Back in October 2019, leading Indian mining conglomerate, Vimson Group and innovation hub, New Lab, announced a partnership to establish Prospect Mining Studio, a venture studio program bringing together entrepreneurs and industry experts to address the biggest challenges facing the mineral and natural resource mining sector. The focus is on enhancing sustainability and closed-loop production, environmental sensing, worker performance and safety, mineral extraction and energy efficiency, and data optimisation.
Vimson Group and New Lab invited startups from all over the world working in a broad range of sectors – AI, robotics and automation, data science, computer vision, energy harvesting, and even synthetic biology – to apply for a chance to develop and pilot new technologies over the course of the 12-month program, which is described as an “Innovation Studio ecosystem.”
The 15 startups involved are Exyn Technologies, CyanoGuard, LlamaZOO, Allied Microbiota, Carbon Upcycling Technologies, Innocule, LexSet, Lixivia, Novamera, Objectivity, OneWatt, Phoenix Tailings, Pliant Energy Systems, RIO Analytics and Tomahawk Robotics.
The startup teams in the 2020 cohort will now engage Vimson, New Lab and the supporting ecosystem of experts to progress towards clear milestones. “Teams will be matched with the resources best suited to their stage of development and greatest needs such as mining, operational and site data or financial support to build industry-specific technology applications. Mature companies will be given opportunities to fast-track to the pilot phase. All teams will gain access to New Lab’s community, network, prototyping facilities and workspaces as well as a cohort of mining experts. Teams will be able to participate remotely and are not required to relocate to New York City for this phase.”
Teams meeting the necessary milestones will pilot and validate their technologies at Vimson or partner mining sites. This phase will support teams in product integration, expose them to additional investment opportunities and help accelerate products to market.
New Lab is a tech and innovation ecosystem based in Brooklyn, New York. A spokesperson told IM: “Newlab applies transformative technology to things that matter. Home to over 800 top entrepreneurs, engineers, and inventors, solving the world’s biggest challenges with leaders and experts across industries and cities. Transformative technologies include robotics, artificial intelligence, and material science all applied to create solutions for pressing problems in public health, the environment, truth in media, our cities, and infrastructure.”
Here is the full list of the startups in the 2020 Prospect Mining Studio cohort:
- Exyn Technologies develops autonomous aerial robot systems for data acquisition and collection in complex, GPS-denied industrial environments. Exyn safely and efficiently automates the collection of data in dangerous circumstances, such as 3D mapping of mine drifts and stopes, asset location monitoring, or search & rescue missions.
- CyanoGuard combines chemical sensing technology with a cloud-based data visualisation and analysis solution that enables integrating further sensor data for holistic monitoring & optimisation. Their first product, a proprietary test for cyanide, is the fastest in the world, delivering accurate results in less than 30 seconds anywhere on the spot, without any lab equipment or training.
- LlamaZOO’s spatial business intelligence platform empowers organisations to stitch together data from across their operations and visualise it in the context of real-world locations. LlamaZOO is able to combine spatial data sets such as LiDAR, satellite, CAD, IoT, and GIS into one unified view and to provide analytic and visualisation tools that generate valuable business insights specifically tailored to the layout of large industrial sites and infrastructure.
- Allied Microbiota develops microbes and their enzymes to clean-up environmental contamination, and create sustainable bio-chemicals. Their disruptive augmentation cultures have shown ground breaking results to treat PCBs, Dioxins and chlorinated compounds in soil and sediments.
- Carbon Upcycling Technologies (CUT) converts CO2 gas emissions from point sources such as power plants into solid products. Their proprietary technology chemically absorbs CO2 emissions into exfoliated inorganic solids to create a portfolio of fine nanoparticles.
- Innocule offers a range of proprietary additives, consisting of specialty chemicals and polymers to create products such as dispersants, dewatering aids, flow aids, and grinding aids that are customised to each customer, enhancing productivity and reducing ore processing costs.
- To enable better computer vision development, LexSet has created TDaaS (Training Data as a Service), using 3D content to create photo-realistic synthetic data to train Vision AI models. The approach allows users to generate limitless amounts of training data on-demand.
- Lixivia has developed hydrometallurgical technology able to refine a large range of mineral mixtures which include low grade lime, dolime, various types of steel and iron slag, rare earth metals, and lithium. Lixivia enables their partners to capture more value from their minerals.
- Novamera is developing an integrated system using directional drilling equipment and imaging technology, called Sustainable Mining by Drilling (SMD), that can help define the geometry of mineral deposits followed by a precise excavation technique that is sustainable, safe and economic.
- Objectivity utilises AI-based algorithms to improve the efficiency of resource conversion drilling during critical pre-production activity, reducing project development timelines & improving ROI.
- OneWatt predicts and detects faults in industrial equipment by literally listening to motors using predictive AI and their Embedded Acoustic Recognition Sensors (EARS). Their non-intrusive solution saves industrial users, plant managers, and owners from unplanned downtime, revenue losses, and unproductive maintenance.
- Phoenix Tailings offers an end-to-end, zero-carbon solution to sustainably harvest valuable metals from hazardous mining waste, leveraging untapped value within mining and refining waste, economically and sustainably.
- Pliant Energy Systems conceptualizes, patents and develops highly novel technologies in the fields of marine robotics, propulsion, electricity generation, and pumping.
- RIO Analytics develops artificial intelligence applications to predict failures of industrial assets. By combining advanced industrial analytics and AI, RIO analytics has built a digital platform capable of predicting failures, reducing downtime and increasing operational efficiency.
- Tomahawk Robotics develops multi-domain collaborative robotic control solutions, serving security and defense, energy, infrastructure, and assistive robotics markets. Tomahawk’s products are built to safely work alongside people and work in unstructured environments.