New techniques to unearth deposits which are visible only underground

Published: Nov 14, 2014 06:43:12 AM IST
Updated: Nov 14, 2014 09:27:36 AM IST

Most of the world’s greatest mines started as a surface outcrop before turning into a big hole in the ground. Australia’s Deep Exploration Technologies Cooperative Research Centre, backed by miners like BHP Billiton, Barrick and Newcrest, is developing new techniques to find deposits visible only deep underground. Says Neil Williams, retired chief of government research agency Geoscience Australia: “There will be big deposits out under the Great Plains.”


(Image on the left)
(1) Manned aircraft with gravity and radioactivity sensors
map the terrain, looking for ore deposits.
(2) Gold in mountain streams points towards exposed veins in the hills above.
(3) Conventional drilling rigs are used to take core samples down to 200 metres, after which miners sink shafts to get the ore out.


(Image on the right)
(1) Unmanned drones gather data faster and cheaper. Supercomputers crunch through the data to find likely deposits below 300 metres.
(2) Coiled-tube drilling rig equipped with electronic probes searches for ore.
(3) Seismic trucks generate real-time readings to narrow down the search.

Click here to see Forbes India's comprehensive coverage on the Covid-19 situation and its impact on life, business and the economy​

(This story appears in the 28 November, 2014 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from To visit our Archives, click here.)

Show More
Post Your Comment
Required, will not be published
All comments are moderated
After blast at Indo-Pak border, Taliban trains its guns on Modi
'Focus of Health is on Wellness, Not Diseases'