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Acquisition of geometallurgical data from diamond drilling

Faena: Minera Escondida

Deadline 08/02/2023

Closing Time 4:00 pm

The aim is to identify technological solutions to obtain geomineral-metallurgical information from diamond drill holes
(DDH) (inside diameter 47.6 mm; outside diameter 75.7
mm) during or after drilling, or from cores or samples
obtained by this technique.

Obtain and store the following information:

– Chemical elements content: copper, aluminum, magnesium, arsenic, zinc and iron.

– Ore mineralization: identification and quantification of mineralogical species, specifically secondary and primary copper sulfides.

– Gangue mineralization: identification and quantification of sulfide (e.g. pyrite), oxidized (hematite, goethite) and insoluble (clay species; kaolinite, montmorillonitesmectite, illite and pyrophyllite) species.

– Grain size and texture to determine degree of liberation.

– Measurement and determination of geological structures for blast holes and short term drilling (between 60-90 m).

– Direct or indirect estimation of hardness is desirable (can be correlated from available information).

The information obtained should:

– Represent sections or average of the borehole or drillhole every 15 m in the vertical, depending on its nature.

– Include at least the raw data; it is desirable to deliver processed data.

The supplier may propose from sensor kits for monitoring drill core or post drilling wells, to drilling rigs with integrated sensor systems to capture information during drilling. In the case of proposing drilling rigs, they must i) allow diamond drilling and reverse circulation (RC), ii) be self-sufficient to perform in sectors with little available area and iii) drill up to 90 m per hole in a few hours. Therefore, the machine must be versatile, small and easy to move in areas of difficult access and with imperfections or obstacles in the relief.

The technological solutions must allow operation with a minimum of personnel and auxiliary equipment. Preferably autonomous operation.

Provide a time estimate for the implementation of a pilot or validation of a complete prototype.

Studies and consulting services.

Currently, the information to generate short-term
production plans is created from geological
resource models designed for the medium and
long term, since the generation of data for the
estimation of chemical grades and
geometallurgical variables from drilling
campaigns involves the intensive use of people
and long processing times (3 to 4 weeks).

Increased uncertainty in meeting or achieving
short-term production targets.

Slow availability of basic information for shortterm mining and metallurgical planning


Information from long and medium-term resource
models is used.

Sensors were tested that achieved a grade
measurement; however, they did not deliver
information in the expected time of less than 48
hours and their deployment required more time
and resources than expected.

Minera Escondida. The process involved is the
generation of geo-mining-metallurgical models by
the Geosciences area, whose relevance is to
improve the accuracy of the company’s shortterm production plans. The processes involved
are: drilling of diamond drill holes (DDH), sample
handling and preparation, chemical analysis,
manual drill hole mapping, metallurgical tests,
interpretation and updating of models.

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