XRF in South African Copper Belt

IBERIA XRF Demonstration in Copper

In cooperation with our partner J&C Bachmann the Geccotec team has demonstrated the efficiancy of downhole measuerements by utilizing the IBERIA XRF downhole probe.


The IBERIA probes combine XRF technology with the advantages of continuous logging. The entire XRF unit is integrated in a borehole probe which is operated by a standard winch.
For this demonstration we chose a fast downhole speed for
screening the borehole and a lower uphole speed for detailed characterization of specific sections.
Typical speeds are >1 meter per minute so blast holes can be logged in 5 to 10 minutes. Exploration holes will take more time according to the depth. IBERIA is designed to scan elements with ordinary numbers starting at 20 (Calcium). Depending on the element, scan speed and the matrix of the ore concentration down to 30 ppm can be measured.

The IBERIA approach offers accurate and immediate results about ore grades in real time.

The IBERIA downhole system has been applied system in the South African copper belt. A downhole probe with a diameter of 53 mm was used to survey NQ holes.

The probe was deployed from a Mount Sopris MXB winch and supplied by the J&C Bachmann operator unit.

Existing exploration holes at various places has been surveyed.

Logging was performed from a bakkie with a logging tripod. Power was supplied by a small Diesel generator. Due to the ideal measurement conditions these holes were optimal for verification of accuracy and repeatability. Repeatability was tested by comparison of logs acquired on the way down and way up while the accuracy was checked using the analyses of existing laboratory samples which were taken in the field.

The image shows on the left the operator unit while the winch is located on the right side; space consumption of the equipment is minimal. The tablet inside of the operator unit is connected to the system wirelessly; therefore it is portable. The display is used to control the measurement and to review the ore grades in real time.

The diagrams below contain the logs for Iron and Copper. The iron graph clearly shows the casing which was approximately 7 meters long. The copper mineralisation starts at a depth of 30 meters.

Using IBERIA, the relevant parts of the cores can be identified directly after drilling; this way the amount of lab samples can be reduced drastically.

In Cooperation with