DIGITAL co-invests in Novamera surgical mining technology demo project

DIGITAL, Canada’s Global Innovation Cluster for digital technologies, has co-invested C$3.5 million ($2.6 million) in a data-driven surgical mining initiative led by Canadian start-up Novamera to advance its transformational Surgical Mining Technologies.

Novamera’s AI-powered solution combines innovative new tools along with conventional drilling equipment to extract ore quickly with minimal environmental impact, 95% less waste and at a fraction of the cost, the company says. The suite of technologies combines hardware and software to target ore. This opens new opportunities to mine stranded or uneconomic deposits that are often left unmined due to their size and shape.

The recent investment from DIGITAL is a testament to its commitment to advancing digital solutions in core industries, including natural resources, healthcare and agriculture. The investment also signals a new focus on securing more raw materials to support the domestic supply of EV batteries and other clean energy sources, a crucial step in transitioning to a more sustainable future.

“We can’t transition to clean energy without mining,” Dustin Angelo, Novamera CEO, says. “Technology and innovation will be key to finding new ways to get the material we desperately need while minimising the impact on communities and the environment. We are dedicated to equipping the mining sector with the necessary tools to meet the growing demand for metal in a profitable, rapid and sustainable manner.”

Sue Paish, CEO of DIGITAL, added: “DIGITAL is proud to co-invest alongside innovators like Novamera and support partnerships that continue to showcase the expertise and accomplishments of Canadian industry in building globally relevant AI and advancing international commercial pathways for Canadian companies.”

Two industry partners, Great Atlantic Resources and Maritime Resources, based in Newfoundland, are involved in the project, which has already started and is expected to be completed in 2025. The project will showcase Novamera’s enabling technologies and the surgical mining method’s economic and smaller environmental impact, Novamera says.

Novamera says it develops surgical mining technologies that pinpoint, map, navigate and extract high-value narrow vein deposits. Its precision drilling products integrate into conventional drilling equipment, enabling mining companies to quickly and sustainably mine metal and mineral deposits that are otherwise uneconomic due to size, geometry and orientation. The process has large-scale environmental and social impacts to support ESG targets and improve social licence, requiring a small footprint with no blasting; the solution produces 95% less waste and 44% less GHG emissions and minimal water discharge.