The TerraCore Story

TerraCore was formed by the merger of TerraCore International and Geospectral Imaging in early 2015. TerraCore International had been spun out of airborne hyperspectral services company SpecTIR in 2012, funded by a group of forward-thinking investors who saw the gap for a digital tool to capture data from core. At the same time, across the Atlantic Ocean, a group of spectral experts was setting up Geospectral Imaging, drawing on their long experience of spectral geology and image processing for the Anglo American group of companies. In 2014, the two companies recognised a shared set of values and complementary strengths, and merger proceedings were started that culminated in the formation of TerraCore.

Geospectral Imaging’s (and now TerraCore’s) principals were the drivers for the very first commercial hyperspectral core imaging system (named the HCI) that was commissioned by AngloGold Ashanti in 2002, and delivered to their Witwatersrand operations in 2004. The system was run successfully for three years collecting data not only from the Witwatersrand but a variety of other orebodies. The challenge of processing the data was taken on by Phil Harris, Warren Howe-Watson and Neil Pendock (who would become the founders of Geospectral Imaging), and the first iteration of our extremely powerful processing and interpretation system was developed; a system that we continually expand and improve to this day.

However, despite the success of the HCI, its lack of mobility and slow acquisition speeds proved frustrating, and the search was started to identify other instrument providers. Enter SpecIm, a Finnish hyperspectral camera manufacturer who was persuaded in 2007 to build a prototype system employing their world-leading short-wave infrared (SWIR) pushbroom cameras. The main advantages of pushbroom systems are their ability to image entire core boxes in a single pass thereby significantly increasing throughput, the wide environmental tolerance of the cameras, and the ability to be mounted on a compact core imaging platform which provides the mobility to operate literally anywhere.

In 2009 that prototype system was deployed to AngloGold’s La Colosa project in Colombia to run a successful pilot study on 17000 metres of core, which created the platform for our success. AngloGold subsequently ran all of the core they drilled at La Colosa, and the 140 kilometres imaged represents, so far, our largest hyperspectral project conducted for a mining company.

Subsequently, we have collected data for numerous major, mid-cap and junior mining companies on every continent except for Antarctica, and in environments from the Arctic to the Sahara. In partnership with SpecIm we conducted a hugely successful project for the Swedish Geological Survey where 236km of core were imaged and the data processed and interpreted in a 12 month period. We have continued our partnership with SpecIm, bringing both our processing and geological knowledge to an expanded range of cameras for geological applications, in particular the VNIR-SWIR Fenix and the game-changing long-wave infrared OWL camera that is the first (and still the only) LWIR camera available for core imaging.

TerraCore has had a strong partnership with ALS, the world’s leading geochemical laboratory group, that started in 2013 and culminated in ALS taking a 20% equity stake in late 2015. This partnership brings the global reach, deep knowledge of the mining industry, business acumen, and customer base of ALS while also providing an entry into the oil and gas market. We continue to work closely with ALS and have systems deployed in several of their laboratories around the globe from where we are able to mobilise to client sites.

In addition to our spectral and imaging processing skills, we have built knowledge and software to address operational applications such as geometallurgy and grade control. We are especially proud of our geometallurgical capabilities, with successful outcomes delivered to AngloGold and Newmont and current projects with other companies. With ALS oil and gas, we employ the power of hyperspectral imaging to bring innovative data fusion techniques to the industry.

Our management has more than 75 years combined experience in image processing and spectral geology, and our varied board that consists of entrepreneurs, financiers, geologists, image processing experts and mathematicians provides invaluable technical and business guidance.