Program 1: Drilling

Program Leader: Soren Soe, DET CRC

The Objective

Reduce the cost and environmental impact, and increase the safety, of drilling exploration holes by delivering incremental and transformational changes in drilling technology facilitated by the unique Brukunga Drilling Research & Training Facility.

The Rationale

Revolutionary, or step change, research (Project 1.1) and evolutionary research (Projects 1.2) is needed to advance drilling technologies and reduce drilling costs. The step change goal is to develop a Greenfields coiled tubing (CT) rig for hard rock mineral exploration which can be further developed to a brownfields CT rig with full steering and sensing capability.


  • Improved methods to drill rock samples in micro boreholes.
  • Improved bit designs for full face drilling.
  • Improved drilling rates via improved monitoring of bit wear and responsiveness to such.
  • Light and durable carbon fibre drill rods.
  • Improved Coiled tubing for mineral exploration.
  • Unique Brukunga Drilling Research and Training Facility.
  • The heart of the challenge of exploration through deep cover is the need to systematically sample materials from the deep exploration search space. Step change development of a CT rig for hard rock mineral exploration promises faster, cheaper and safer drilling because pipe connections are not required; quicker mobilisation/de-mobilisation; better hole stability, and; less environmentally intrusive set up of the drill pad.







 Next Generation Drilling Technologies
Project Leader: Soren Soe, DET CRC


Fundamentals of Rock Fragmentation
Project Leader: Luiz Franca, CSIRO


Brukunga Drilling Research & Training Facility
Project Leader: Darren Caldwell, Boart Longyear