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MinEx Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) will bring its RoXplorer coiled tubing (CT) drilling technology to the market under a commercialisation deal with DIG CT.

MinEx is the world’s largest mineral exploration collaboration. It brings together industry, government, research organisations and universities to deepen understanding of geology, mineral deposits and groundwater resources.

DIG CT is a mineral exploration drilling company focused on commercialising MinEx CRC’s CT rig across Australia.

The new commercialisation deal will see the RoXplorer CT drilling platform offered as a drilling service for hire, with one initial drill rig in operation. If mineral explorers recognise the value and utility of the CT technology, the fleet will expand.

The CT rig can drill through unconsolidated cover and hard rock formations to depths of 500m, delivering safety, efficiency, productivity and high-quality sampling with minimal infrastructure and streamlined operating processes.

“The key feature of RoXplorer CT drill rig is the patented mast design and over-the-hole positioning of the coil reel,” MinEx CRC chief executive officer Andrew Bailey said.

“This enables increased coil life, seamless transition between CT and conventional top-drive drilling, rapid loading and unloading of tooling and drill string incorporated on the rig for ease of set up, pack down and transport.”

MinEx CRC’s CT drilling technology was developed in collaboration with industry partners such as Anglo American, BHP, Epiroc, LKAB Wassara, South32, and the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia.

DIG CT founder and director Craig Lavrick said he is proud to have been involved with the CT rig platform’s development since the beginning.

“I consider coil tubing technology a ‘game changer’ and necessary next generation equipment to elevate exploration drilling to a safer, greener and more productive industry,” Lavrick said.

The CT platform has safely completed over 14,000m of drilling since August 2021 in

collaboration with Geological Survey of South Australia, Geological Survey of Western Australia, Geoscience Australia, Anglo American and EnviroCopper.