Project description and overview

Measurement While Drilling (MWD) System for use with Reverse Circulation (RC) Drilling: The solution proposed is to provide hard rock miners a LWD (Log While Drilling) capability for use with RC drill rigs, providing more rapid access to time-critical geophysical and borehole trajectory data, enabling near real-time adjustment of drilling campaigns. It will also reduce personnel exposure to remote operations, as technicians would no longer be required to log the holes following completion of drilling an area (this is normally undertaken as a separate exercise).   The tool contains instruments that measure spectral gamma, take a complete hole survey (gyro-based), and provide information about drilling dynamics.

Drilling dynamics data can be used to calculate a qualitative rock hardness indicator.  The development project for the RC MWD Tool will be separated into two phases:

  • Phase 1: Development and lab testing of a benchtop RC MWD Tool to verify shock, vibration and temperature ratings.
  • Phase 2: Development of a downhole RC MWD Tool for field trials by Rio Tinto Iron Ore to validate in-situ performance.

Proof of concept testing has already been conducted, with conceptual design of the BHA Carrier, GR detector, data logger electronics and DLS.

This project achieved successful completion in June 2019.

Project Participants


Government Funds


New product with sales to BHP & Rio Tinto as customers in Australia and export inquiries from international mining companies for trials overseas.


Expansion of sales from existing global mining companies in Australia and export sales to international mining companies  in Chile, South Africa and North America.


8 FTE positions including mechatronics engineers, software developers, drilling operators