Exploration drilling breakthrough could save up to 85 per cent of costs Exploration drilling breakthrough could save up to 85 per cent of costs

ABC Rural - Babs McHugh

A breakthrough in drilling technology could slash costs by 85 per cent and help find much needed new mineral discoveries.

It's been unveiled by the Deep Exploration Technologies Cooperative Research Centre DETCRC which is a collaboration with the CSIRO, the Federal Government and several mining companies.

Only 20 per cent of Australia has been explored and the deposits found have been relatively close to the surface.

The rest of it is deep down, known as 'under cover', and that's what the 'coiled tubing rig' will look for.

The DET CRC chief executive, Professor Richard Hillis, says the technology, which should be brought to market within a few years, could reduce drilling costs from $400 a metre to $50 a metre.

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