With a focus on innovation in the mining industry, the first AusIMM technical session held on 13th January 2016 in Melbourne was very timely, with a presentation on research and development in the area of deep exploration technologies.
Professor Klas Hjort – Head of Microsystems Technology Division, University of Uppsala, Sweden visiting AMIRA International and, in conjunction with the AusIMM, presented on the Swedish Innovative Deep Exploration (INDEX) initiative.
Professor Klas Hjort is coordinating the INDEX project and is experienced in advanced micro engineering. He works closely with industry and other research groups to study micromechanical actuators, sensors, microfluidics and wireless systems. Recently, his focus has been heterogeneous microsystems on stainless steel, flexible foils and elastic substrates; for biomedicine and wireless sensor nodes.
Through collaborative research between Swedish and Australian mining industries, it has been found that deep exploration beyond one kilometre can benefit greatly by getting faster feedback on the physical and chemical state of the rock. The aim of the INDEX initiative is to clarify how new miniaturized technology for sensors and chemical analysis readout in or at the borehole can provide faster feedback both to central expert centres and directly to the driller.
Professor Klas Hjort mentioned that the research is well underway. In the first phase of three, new miniaturized technology for sensors and chemical analysis will be developed and tested in the field for reading in or at the bore hole. The study will have a particular focus on the problems and needs arising from the exploration at depths greater than one kilometre.
Sumant Dhumne – Research Associate, Swann Global was glad to get an insight into the present research and the upcoming technology in area of mineral exploration. It will be interesting to see how the research concludes and the productivity improvements through practical application in deep mineral exploration in the coming years.