The most recent UNEXMIN trial took place in May 2019 at the Ecton Mine, located near Manchester. The entire flooded area of the copper mine, which has been closed for nearly 160 years, was surveyed by two of our robots at three different dive sites over three weeks. The robots reached depths of up to 125 m and explored several previously unknown shafts and passages. Given that Ecton is now a National Heritage monument, similar to the Idrija Mine, it was essential for the technology used to be non-destructive and non-contact in order to preserve the site.
Ecton Mine, located in Staffordshire, is unique in its mineralization compared to the surrounding areas since it is particularly enriched in copper, as opposed to lead and zinc. The characteristic rock type in Staffordshire is Lower Carboniferous limestone (350 million years old), which has undergone both brittle and ductile deformation phases during the Alpine and Hercynian orogeny. This folded and fractured rock is host to intense hydrothermal copper-lead-zinc mineralisation in places.
See the following YouTube videos about this mission: