MinEx CRC one step closer
Facilitating the next generation of mineral discoveries.
A proposed new cooperative research centre, MinEx CRC, plans to break new ground by pioneering cheap, safe and environmentally friendly coiled tubing drilling to build a 3D picture of the subsurface. It will build on the technical success of the Deep Exploration Technologies (DET) CRC to address declining mineral discovery rates in Australia by utilising novel coiled tubing drilling and related technologies to revolutionise mineral exploration. The three major themes to be explored are:
- Acquiring previously unattainable data on prospective rocks under deep, barren cover. To be carried out with the assistance of government geological surveys and in the context of the National Drilling Initiative.
- Developing cheaper, safer and more environmentally friendly methods to discover, analyse and drill-out deposits. Enhanced depth, steering and sensing capabilities will permit dramatically reduced cost of resource definition.
- Optimising conventional drilling such as diamond drilling.
From proposal to Stage 2 shortlisting
A Stage 1 bid, submitted to the federal Department of Industry, Innovation and Science on 11 July 2017, has been shortlisted. The bid was delivered as a joint proposal by mining and exploration companies; mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector companies; state and federal geological surveys; and research institutions including CSIRO and a number of universities.
The MinEx CRC is one of six successful bids from the 11 Stage 1 bids. The detailed Stage 2 application is due for submission by 13 December 2017, with a panel set to review the bids in February 2018.
The vision for a National Drilling Initiative was discussed at a meeting of Chief Government Geologists from across Australia held at the South Australia Drill Core Reference Library on 3 November 2017. This provided the framework for how the proposed MinEx CRC will approach the challenges of drilling under cover, how technologies developed will be utilised in drilling and how drilling programs will help ‘pull through’ these emerging technologies in return.
The prospect of a national-scale CRC focused on the mineral industry is highly significant for the sector as a whole. Should the bid be successful, MinEx CRC will provide a new framework for how geological surveys across Australia operate into the next decades, mapping our prospective geology beneath cover and integrating this geological knowledge with insights into potential mineral systems. In this way, the MinEx CRC will facilitate the next generation of economic ore deposit discoveries for the benefit of Australia.
The Geological Survey of South Australia (GSSA) is committed to the MinEx CRC proposal.
Follow the bid process via LinkedIn and read the value proposition flyer which shows the strong support that the MinEx CRC bid has to date across the minerals industry. Additional industry partners are welcome to join ahead of the 13 December 2017 submission.
– Anthony Reid (GSSA) and Andrew Bailey (MinEx CRC bid coordinator)
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