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The Orexplore Technologies journey.

This is our story.

Proud of our history, inspired by our people, driven by a vision to change the industry.

Orexplore was founded around the idea that the process of analysing rock hasn’t fundamentally changed for hundreds of years. We set out to completely reimagine that process, bringing it into the modern age and revolutionising the entire mining industry.

After extensive research, we developed a technology that not only detects elements of a rock, but visualises its internal structure in a fraction of the time traditional methods may take.

The short version.

1980s
The initial ideas about combining high-energy XRF and X-ray absorption were born through the work of Swedish geo-technician Anders Ullberg and professor Ragnar Kullenberg.
2009
Orexplore Technologies is founded and partners with STING (Stockholm Innovation and Growth), a business incubator, providing business development support and coaching.
2010
X-ray detector technology has finally become precise enough for practical applications that Orexplore Technologies can utilise.
2012
Orexplore Technologies raises venture capital from Inlandsinnovation (IIAB).
2013
Orexplore Technologies partners with Swick Mining Services, who agrees to a progressive investment program over a five-year period.
2016
Orexplore Technologies create a GeoCore X10® prototype at Boliden Minerals for testing.
2017
The GeoCore X10® is awarded the Red Dot industrial design award. Orexplore Technologies gain development funding in the Horizon 2020 Project X-Mine. Swick acquires 100% of the remaining shares in Orexplore Technologies.
2018
Orexplore Technologies officially launches the GeoCore X10® for mineral analysis of drill core. Orexplore Technologies Australia Pty Ltd is formed and a new office in Perth is opened to service the Australian market.
2019
Period of trials testing core for multiple companies at the Perth lab.
2020
Sandfire commences onsite trial and Boliden commences onsite program.

The long version.

Brilliant minds & bold ideas.

Already in the 1980s, geotechnical engineer, Anders Ullberg saw the need to develop new, more efficient and more sustainable methods for scanning minerals in rock. Professor of radiology, Ragnar Kullenberg, was researching the use of X-ray fluorescence to measure bone minerals in the human body. In 1994, they met for a brainstorming session — the first step on a passionate route to applying XRF and X-rays to minerology.

Business plans & big ambitions.

During the 2000s, several ideas were commercialised, but scanning rock with X-rays remained at the planning stage. Ullberg wanted to measure XRF signals from chemical elements from inside the rock, especially gold. In 2010, the idea was patented, and the pair engaged Kevin Rebenius, with extensive experience from tech industry, as a managing director.

With ambitions to change the mining industry crystallised in a strong business plan, commercial uses of the patent become obvious and a membership in Swedish tech hub Sting was offered. Mikael Bergqvist, Ph.D. specialising in medical imaging and detector physics joined as CTO and added tomography to the ideas, with the task to lead development and continued innovation.

Initial prototypes & global expansion.

Seeking funds to develop a prototype, Orexplore Technologies secured investment through the government-owned fund Inlandsinnovation. As a result, Orexplore Technologies started developing a prototype immediately, fast becoming known as one of the most sought-after workplaces in Stockholm.

Beginning to open doors globally, Orexplore Technologies and its ideas reached new international networks and financiers. With the addition of Senior Geologist Stefan Sädbom to the organisation came significant mining experience and a geologist’s perspective, first as an advisor and later as chairman of the board – a role he still sits in today.

Shifting priorities & DIY.

Bringing innovation to an industry as big as mining requires revolutionary hardware and software development.

One of Orexplore Technologies initial concepts was to detect gold inside a rock; however, a spectrometer of that calibre was lacking, so our ‘gold’ concept was put aside.

Focusing on change to address the gaps in the base metal industry, we set about developing our technology

Fresh opportunities & new partnerships.

In 2012, Business Sweden invited Orexplore Technologies to exhibit at a mining technology convention in Perth, Australia.

With Australia being one of the world’s largest mineral extraction markets, this was the ideal opportunity to showcase Orexplore’s technology offering – a solution far beyond anything else on the market.

Here, Kent Swick of global drilling powerhouse Swick Mining saw Orexplore and, realising its potential, the Orexplore-Swick partnership began.

Production lines & award-winning design.

2013 saw Swick Mining purchase Inlandsinnovation’s Orexplore Technologies shares, implementing an ambitious investment plan.

Partnering with Electrolux’s Kurt Rapp, one of Sweden’s most sought-after production efficiency consultants, Orexplore Technologies constructed a production line based on Toyota Production System principles.

As production increased, Orexplore Technologies looked to develop a mobile X-ray machine, powerful enough to scan a full metre of core in just 15 minutes – a goal far exceeding initial prototype expectations.

Orexplore Technologies engaged industrial designer Tue Beijer to design the new GeoCore X10® measuring tool, capitalising on Sweden’s industrial heritage and position as a global technology leader. Praise for the design was quick to follow, with the GeoCoreX10® awarded the Red Dot Design Award in 2017.

Onsite revolution & online results.

With the GeoCore X10® and Orexplore Insight® in place, Orexplore Technologies could finally blossom. It was now possible to scan drill cores at high speed, and geologists could be fed 3D models of the X-rayed drill cores via computer screens, no matter where they were in the world.

The time was also right to launch several test projects onsite, and this was done with Boliden, Lovisagruvan, Swick Mining, and others. To facilitate a wider usage of the new method, mining companies could send cores for X-raying to the Orexplore Technologies offices in Stockholm and Perth, and receive remote results via Orexplore Insight® in just 15 minutes.

This is just the beginning.

Our story is still being written.

We’ve come a long way, but this is just the beginning. Join us in the next chapter and discover how the GeoCore X10® and Orexplore Insight® can revolutionise your exploration.