NextOre says it has raised A$2 million ($1.35 million) in a private funding round primarily to ramp up manufacturing and sales of its flagship bulk ore sorting sensor system.
The company’s products apply magnetic resonance (MR) technology, used for decades in medical MRI machines, to deliver real-time information about ore that miners can use for decision making.
Copper-detecting MR Analysers have been installed globally at mines in Latin America and Australia, with more scheduled for installation this year. While NextOre is focusing initially on copper sorting applications, the MR technology is applicable to a list of other commodities including iron ore and gold, according to NextOre. Funds raised will be used to grow the company’s global footprint from its existing customer base, the company said.
The MR Analyser is the result of nearly 15 years of research and development carried out by CSIRO Minerals Resources. NextOre, a spinoff from CSIRO, is now a partnership between CSIRO and RFC Ambrian, with the two joined by Advisian Digital.
Chris Beal, CEO of NextOre, said: “With this technology, miners will be able to mine more intelligently. Miners have historically innovated by going bigger – bigger trucks, bigger processing facilities, bigger mines – they’ve been forced to do this because there hasn’t been a technology that would allow them to look at the rock while it’s being mined, see how much metal is in it, and then efficiently make a decision on whether to keep it or throw it away.”
He said the company’s technology will enable miners to produce more metal using “smaller, more efficient plants” that consume less electricity, water and chemicals in the process.
Beal continued: “This is truly disruptive technology for the mining space, and it’s brought about by a team at CSIRO with a world-class track record. This is the same group that was instrumental in developing XRF for the minerals industry in the 1960s and 1970s, who developed on-stream ash analysers in use across the coal industry, and who developed the cutting edge PhotonAssay technology that’s now replacing fire assay.”