Top of coal detection technology progressing towards commercialisation

CR Digital and Mining3 are pleased to announce a partnership with the next phase of development in Top of Coal technology.

August 19, 2020

CR Digital and Mining3 are pleased to announce a partnership with the next phase of development in Top of Coal technology. This announcement comes on the back of promising new results delivered from the most recent Bowen Basin trial, where the technology was tested over 12 weeks and collected downhole data from over 250+ boreholes.

Accurately detecting the approaching top of a coal seam prior to blasting is fundamental to efficient coal recovery. During the extraction stage, a significant percentage (up to 12%) of overall coal loss is attributable to blast damage and coal dilution, which then makes it difficult to separate the coal cleanly from the waste during both overburden excavation and coal processing. By eliminating the damage done to the top of seam, substantial increases in recovery are enabled.

With support from ACARP, Mining3 has been developing a measurement while drilling (MWD) system that detects the top of a coal seam while routinely drilling blast holes.

During the drilling process, the detection system uses resistance measurements ahead of the drill bit to detect approaching coal in real-time. This method of detecting Top of Coal brings significant benefits to surface mining operations, including:

  • Providing a reliable indication of the approach to Top of Coal that will enable drilling to be stopped before touching coal or at a minimum standoff distance
  • Increase production by reducing damage to coal from blasting
  • Strata recognition and mapping during routine blast hole drilling

The system can also be retro fitted to a standard rotary air blast drill rig.

CR Digital, a leading mining technology company, and part of the global CR Group is now working with Mining3 on the commercialisation of the technology, and the integration of the Top of Coal technology into their technology portfolio.

Together, CR Digital and Mining3 see potential for the technology to be an extension to the Thunderbird 1110 and StrataSense products within the CR Digital portfolio. Collectively, this agnostic range can be retro fitted to any rotary air blast drill rig and is intended to build on the StrataSense capability of CR Digital, to compile a three-dimensional understanding of the bench and coal seam in real-time.

CR Digital and Mining3 thanks ACARP and its coal members for supporting the most recent trial, we look forward to continuing to work closely to develop and commercialise recent research findings.

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