Eavesdropping on the earth's hum

It all starts with ‘what if’? Quickly followed by ‘why not’?

We are explorers fueled by the desire to unveil what was once concealed, driving our innovative technology forward. With a clear goal in mind, we set out to find solutions to meet the evolving demands of our world.

The problem we face in real-time is the demand for minerals rising, but mineral discovery globally is in decline. In Australia alone, about 80% is hidden under post-mineralisation sedimentary basins, making it hard to find valuable minerals. Most of what we know about rests near the surface; what we want to know about is what lies beneath. 

The construction of cleaner, fuel-based technology is crucial to achieving a sustainable future and reaching the goal of net zero emissions by 2050. The 'Minerals for Climate Action' report underscores the magnitude of this challenge, projecting that mineral demand could surge by fivefold by 2050 to meet these growing needs. This translates to a staggering requirement of over three billion tonnes of minerals and metals to align with the Paris Agreement. 

To fuel the future, we need to uncover hidden critical mineral deposits. A new way of looking deeper is needed. This endeavour is crucial in our quest to unearth the vital minerals required to support the global shift towards cleaner transportation and more sustainable industrial practices. Our vision knows no bounds, and we are committed to pushing the limits of what's achievable.

Unlocking mineral discovery

Traditional methods have brought us this far, but we knew it was time to switch gears and unlock deeper possibilities with ease and minimal disruption.

Seismic techniques opened the door to reimagining subsurface imaging as it is one of the only methods to measure depth. Instead of generating a source, we asked ‘why don’t we use the subtle, ambient noise that already exists around us’?

Ambient Noise Tomography (ANT) has proven to be a formidable tool for delving into the Earth's depths, unveiling mineral deposits, hydrocarbons, geothermal riches, fault lines,  volcanic activity, and critical geotechnical insights.

This approach to mineral exploration offers an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional approaches. However, the prolonged processing time, with scientists often waiting for up to six months, highlighted the urgent need for a substantial upgrade in this technology.

Connect solutions, connect possibilities

We took the problem that ANT solved and paired it with the possibility of creating one of the most exciting exploration technologies today.

We dreamed big and wanted a solution that removed wait times to not just months but days, delivered deeper coverage to discover what had not been found and allowed specific targeting of resources.

A world-leading instrument for ANT was created. Our patented Geode is a fully processed, 3D seismic velocity model with direct-to-satellite connectivity. 

By switching in to the sounds of the earth, we can build a picture of what sits below. This can’t be done in an instant, but it can be done in days.

We record and collect the sum of the energy by stacking the seismic signals over and over each other. Accounting for random fluctuations, over time, we build a coherent signal. We end up understanding the earth's velocity beneath our feet without any direct contact.

Exosphere is our comprehensive mineral exploration technology, designed to expedite the global green transition by streamlining the process for exploration companies. It aims to minimise the time and resources required to pinpoint crucial mineral deposits.

It’s mining, completely reimagined.

Plugging into a worldwide network

To take what we see below, we need the capability to send it above. Fleet's expanding network of advanced low Earth orbit satellites, empowered by digital beamforming and state-of-the-art metal 3D printing, revolutionises mineral exploration on an unprecedented scale.

Geodes employ Direct-to-SatelliteIoT (DtS-IoT) to transmit pre-processed data directly to the cloud. This approach offers greater agility as it eliminates the need for a traditional base station. DtS-IoT becomes feasible through data volume reduction achieved by performing edge computing directly on the Geode microcontroller.

This freedom to capture data from any point on the globe’s surface has not been actualised in this capacity before. It is the key to unlocking data access to clients anytime and anywhere in the world.

Data delivered differently

Each Geode forms a pair, creating an innovative buddy system that allows us to measure the time it takes for energy to travel between them. While a standard survey typically takes around 14 days, it can be completed in as little as three days under specific conditions.

This unique approach helps us understand the relationships between these pairs, enabling the data to construct a comprehensive image of what lies beneath the Earth's surface.

The data gathered encompasses shorter (shallow) and longer (deeper) wavelengths, providing valuable insights into depth. These collected frequencies serve as the building blocks for creating 3D models.

In any modelling and measurement endeavour, there's an inherent level of uncertainty, which we embrace. Accepting uncertainty allows us to layer various resources, strengthening our confidence in the survey area.

We leverage this uncertainty as a tool in our exploration process, incorporating known and verified data sources from geophysicists, geo-mapping, drilling results, and the data contributed by our clients about the area under investigation.

By emphasising validation, we empower our clients to follow an environmentally responsible path while achieving their goals.

The need to approach drilling in a new way

Each unsuccessful mineral exploration drill represents a financial burden for companies. In Australia last year, over $1 billion was spent on mineral exploration.

And what we found is not enough.

Across the globe, we are drilling more and finding less. Over the past two decades, there has been an alarming 80% decrease in new copper findings. In the last 30 years, only five high-grade 10Mt+ copper deposits have been uncovered. For context, the world needs 50 of these to be found in the next ten years. 

And while less is being found, the search for copper has increased to an average depth of 1km in the past 15 years. 

Yet, it is more complex than just continuing to drill more and drill deeper in the hope something will be found. ESG is making it harder to continue down this path. From a commercial and sustainability lens, this is an unsustainable business model.

The Future of Copper Report (2022) by S&P Global outlines technology is critical to creating copper findings to meet the current demand and align with the values of mining companies.

“Innovation that enables cleaner, more efficient, and lower-cost extraction and refining of copper could help increase supply directly. If such innovation addressed the environmental and social concerns of a growing portion of investors, then it would also attract more capital into the industry and increase supply indirectly.” – The Future of Copper

The future of the mining industry hinges on harnessing technology to uncover the resources hidden below the surface.

Future-Focused Mining

It's an undeniable fact that we must discover more minerals today to meet the future's growing demands. To achieve this, mining companies require technology that empowers their workforce, optimises their efficiency, and enhances their output.

While we venture into the Earth, our responsibility as exploration scientists extends to discovering methods that minimise our environmental impact.

In some cases, sustainability doesn't necessarily align with commercial interests. However, Exosphere breaks that trend by not only bolstering a company's Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives but also reimagining how mining companies can operate with increased agility and speed, ultimately benefiting their bottom line.

With the introduction of Ambient Noise Technology (ANT) via ExoSphere by Fleet®, miners can significantly reduce costs at every stage of the exploration process. This encompasses the reduction of human resources required for deploying the technology and an enhancement in the precision of site selection, all based on confidence levels in potential discoveries. ANT transforms every action into a measured cost and pairs it with an estimated return on effort. Companies are no longer drilling blindly but with unprecedented clarity.

This innovation equips mining companies to make sustainable and informed decisions, reducing their environmental footprint and contributing to the global transition toward cleaner practices.

Compared to alternative seismic sensors, Geodes exhibit a sensitivity of 3x higher. This heightened sensitivity enables faster data collection while maintaining precise surface accuracy and at depths of up to 2.5 kilometres.

By initiating our journey with a keen ear to the sounds beneath, we are propelling the transformation of mineral exploration into a powerful force for a more sustainable future.

Let’s explore together

We harness the limitless potential of space innovation and blend it with cutting-edge exploration technology, unveiling a groundbreaking solution to reveal the hidden frontiers that have previously eluded us. 

Witness subsurface details emerging within days thanks to satellite connectivity alongside edge computing, and stay updated on your exploration progress through our cloud platform. 

Explore like never before with ExoSphere by Fleet®. Contact our team and find out how our technology can work for you.

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