Revolutionize Mining? Yes Please! #DisruptMining Brings Brilliant Minds Together
#DisruptMining, an innovation accelerator presented by Goldcorp designed to encourage new technologies and ideas to solve some of the biggest challenges in mining, held its Innovation Expo and Live Finale event on Sunday, March 4th, during the annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention, Trade Show & Investors Exchange.
Acoustic Zoom Inc., from Paradise, NL, emerged as the winner of the “Shark Tank“ style finale where four finalists pitched their ideas to disrupt the mining industry to a panel of judges. Acoustic Zoom—a semi-finalist in last year’s #DisruptMining challenge— impressed the judges with its ultra high-frequency 3D drill hole seismic imaging and earned the opportunity to negotiate a contract or investment of up to $1 million with Goldcorp.
“Our vision is to give confidence to investors by augmenting the value of drill results using our innovative acoustic technology,” said Jacques Guigné, CEO and Chief Scientist Professor at Acoustic Zoom. “Our technology maps are deep within the earth’s microstructure, helping exploration teams drill smarter, guide planning and achieve investment value quick. We are thrilled that Goldcorp and the judging panel of industry titans sees this value and champions our vision.”
“Technologies like the one presented by Acoustic Zoom will get us to our vision of being a technology company, and a mining company, faster,” said Todd White, COO, Goldcorp. “Each of the finalists brought something unique to the challenge making the deliberation process difficult for the judges. It was crystal clear at the #DisruptMining finale that disruptors are responding to our call to innovate.”
Deciding the fate of the four finalists were (you can read all their bios at http://www.disruptmining.com):
- George Salamis, President & CEO, Integra Resources
- Rob McEwen, Founder and CEO, McEwen Mining
- Todd White, COO, Goldcorp
- Veronica Knott, University of British Columbia Mining Engineering student and 2017 Engineers Canada Gold Medal Student Award recipient; and
- Wal van Lierop, President & CEO, Chrysalix Venture Capital
The judges also heard pitches from three other disruptors
EnviroLeach has developed the world’s only safe, stable, sustainable, eco-friendly and economic alternative to cyanide. A unique, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly alternative to the current methods used in the hydrometallurgical extraction of precious metals, including the prolific use of cyanide, strong acids, mercury and smelting processes. The EnviroLeach process, a patented chemistry based on five FDA-approved ingredients, results in a product that is non-toxic, safe to use and provides similar or superior leach kinetics and recoveries to that of cyanide. It’s the first economically and technically viable alternative to the use of cyanide since its introduction in the 1870s. Adoption and application of the EnviroLeach method is expected to help reduce the environmental impact of mining, streamline permitting processes, improve occupational safety and enhance operational efficiencies.
LlamaZOO Interactive has created MineLife VR, a software platform which enables companies to represent a mine plan from exploration to reclamation in an interactive 1:1 scale using virtual reality, creating efficiencies and value across investor, government, and community relations; resource management; mine planning and reclamation; and business development. Founded by former game designers and developers from Electronic Arts and Microsoft, LlamaZOO’s technology empowers mining companies to tell a better story with their data—making it more accessible and actionable for technical and non-technical stakeholders alike. MineLife VR represents the first time that spatial data of such a large and complex nature has been successfully synthesized into a life-sized, interactive, virtual reality experience.
Open Mineral, founded by former Glencore executives, is digitizing the relic practices of physical commodity trading that has operated the same way for decades. By expanding the number of suitable metal concentrate counterparties available worldwide, the Open Mineral Exchange is transforming the way physical commodity trading is conducted. With streamlined contract negotiations and execution to increase efficiency and profitability for the participants, Open Mineral is a “one-stop shop” for trade execution with sights on implementing blockchain solutions to further reduce processing time and costs while improving cash-flow in concentrate trade transactions.
Money raised to further mining education
Goldcorp CEO David Garofalo announced at the finale event that net proceeds of $230,000 from the #DisruptMining live finale will be granted toward mining, innovation and technology scholarships to the University of British Columbia over the next three years. In addition to the scholarships, Goldcorp and #DisruptMining Co-Host KPMG announced a $100,000 pledge to the HEROS hockey program, which helps vulnerable kids participate in hockey programs.
The #DisruptMining challenge received more than 100 submissions from entrepreneurs and companies with ideas to innovate the mining industry. In addition to the four finalists who participated in the Live Finale event, eight semi-finalists showcased their technologies at the #DisruptMining Innovation Expo:
- Active Minerals: Active Minerals’ Acti-Gel 208 is a natural mineral additive that prevents particle build-up in slurry pipelines, allowing for more efficient transport with vastly reduced water usage.
- Earth Alive Clean Technologies Inc: Earth Alive EA1 is the first microbial technology that is proven effective for dust control. It significantly reduces the amount of dust created by trucks driving on mine roads, creating smoother, cleaner surfaces that require less water to maintain.
- ELEMISSION Inc: Elemission’s MISSION:CORIOSITY technology is a fully-automated core scanner designed to be easily transportable and operated on-location at exploration and mining sites, avoiding the need for costly and time-consuming laboratory studies.
- Infosys Limited: Infosys’ BlastAID improves the efficiency, accuracy and predictability of blasting at mine sites, making blasting safer and reducing clean-up time.
- Minerva Intelligence Inc: Minerva Intelligence translates human knowledge and experience into data that machines can understand, improving the machine’s ability to accurately identify exploration targets.
- Safescape: Safescape Edge Protector is a safer alternative to traditional means of edge protection on haul roads and allows for reduced haul road width.
- Synergen Met Pty Ltd: Synergen is developing the world’s only modular, transportable plant that makes sodium cyanide at the mine site, reducing transportation of hazardous materials to site and allowing for just-in-time supply.
- VEERUM: VEERUM’s Digital Twin Platform bridges the gap between what is envisioned in the planning phase of a project and the reality on the ground, allowing for more accurate decision-making, earlier in the process.