November 2011:Press Release: Australia’s First Drilling Research and Training Facility Opens in South Australia

Posted on November 21, 2011 by DET CRC

Adelaide will confirm its position as a centre for mineral exploration and drilling technologies today, following the opening of the Deep Exploration Technologies Cooperative Research Centre’s Drilling Research and Training Facility at Brukunga.

The facility, which will be officially opened by the Honourable Jay Weatherill, Premier of South Australia, is Australia’s first purpose-designed site for drilling technology testing and training.

The opening of the Drilling Research and Training Facility follows the establishment of the Deep Exploration Technologies Cooperative Research Centre (DET CRC) in Adelaide last year. The DET CRC is a ‘world first’, dedicated to developing technologies that permit more cost-effective, safer and more environmentally-friendly ways to drill, analyse and target new deep mineral deposits (‘greenfields’) and deep extensions to known deposits (‘brownfields’).

 Its programs will lead to improved efficiency in mineral exploration, which will help Australia remain globally competitive in both the export of mineral resources and mining technology.

The DET CRC has resourced the Drilling Research and Training Facility through:

  • contributions to the DET CRC from the Australian Government and the DET CRC’s Participants
  • a grant from the South Australian Government through the Premier’s Science and Research Fund
  • provision of a state-of-the-art drill rig by Boart Longyear

 “I’d like to thank all the partners involved in developing the Drilling Research and Training Facility. It will provide a much-needed field laboratory for research and development on drilling and drillhole logging techniques. It is very problematic to test new technologies in operating mines due to the expense of interruptions to mining operations, and the safety and general logistical issues that arise,” said DET CRC Chief Executive Officer, Professor Richard Hillis.

The former minesite located approximately 40 km from Adelaide, at Brukunga, near Nairne, is the ideal site to provide researchers and industry trainees with a safe and easily accessible facility to experiment with and train on the latest drilling technology.

“Although Brukunga is a former minesite, no mining will be undertaken. The DET CRC is sensitive to the needs of the local community and is committed to environmental best practice, constrained hours of operation, noise minimisation and safety,” said Richard.

Researchers and operators using the facility will have access to Boart Longyear’s latest drill rig, a driller, ancillary equipment and fully logged and assayed reference core. The DET CRC’s Drilling Research and Training Facility will be closely involved with the mining services sector and service providers such as Teakle Composites and Globaltech Corporation will use it to test products developed within the CRC such as composite drill rods and downhole probes for determining the presence of mineralisation.

“Although DET CRC-related research and training will have priority, the Facility is open to researchers within South Australia, nationally and internationally,” said Richard.

The facility has been developed in collaboration with South Australia’s Country Fire Service (CFS) whose State Training Centre is adjacent to the minesite.

“A synergy resulting from the drilling equipment being located at the Brukunga minesite, and the adjacent location of the CFS State Training Centre, will be the development of a driller training school,” said Richard.

“The school will enable hands-on drilling training in a minesite with CFS Centre accommodation, catering, classrooms and other training opportunities such as ‘at heights’, ‘enclosed spaces’ and ‘fire safety’.”

Further information:

Olivia Jones


08 8363 6811
0400 116 668