Glencore’s XPS (Expert Process Solutions) is playing a role in Natural Resources Canada’s Crush It! Challenge by volunteering consulting services to two applicants recently named finalists in the competition.
XPS has much technical and operational expertise in the area of comminution and has been willing to impart its wisdom on the two teams.
The Crush It! Challenge was announced in October 2018 with the aim to realise an innovative breakthrough in the mining industry’s most energy-intensive and inefficient processes: crushing and grinding.
The primary objectives of the challenge are to fight climate change by creating innovative technologies that reduce energy consumption and pollution, increase competitiveness by developing world-leading clean technologies, and transform the mining cycle to establish a new “future in mining”.
Semi-finalists (up to 12) receive C$10,000 ($7,402) to help them pitch their ideas to the Challenge Jury, with up to six finalists being granted up to C$800,000 to build and test their clean technologies. The winner and innovator demonstrating the most superior energy breakthrough to crush and grind rocks is awarded a C$5 million prize to fully develop and roll out their solution.
On April 30, Natural Resources Canada announced the six finalists, which including two submissions that received consulting services from Glencore’s XPS.
Gillian Holcroft from the Canada Mining Innovation Council is representing a team in the finals for her Conjugate Anvil Hammer Mill (CAHM). “CAHM is a platform technology that has the potential to reduce energy consumption by 50% and replace several types of mills,” Glencore said. “Improved sustainability and lower costs could transform non-viable mineral development projects into new mines in Canada.”
Erin Bobicki of the University of Toronto is the project leader representing another finalist for her Microwave Pre-treatment and Ore Sorting technology. “This innovation combines microwave-assisted comminution and sorting to achieve energy savings of up to 70%,” Glencore said.
“A benefit of this innovation is that it is a scalable technology that can be easily integrated as a technology add-on for existing operations, therefore, it requires a small footprint as no additional infrastructure or utilities are required to support it. Given the sizeable energy savings, the innovation has the potential to transform non-viable mining projects into new mines.”
Now that the finalists have been announced, they are readying technical reports to showcase their clean-tech solutions submissions by the November 30, 2020, deadline. In March 2021, the final grand prize winner will be announced.