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The BRGM Group

IRIS Instruments : strong performance in the mineral resource exploration market for two consecutive years

IRIS Instruments training of customers in Mauritania in the use of NUMIS POLY. This instrument is a key tool for hydrogeologists wanting to establish sufficiently productive water boreholes. © IRIS Instruments

Thanks to innovative products for deep exploration, IRIS has been able to take advantage of the two years of upswing in the mining exploration sector after the depression cycle suffered by the industry since 2012. Coupled with continued outstanding performance in the groundwater and environmental sector, IRIS' economic results in 2019 are better than they were in 2018.

Sales of devices distributed in 42 different countries were evenly spread over three continents: Asia, America and Africa. IRIS geophysicists met regularly with representatives and customers at conferences and training sessions in different contexts. From Orléans, the production, after-sales service and support teams have responded promptly and professionally to the needs of customers whose challenges and hence needs are constantly growing.

Electrical resistivity instruments designed specifically for probing the first 100 metres, which are particularly in demand in the environmental (including urban areas) and groundwater research sectors, continue to be among the leading income-producing activities. Global changes are driving communities to investigate and monitor the near surface with indirect and non-invasive methods including the measurement of electrical resistivity.
The FullWaver independent electrical resistivity and induced polarisation receiver-recorder systems, which offer great flexibility for geophysical surveys from the near surface to the first kilometre in depth, continue to be valued by academic teams and engineering design offices.

Each year, IRIS instrument sales are divided equally between academic and private customers. However, IRIS recorded for 2019 a higher proportion of sales in the private sector, highlighting dynamic private investment at the global level which reflects the good economic health of the sectors in which it operates: mining research, the environment and groundwater.

At IRIS, electronic advances are constantly being nurtured by a research and development team attentive to the needs expressed by its in-house geophysicists or by external customers and representatives. The virtuous circle between geophysicists and electronics engineers is the key to success in a market environment that requires regular product improvements without losing their other advantageous characteristics such as robustness, reliability, flexibility and agility of use.

IRIS has also adopted an industrial protection policy that led in 2019 to the filing of patent applications in Europe, the USA, Australia and Canada for a high-power transmitter. IRIS experts have added to existing knowledge through scientific publications and conference presentations.
The diverse and complementary talents of the teams enable them to work together to develop new equipment that will be launched on the market in 2020.

A major event for IRIS took place in 2019, namely its acquisition of a majority holding in the American company Multi-Phase Technologies which becomes MPT-IRIS Inc. Headed by Daniel LaBrecque, this geophysical instrumentation company, which is specialised in fields complementary to those of IRIS, is based in Reno, Nevada.

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Chair: Catherine Truffert
Turnover: €6.13 M
SAGEOS holding: 51%
OYO holding: 49 %
Staff on 31/12/2019: 27 employees

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Catherine Truffert
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Chair, Iris Instruments