November 2010: Press Release: DET CRC Official Launch

Posted on November 4, 2010 by DET CRC

$112M Cooperative Research Centre in Mineral Exploration Launched in Adelaide

The Australian Government, the world’s two biggest diversified miners, the world’s biggest gold producer, the world’s biggest drilling company, the South Australian Government, universities, the CSIRO and Geoscience Australia all have joined to launch a $112M research centre in mineral exploration.

The ‘Deep Exploration Technologies Cooperative Research Centre’ (DET CRC) was launched today in Adelaide by Ms Patricia Kelly (Deputy Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research), the Hon Paul Holloway (South Australian Minister for Mineral Resources Development) and Dr Tom Whiting (Chair DET CRC).

The DET CRC will deliver research programs in more successful, cheaper, safer and more environmentally-friendly ways to drill, analyse and target deep mineral deposits. With $112M of cash and in-kind funding from the Australian Government and participants, the DET CRC is the world’s best-supported independent research initiative in mineral exploration. The DET CRC will manage an eight year program funded by $28M cash from the Australian Government’s CRC Program, $21M cash (and $12M in-kind) from industry participants, and $50M in-kind from its research providers. The inaugural participants in the DET CRC are:

Barrick, BHP Billiton, Boart Longyear, CSIRO, Curtin University, Geoscience Australia, Gold Fields, Newcrest, South Australian Government (PIRSA), The University of Adelaide, The University of Western Australia and Vale Exploration.

The DET CRC has been established to address the most significant challenge to the future of the minerals industry, i.e. the reduction in the mineral resources inventory due to high production rates and low mineral exploration success. In the Australian context, mineral resources constitute approximately 50% of the nation’s exports. However, 80% of Australia’s mineral production is from mines discovered more than 30 years ago.

“Our ability to mine profitably at depth currently exceeds our ability to explore successfully at depth.” Robbie Rowe, Director of Exploration, Barrick Australia Pacific.

“I led the industry team that developed the DET CRC proposal and took that proposal to the Australian Government. I have accepted the offer to Chair the Board of DET CRC because DET CRC is addressing the critical issues facing exploration over the coming decade,” Tom Whiting, Chair of DET CRC Board of Directors.

The CEO of DET CRC is Prof. Richard Hillis, formerly Mawson Professor of Geology and Head of the Australian School of Petroleum at the University of Adelaide. The DET CRC’s headquarters are currently at The University of Adelaide, but from next year will be embedded with industry at Boart Longyear’s new regional headquarters currently being constructed at Adelaide Airport. The other key research nodes for the DET CRC will be CSIRO’s Queensland Centre for Advanced Technologies in Brisbane and the Australian Resources Research Centre in Perth which houses Curtin University and CSIRO researchers.  The DET CRC brings together a unique mix of mining companies, researchers, service companies and geological surveys, under the Cooperative Research Centre scheme, to achieve its ambitious goals.

At the launch, Boart Longyear announced that it will make available to the DET CRC its latest, yet-to-be-released, diamond drill rig that is the safest and most technically advanced drill available. The 4200, prototype of the soon-to-be-released production SC-9, drill is capable of real-time data collection and processing, is accessible on-line and very adaptable to test, validate and integrate the technologies that the DET CRC will develop. This drill will permit researchers to ‘see’ the drill in action from anywhere in the world and test their results in real-time. It is expected that this drill will significantly bring forward the development and application of new technologies developed by the DET CRC. The drill will be located at the DET CRC’s Drilling Research and Training Facility, a dedicated technology testing facility focused on hard rock minerals drilling.

For further information contact Richard Hillis, CEO, DET CRC, 0418 110 737.