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Project Overview

Project Number
Total Grant Value
MRIWA Contribution
Project Theme
Detection Technology
Project Period
2018 - 2021

The Challenge

Modern mineral exploration – particularly beneath cover – is dominated by the use of invasive drilling to access and sample below the surface. By improving technologies for the non-invasive imaging of buried geology, we could reduce the amount of drilling needed to discover and characterise hidden mineral systems. 

Key Findings

  • Development of a performance matrix for choosing between optical fibre cable designs for use in low-cost Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) seismic imaging in different mineral exploration environments; 
  • Development of a seismic exploration workflow for the coal industry, integrating low-cost surface and borehole DAS imaging to define a high-resolution 3D seismic cube; 
  • Development and validation of a full-waveform inversion (FWI) method providing subsurface models of lithological properties from seismic data. 

Benefit to WA

Many of the most exciting exploration targets in WA lie in areas where the richly-endowed geology of proven mineral provinces plunges beneath more recent layers of rock. Lowering the barriers to understanding these buried targets will reduce exploration risk, encouraging investment to underpin the productive future of the State’s minerals industry. 

Keywords: Seismic sensing; Drilling; Drilling technology; Mineral exploration 

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Page was last reviewed 30 June 2023

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