SBQuantum, a company developing diamond quantum magnetometers, and Silicon Microgravity, a company developing innovative inertial and gravity sensors, have partnered to accelerate mining exploration using quantum sensing. Their project, QUAMINEX (Quantum Accelerated Mining Exploration), involves the development of a drone-based system of sensors that combine magnetics and gravimetry. This system will improve the location and analysis of underground mineral deposits, reducing the time and capital required for field operations and improving 3D geological readouts.

The dual sensor systems can be deployed via drone to detect underground deposits of strategic minerals such as cobalt, copper, lithium, nickel, platinum, and rare earths. The new approach allows users to see the geology in 3D after a single survey with at least 30% greater resolution than the current industry standard, potentially reducing costs.

SBQuantum, based in Sherbrooke, Canada, is producing leading-edge hardware in the field of quantum magnetometer sensing, combined with advanced interpretation and compensation algorithms to enhance magnetics. The gravity sensing is being supplied by Silicon Microgravity using their proprietary resonant non-quantum MEMS technology. The project is partially financed by the governments of Canada and the UK, contributing $500,000 CAD ($368K USD) and £414,000 ($523K USD) respectively. The project, which will take 18 months to complete, represents the first deployment of a diamond-based quantum magnetometer on a drone. Testing will begin in a remote area of Canada once the equipment is ready.

A press release provided by SBQuantum announcing this funding can be accessed here.

March 1, 2024