HyLogging - Voluminous Industrial-scale Reflectance Spectroscopy of the Earth's Subsurface

Understanding the dual challenges of developing and ensuring routine commercial take-up of spaceborne and airborne imaging spectrometers for the earth sciences, and considering what many geologists actually need in their day-to-day jobs, we have adopted a new focus on using reflectance spectroscopy on the materials returned from drilling into the earth's crust. Hyperspectral logging, aka HyLogging, aka imaging spectroscopy of diamond drill core, percussion drill chips and blast-hole pulps has been developed to provide rapid-throughput, non-invasive, non-destructive, statistically-robust, voluminous and operational sampling of often very expensively drilled materials. HyLogging combines a variety of sensitive reflectance spectrometers covering the VNIR, SWIR and TIR wavelengths with robotic sample handling and semi-automated interpretation software to permit mining-service organisations, geological surveys and end-user companies to understand and exploit mineralogical information at a scale and with a degree of objectivity hitherto not possible. This paper will explore the user requirements, hardware and software technologies, and several applications of the HyLogging concept and conclude with examples of the take-up of the concept in Australia where a) every State and Territory Geological Survey is now equipped with and routinely operating these instruments to build the AuScope National Virtual Core Library (NVCL), based on millions of metres of cores in public core libraries, and b) service companies are now beginning to offer routine spectroscopic services to the mining sector spanning applications in mineral and petroleum exploration, mining, grade control, geometallurgy, and basin analysis. By considering the challenges and impediments to the operational take-up of new technologies in traditional industries, and thinking of end-to-end workflow solutions, attempts are being made to assist geologists “discover what they cannot see” and reconsider some so-called tried and true geological concepts.


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