Fleet Space ups exploration commitment
Metal Tech News - September 5, 2023
Last updated 9/12/2023 at 5:55pm
Space Age mineral exploration firm invests in mining company using its cutting-edge tech.
Going above and beyond its already well-established commitment to employing space-based mineral exploration technology to accelerate the discovery and delineation of minerals critical to life here on Earth, Fleet Space Technologies is investing in Thor Energy.
"This partnership between Thor Energy and Fleet Space Technologies is further testament to what is possible when we fuse world-class exploration expertise with cutting-edge space technology," said Fleet Space Technologies CFO Federico Tata-Nardini.
Since making history with the launch of Australia's first four commercial nanosatellites in November 2018, Fleet has rapidly grown into a pioneering space-based mineral exploration service provider valued at more than A$350 million (US$228 million) as of May of this year.
This rapid rise in valuation is a reflection of the success of the pioneering company's ExoSphere technology, which utilizes a constellation of low-earth-orbit nanosatellites for rapid 3D subsurface imaging of the Earth that is assisting the search for the minerals and metals needed for high-tech and clean energy.
Some of the world's top mining firms, including Rio Tinto and Barrick Gold, are among the more than 30 companies that have signed contracts to use ExoSphere to increase the productivity and lower the environmental footprint of their mineral exploration endeavors.
"This has been an extraordinary period of growth for Fleet Space Technologies. We are proud to work with an increasing number of the world's most progressive exploration companies to deliver faster, more accurate and ultimately less impactful exploration practices," said Tata-Nardini, who is also a co-founder of the innovative company.
Redefining mineral exploration
Thor Energy is utilizing Fleet Space's ExoSphere technology to allow more precise drilling and thus speed the resource delineation drilling at Alford East, a project in South Australia that contains copper and a suite of rare earths that are key inputs in future technologies.
Fleet Space, however, is upping the ante by investing directly in Thor. The company says this is the first step in a long-term, transformative partnership that combines space technology with mineral exploration.
"By taking an equity stake in Thor Energy we signal our long-term commitment to redefining how minerals are found at their Alford East Project and beyond," Tata-Nardini said.
This redefinition includes pairing Fleet Space's state-of-the-art technology with Thor's mineral exploration expertise at Alford East.
ExoSphere uses ambient noise tomography to map Earth's subsurface. The Fleet Space-Thor collaboration will carry out an Exosphere ANT survey over the northern part of Alford East.
Grids of Geodes – hand-transportable seismic sensors equipped with a satellite transmitter and sophisticated processing unit – laid out over the survey area will capture subtle vibrations from both natural and human sources and securely transmit streamlined data to Fleet Space's low-Earth-orbit satellite network and then relayed to earthbound stations.
This data, which is available for use almost immediately, will be integrated with Thor's existing 3D geological model and is expected to lead to a comprehensive understanding of the controls on mineralization and speed the identification of high-potential drill targets.
"The satellite enabled exploration approach made possible by Fleet's Exosphere technology is driving greater efficiency and accuracy across the industry," said Thor Energy Managing Director Nicole Warland.
Fleet Space's investment in Thor will be through a strategic share subscription.
"We are delighted that Fleet has signaled its intent for a long-term collaboration at Alford East by taking a stake in Thor Energy that see us become partners in innovation as we work together to redefine exploration practices for the better," Warland added.