A young Australian technology company is set to transform mining and petroleum exploration around the world by developing tools to analyse ore samples on location, thereby bringing efficiencies to processing plants, mine sites and projects.
Intellection has been awarded a $5 million AusIndustry grant to create a new portable model of its current mineral processing technology, QEMSCAN, which is already operating in centrally-located geoscience laboratories around the world.
Intellection will match the grant with another $5 million of its own to develop the next generation systems that will be lower cost, faster and easier to use.
The combined $10 million research investment will evolve the current technology into portable systems that will facilitate swift and accurate mineral sampling, and provide analysis and reporting on site.
Currently explorers collect rock samples, which are then sent to central laboratories, where multi-purpose mineral processing devices analyse their composition and generate reports, a procedure that sometimes takes several months.
Intellection’s new technology will advance the current solution by automating sample preparation, analysing samples five times faster, using liquid nitrogen-free detectors, and being easy for plant laboratory technicians to use at isolated sites.
With the cost of exploration being up to US$500,000 per day in offshore drilling rigs, the value of fast, accurate information is high. The new tools are expected to be in the market by 2008 and will be tailor-made for specific applications in mining, coal, oil and gas projects.
According to Intellection, securing the grant provides external endorsement of the Intellection’s approach to developing systems and solutions for the resources sector, which in Australia alone is worth more than $100 billion in mineral and energy exports.
Intellection is a Queensland-based company working alongside some of world’s large mining and exploration companies. Having parties such as AusIndustry critically evaluate its objectives is a good process to go through because it brings discipline and rigour to project planning.
Winning this Australian Government Commercial Ready grant enables Intellection to take its software and hardware systems to the next level, grow the value and expertise of the company, and provide a national benefit in terms of increased export dollars.