Innovation reflects Victoria’s standing in world mining

Carlton is better known for its boutique retail and dining than the production of niche mining equipment, but a locally owned and operated business is forging ahead in the earth resources sector, and it’s getting noticed.

Leveraging localised design, development and production, Southern Innovations has developed a new generation of mining scanning equipment that will improve the value of bulk and base minerals by enabling a high-grade product to be sorted from waste in real-time.

Located a short distance from Melbourne’s CBD in North Carlton, the company has developed DrillScan, an X-ray transmission scanner that is attached to a drill-rig to provide instant and continuous analysis of content from exploration drilling.

DrillScan uses advanced signal processing technology, invented in Victoria by Southern Innovation, which allows radiation to penetrate thick streams of mined material fully. Unlike traditional methods, which sample a small percentage of the drill-hole, DrillScan instantly analyses the total output.

According to managing director, David Scoullar, within a global mining environment where average ore grades are declining, and the energy required to extract and process it is increasing, it’s essential for miners to understand 100 per cent of their resource flows at every stage of the process.

“The ability to instantly and continually scan, analyse and upgrade ore flows will deliver significant and sustainable productivity gains across the mining industry,” Scoullar said.

“Data generated can be transmitted anywhere in real-time, therefore the need to have staff on-site in potentially hazardous environments is reduced.”

Representing the next generation of mining X-ray scanning equipment, DrillScan firmly places Victoria at the cutting-edge of a process revolution that will transform global mining.

Southern Innovation developed DrillScan in collaboration with BHP and local product design consultancy, Tricycle Developments.

Emphasising the adaptability and expertise within Victoria’s METS sector, DrillScan progressed from concept to production in less than two and a half years.

Victoria’s leadership in mining equipment solutions is supported by world-class research facilities.

The signal processing technology used in DrillScan was supported by the University of Melbourne and Australian Synchrotron, with components manufactured by SRX Global in Dandenong in the state’s east.

According to Scoullar, local research and technical capability, along with support and supply chain access, were crucial to the product’s development.

Southern Innovation and the collaborations contributing to the development of DrillScan are prime examples of the Victorian METS sector, which ranges from cutting-edge machinery manufacturers to engineering consultancies and is delivering global product and service solutions to the mining industry.

The International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) 2018 will provide a unique opportunity to showcase the Victorian METS sector, its research and development potential to a global audience.

Southern Innovation plans to increase its manufacturing and production in 2019.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.