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New Swedish test centre creates innovation opportunities within exploration drilling

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Global Mining Review,

In the next few days, drilling for a new test centre will start in Örebro (Sweden). Here, it will be possible to perform different types of exploration drilling tests and data acquisition. The test centre is a close collaboration between industry, research institutes and academia.

"With this test centre, we can continue our way towards being the competence center within exploration drilling – and build networks within the industry. It will create opportunities to cooperate with customers and universities as well as with researchers in order to improve our technologies and products for future requirements," says Thomas Hallmén, General Manager Product Company Örebro, Epiroc Surface and Exploration Drilling division.

The new test centre, called Innovative Exploration Drilling and Data Acquisition Test Center (I-EDDA-TC) will provide a unique environment for the development of drilling, and related equipment and methods used for the exploration of mineral resources, such as borehole geophysics. The goal for the future is to establish a leading test centre that supports and creates innovation. The test centre is unique of its kind in the world. An important feature of the test centre is two boreholes each 1 km deep with fully characterised core samples.

"Effective exploration drilling for mineral resources is an area where industrial innovation plays an important role. Despite this need, there is a complete lack of test beds that allow industry to actively test novel drilling equipment. This new test centre will require a small effort for clients since the site will be ready for business," says Bjarne Almqvist, Project Leader for I-EDDA-TC and Researcher at the Department of Earth Sciences, Geophysics, at Uppsala University.

In the test centre, companies have the possibly to test in an environment that is well-known. They can also combine several tests at the same time, which is both effective and cut costs.

"Our hope is that the test centre becomes a focus for both small and large companies that work within exploration drilling and related technologies," says Almqvist.

The test centre will be built next to the Epiroc Surface and Exploration Drilling division production centre in Örebro. The test centre will be developed during three years and be available for customers in the beginning of 2022. The European Union helps finance the project through EIT Raw materials.

The new test centre is a collaboration project between Uppsala University, Lund University, Lulea┬░ University of Technology, Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg, Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum , RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden) and Epiroc Surface and Exploration Drillling division.

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