January 2015: Press Release: Boart Longyear sensing success in major commercialisation agreement with DET CRC
In its first major commercialisation outcome, Deep Exploration Technologies Cooperative Research Centre (DET CRC) has signed an exclusive agreement for its in-hole sensor technology, AutoSondeTM with Boart Longyear, leading global supplier of drilling services, drilling equipment and performance tooling.
The AutoSondeTM, developed by DET CRC participants Globaltech Corporation and Curtin University, provides geophysical logging information similar to that recorded by conventional wireline logging, but with significantreductions in costs, inconvenience and the risks involved.
The AutoSondeTM is lowered inside drill rods to the bottom of the hole on completion of drilling and the hole is geophysically logged while the rods are being pulled out of the hole, removing the need for a separate conventional wireline logging crew or additional rig time, as well as almost completely negating the risk of hole collapse prior to or during logging. The tool can be combined with a survey tool such that geophysical information can be recovered at the same time as a routine hole orientation is performed. Logging results are delivered to the explorer as soon as the drill hole is completed.
DET CRC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Professor Richard Hillis said the AutoSondeTM commercialisation agreement with Boart Longyear was a significant milestone in the CRC’s history, and would be a precursor for other key technologies currently being developed.
“The AutoSondeTM agreement is the first of our three key pillar technologies to be commercialised, with the other two key pillar technologies, the Coiled Tubing (CT) Drill Rig and Lab-at-Rig® top of hole sensing, in development and showing enormous promise,” he said.
“DET CRC has had a long and strong association with Boart Longyear and the commercialisation of theAutoSondeTM will build on Boart Longyear’s market leading capacity to deliver a comprehensive package ofdrilling services and products, including downhole sensing.”
“Since its inception, DET CRC has focused on developing solutions that will make minerals exploration cheaper, faster and safer and result in a greater number of mineral discoveries. In less than five years, we have made significant inroads into delivering on that objective.”
“The AutoSondeTM enables the collection of geophysical data while a hole is being drilled instead of the current method of having a specialist crew carry out the process once the drill rig has left, which adds significant time, costs and risks to the process.”
“The recorded data are available within minutes of drilling and can be sent around the world for analysis. The AutoSondeTM represents a step change in the quality and amount of data the minerals industry can now capture.”
The commercialisation agreement with Boart Longyear is for a total count gamma sensor, with additional sensors such as magnetic susceptibility, induction and spectral gamma still in development and to be offered separately for commercialisation. The gamma sensor measures naturally occurring gamma radiation which is commonly used in mineral exploration to characterise different types of rock and alteration related to mineral deposits.
Kent Hoots, Senior Vice President of Boart Longyear’s Products division said the commercialisation agreement was a key strategic decision for the company and would see it expand its product offering in the in-hole instrumentation market.
“The primary focus for the introduction of this technology will be mineral exploration, initially with diamond coring, but there will be additional opportunities for the introduction of the tool in reverse circulation and mud rotary drilling,” he said.
“The AutoSondeTM is an enormous step forward as a combined survey and gamma tool providing geophysical information at a lower cost than a traditional geophysical survey.
“We have had a strong partnership with DET CRC since it was established and the AutoSondeTM is a demonstration of its impressive focus on commercial outcomes that will benefit the industry long into the future.”
“It is anticipated that the tool will be commercially available in late 2015”.
Globaltech Corporation and Curtin University will continue to work closely with Boart Longyear in the commercial roll-out of the technology.
Marcus La Forgia
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