uses visible and infrared light to characterise selected minerals from drill cores, chips and pulps that are often difficult or impossible for human observers to interpret correctly.
Reflected light from the samples is broken into hundreds of different wavelengths by several spectrometers, allowing the recognition of unique spectral signatures for each mineral.
Although visible and infrared spectrometers have existed in university laboratories for years, our version is faster, more rugged, automated and supported by special purpose software.
The software generates digital images, surface profiles and mineralogical interpretations.
The system is enabling the digitisation millions of metres of drillcores through the National Virtual Core Library (NVCL), a collaboration between AuScope and Australia's state and territory geological surveys.
Saving millions of dollars each year and improving accuracy and efficiency
Considered a major step forward in providing consistency and objectivity in the drill core logging process, the HyLogging system provides new information on the mineralogy of ore deposits. It dramatically improves geologists' efficiency and productivity by providing them with 'a new set of eyes' to map mineral composition rapidly and objectively.
There are seven Hylogging machines in use by Australian state and territory geological surveys, enhancing the industry's competitiveness by building a national record of geological core information. HyLogging has also been adopted by the Mexican Geological Survey.
For example, since 2009 the Perth Core Library has collected data on 300,000 metres of drill core from 1000 unique drill holes with the help of the Geological Survey of Western Australia and our HyLogging system.
In 2017, the HyLogging system was licensed to Australian METS company, Corescan. Corescan operate a network of hyperspectral mineralogy labs across Australia, South East Asia, Canada, USA, Mexico, Peru, Chile and Argentina and will drive delivery the HyLogging system as a mining service to the global market.