Australian technology, HyLogger, has found a new home. The CSIRO’s hyperspectral core scanner has recently been licenced to Australian Mining, Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) company, Corescan. HyLogger uses remote sensing technology to investigate drill core at a millimetre scale, and now the technology will be used across SE Asia, Canada, USA, Mexico, Peru, Chile, and Argentina.
The HyLogger system uses semi-automated core tray handling, continuous visible and infrared spectroscopy (wavelength range 300-2500 nm and 6000-14500 nm), and digital imaging, to characterise and identify dominant mineral species on core, chips and pulps, at spatial resolutions of ~1 cm (spectral data) and ~0.1 mm (image data). 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. Mineralogy is pre-interpreted using specialised identification software trained on a selected suite of minerals showing characteristic absorption features within the measured spectral range.
The technology is primarily used in the mining, petroleum, and carbon sequestration industries where traditional methods of obtaining rock mineralogy can be time consuming and result in sample destruction. The system can log between 250 and 500 metres of core per day and results in a near continuous log of mineralogy, as opposed to individually sampled points.
CSIRO Research Director, Dr Rob Hough, says commercialising the technology with Corescan opens the way for the industry to truly take advantage of hyperspectral analysis of drill materials for exploration and mining, and further reinforces Australia’s place as a global leader in the provision of mineral exploration and mining technology.
The Australian exploration industry spends close to $600 million per year drilling holes to locate economic mineral resources. Detailed knowledge of the mineralogy and alteration patterns associated with prospective mineral regions is crucial to guide exploration success and attract further international investment into Australia.