FII researchers Ben Vanderhoek, Caroline Tiddy and David Giles participated in the first field trials of an innovative new drilling rig with the potential to significantly improve mineral exploration productivity. The prototype coiled tubing (CT) drill rig, the RoXplorer®, has been developed by the Deep Exploration Technologies Cooperative Research Centre (DET CRC). The most recent field trials were conducted on Carriewerloo Station, approximately 20km west of Port Augusta in late February-early March. The rig drilled 367m in four successive 12 hour shifts for an average of ~92m per shift. This compares to ~25m per shift for diamond drilling in an adjacent hole, penetrating the same geology. FII researchers are responsible for ensuring representative, depth accurate sample collection from the CT drill rig. This includes the design, fabrication (by 3D printing) and testing of a novel sub-sampling system. We are working through detailed quantitative characterisation of the samples, however visual logging provides an early indication that the geology closely matches that in the adjacent diamond drill hole.
A DET CRC press release regarding the drilling trials can be found at:
A video of the field trial can be found at: