Core scanning with BoxScan

What is this research?

This research will undertake core scanning research using the state-of-the-art automated multi-sensor core scanning facility BoxScan on two sites in Cornwall: Redmoor and United Downs. The study will conduct new research on the permeability/petrophysics of core, with BoxScan enabling the automated and simultaneous delivery of geophysical, geotechnical and geochemical parameters. Alongside these research studies, in February 2023 (precise dates TBC), DDC alongside Geotek will run core scanning workshops for regional businesses that explore the history, future and potential impact of these technologies for minerals exploration and more. Businesses eligible for DDC support will have the opportunity to scan their own core through this research.

Cornish Lithium will host the Boxscan at their United Downs site and use it to log core from their Twelveheads Exploration hole (mainly fractured metasediments containing both lodes and crosscourses). The Boxscan will be useful in the non-destructive analysis of the structures of interest, which may lead to improved “deposit” and exploration models and assist with the identification and classification of lithologies.

Cornwall Resources will undertake a study of orientated drill core from the Redmoor Sheeted Vein System, highlighting the equipment’s potential for adding value to the geological workflow at Redmoor. The programme will include a detailed study of structural features and their orientation and aim to prove the equipment’s ability to effectively capture this data and increase knowledge of the structural geology underpinning the resource. The structural data, once combined with geochemistry and other captured datasets is expected to increase the understanding of the resource and aid in further work programme targeting.

What is the purpose of this research?

Extracted through diamond drilling, core (hard rock) provides information about the geological structure and mineralisation of the ground beneath our feet. Core scanning provides high value insights for decision-making for a number of key sectors, including the extractive industries, renewable energy (geothermal, wind farm development), water systems (hydrogeology) and nuclear waste management. Technology metals (extracted from the underground) and renewable energies are priority sectors for UK Government, Cornwall Council and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership. As such, this research is highly relevant for the region and its businesses. Businesses eligible for DDC support can use the BoxScan equipment, data outputs and visualisations to better understand the underground in areas that interest them.

How is this research be undertaken?

Professor Frances Wall (Academic Lead of Deep Digital Cornwall) leads this research alongside Dennis Rowland (Project Manager, Cornwall Resources) and Dr Chris Yeomans (Research Manager, Cornish Lithium). James Shreeve (Geotek) provided key input at the core scanning workshops including guidance on how to maximise the capabilities of the BoxScan facility. The DDC team of Impact Fellows and 3D Digital Artists planned to integrate the core analyses and resulting imagery into the DDC Hub and Visualisation Suite for public access to demonstrate the ability to combine imaging at sub millimetre scale up to multiple kilometres.

Data outputs will be available for public access via and in the DDC Visualisation Suite, publicised in news pieces on the DDC website, LinkedIn, Twitter, and will feature in the DDC Digital Assets Catalogue in addition to marketing materials

Contact Us

Queries relating to CRL should be directed to Senior Geologist, Rowan Thorne ( at Cornwall Resources Limited, quoting CRL DDC Boxscan in the subject.

Queries relating to CL should be directed to Cornish Lithium ( quoting CL DDC Boxscan in the subject. 

What is DDC?

Deep Digital Cornwall (DDC) is a research project led by the Camborne School of Mines and the Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence at the University of Exeter (UoE). DDC is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), in turn managed by the UK Government Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).

The aim of the Deep Digital project is to create a world-leading cluster of research-active, highly innovative businesses applying digital solutions to a wide range of business opportunities connected to the underground including mining, geothermal, civil engineering, environmental, surveying, water resources, planning and permitting, heritage, tourism. The project’s delivery partners are conducting research for regional businesses to engage with, use and access, with the aim of stimulating business development opportunities and economic growth in the region.

What is University of Exeter’s relationship with DDC?

University of Exeter is the lead partner and grant recipient for DDC. Along with the project’s delivery partners Cornish Lithium, Cornwall Resources and South West Centre for Excellence in Satellite Applications. Academic staff and researchers support regional businesses in the development of research projects that will generate new products and services for these businesses. The University was also approved to conduct new research to generate open data (i.e. publicly accessible datasets) in October 2022. This research is one of those research studies.