The global mining industry could soon benefit from an Aussie-made technology that provides new knowledge on orebodies and mineral systems.
Developed by CSIRO, the new advanced mineral analysis and logging technology – called HyLogger – uses the spectra of reflected light from mineral surfaces to interpret the mineralogy of the material. Additionally, the technology provides near real time analysis so that costs and delays associated with laboratory analysis are greatly reduced.
CSIRO Research Director, Dr Rob Hough, said HyLogger is far more reliable for systematic mineral identification than visual techniques used in most drilling programs.
He said the technology has now been licensed to Australian mining, equipment, technology and services (METS) company Corescan, adding that its commercialisation will opened the way for the industry to truly take advantage of hyperspectral analysis of drill materials for exploration and mining.
“Through our partnership with the Australian state geological surveys, the National Virtual Core Library and AuScope, hyperspectral data is now routinely acquired at government core repositories and is generating new knowledge on mineral systems,” Dr Hough said.
“Transferring the technology and ongoing development to Corescan, an Australian SME, will enable CSIRO to focus on the application and integration of hyperspectral information with other data sets to support mineral exploration through cover and for rapid resource characterisation in deposits.”
Corescan Managing Director, Neil Goodey, said the company – which operates a network of hyperspectral mineralogy labs across Australia, South East Asia, Canada, USA, Mexico, Peru, Chile and Argentina – plans to integrate HyLogger into its existing suite of advanced hyperspectral imaging equipment.
He said the technology will give the company a broader range of solutions to accommodate different commodities and better meet customer requirements at different stages of the exploration and mining cycle.
“Corescan will also be offering support services to the existing HyLogger community and will leverage its global reach to bring the technology to new international markets,” Mr Goodey added.
“Corescan will be working closely with the Australian geological surveys and the National Virtual Core Library to continue on the great work that CSIRO has done in this area over the last decade.”
According to CSIRO, the Australian exploration industry spends approximately $600 million per year drilling holes to locate economic mineral resources.
The agency believes HyLogger could save the mining industry million of dollars by providing detailed knowledge of the mineralogy and alteration patterns associated with prospective mineral regions, which is crucial to guide exploration success and attract further international investment into Australia.