The unveiling of the rig involved a live demonstration of the RoXplorer driving and setting up. The rig was then officially launched by Paul Heithersay, deputy chief executive of the South Australian government's Department of State Development.
The RoXplorer is a coiled-tubing drill rig, which removes the need to connect individual drill rods. For example, in a 1,000m-deep hole, 333 three-metre long drill rods need to be connected together to reach the bottom of the hole, and disconnected and reconnected if, for example, the drill bit at the bottom of the hole needs replacing. Not so with the RoXplorer, where the drill connects the surface to the bottom of the hole via a continuous steel tube that can be wound out from, and back onto, a reel.
Professor Richard Hillis, DET CRC's CEO, commented: "This is a completely new approach to mineral exploration. The new RoXplorer drilling rig will drill at around one sixth the cost of conventional diamond drilling techniques and be much safer."
DER CRC stated that it is encouraged by the RoXplorer's first drilling tests and will spend the next year on extensive trials at a number of sites. Some key facets of RoXplorer's operation, however, remain under wraps.