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Researchers pin new exploration technology

20th April 2022

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

     

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PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Researchers in Western Australia have identified a new method for seismic sensing, making it cheaper and easier for exploration companies to detect mineralised structures beneath the surface, said Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston.

Curtin University researchers, supported by the state government through the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia, have developed a new technology for detecting seismic energy as it passes through rocks and soil beneath the surface.

Originally developed to identify locations to drill for gold, the seismic detection system can be used for any commodity using salt-tolerant fibre-optic cable.   

Johnston said that by using laser light to measure the distortion of a buried glass fibre, this technology could record seismic waves more cheaply and effectively than existing approaches, delivering cost savings in mineral exploration.

The technology is more robust and resistant to harsh Western Australian environments, compared to conventional technology, and could help exploration companies discover new mineral resources that were previously too challenging to find. 

"The government is committed to investing in scientific research that supports our mining sector in unlocking our state's mineral potential. The world-leading work of Western Australian researchers provides a competitive edge to our state's mining industry,” said Johnston.

"This new technology will create new exploration opportunities in Western Australia where seismic surveying was previously either too expensive or challenging for mineral companies. It could help find the next big discovery in Western Australia, which could lead to the opening of new mines and new jobs." 

 

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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