Tag Archives: METS Ignited

Omniflex, AMOG Consulting win METS Ignited funding for oversize detection tech

Remote monitoring specialist Omniflex and engineering firm AMOG Consulting have received new funding from industry growth centre METS Ignited that will could accelerate the commercialisation of the companies’ Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) oversize detection instrumentation for the global mining industry.

The award is part of a METS Ignited A$2.5 million ($1.8 million) funding initiative that also saw Safescape, ZERO Automotive, MyPass Global, Universal Field Robots and 3ME Technology awarded funding.

“Mines often operate by blasting mine and pit faces with explosives, producing rubble of various shapes and sizes, from small pebbles to metre-wide boulders,” Omniflex said. “This is then loaded onto large haul trucks and transported to an ore crusher. When oversized rubble reaches the crusher, it can block and damage it, halting production while blockages are removed, or parts are replaced.”

Omniflex and AMOG have collaboratively developed IIoT instrumentation to boost oversize detection capabilities for the global mining industry. The system uses sensors to detect the size of ore rubble as it is loaded into haul trucks to be carried from the blast site to the crushing plant, Omniflex explained. This information is wirelessly communicated in real time to the driver, mine operations and/or remote data storage for later analysis.

David Celine, Managing Director of Omniflex, said: “The sensors, designed jointly by AMOG and Omniflex, detect signals onboard the truck as ore is dumped into the tray. The data is processed using machine-learning techniques to estimate the size of the rocks as they are dumped into the truck. This information is then communicated wirelessly through a gateway on the haul truck to the driver and to mine operations to notify them of the oversize ore load before the truck departs after being loaded.

“The technology has demonstrated a detection accuracy of above 80%, which is a vast improvement on common detection methods that are estimated to be less than 5% accurate. Notably, the technology does not rely on visual detection or cameras and so works in almost all conditions. It is also simple to retrofit and is expandable to numerous other high value applications.”

The initial technology creation was possible thanks to METS Ignited Collaborative Project funds. Based on the success of the first pilot projects, this new project aims to accelerate the scaling up of the business to meet global industry demand. This includes expanding production, testing capabilities, certification, enabling rapid adoption of this innovative digital technology.

In six years of operation as a government-funded industry growth centre, METS Ignited has invested more than A$13 million in 26 projects, with over 60 industry participants.

METS Ignited funding to speed up Safescape Bortana EV production goals

The latest round of METS Ignited project funding has seen Safescape become one of six METS companies to receive a grant designed to accelerate commercialisation of its technology.

The funding will support the continued development of the Bortana electric light vehicle, helping Safescape move from BETA test phase to full production in late 2022, according to Steve Durkin, Founder and Managing Director of Safescape.

ZERO Automotive, MyPass Global, AMOG, Universal Field Robots and 3ME Technology were the other recipients of the A$2.5 million ($1.9 million) of matched funding.

In six years of operation, METS Ignited has invested more than A$13 million in 26 projects, with over 60 industry participants, according to Safescape.

“METS Ignited have been a strong supporter of decarbonisation in the mining industry and a great supporter of the Bortana EV,” Durkin said. “From the beginning, they have offered support through advice, networking, exposure, and direct financial contributions.”

The latest round of project funding is focused on scaling commercialisation, with the six companies selected having delivered successful industry pilots and having a dedicated focus on innovation.

Safescape is currently preparing a fleet of 10 BETA phase test Bortana EVs, which will be delivered to mine sites across the country. Serial production will commence in 2023.

The Bortana EV is a battery-electric vehicle designed to handle the aggressive operating environment of underground mines. Designed and developed in Australia, the Bortana EV uses the chassis of a diesel-powered Agrale Marruá, electric technology from 3ME and Safescape’s design and engineering expertise. It is designed to tackle safety and health concerns by reducing emissions, heat, and maintenance.

Safescape is establishing facilities to support 10 vehicles per month initially with plans for maximum production capacity above 100 vehicles per month to support both Australian and export markets.

METS Ignited funding to accelerate Zero Automotive Land Cruiser battery-electric conversion plans

METS Ignited, an industry-led, Australian government-funded Industry Growth Centre for the mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector, has invested A$400,000 ($297,938) in a collaborative project to accelerate Zero Automotive’s light duty electric vehicle solution in the open pit and underground mining market.

The ZED70 Ti™ mobile energy platform enables the rapid conversion of Series 79 Land Cruisers into battery electric solutions; that are certified Australian road ready and extremely safe underground, Zero Automotive says. Converted Land Cruisers release no harmful diesel particulates or carbon emissions and have an enhanced driver experience, according to the company.

The modular nature of the platform enables its long-life battery energy system to be reused in multiple chassis’, lowering the total lifecycle cost of the fleet as well as the cost of scope 1 emissions.

Zero Automotive’s solution is the result of a three-and-a-half year phased design and development program to develop and prove the clean technology in the field.

Zero Automotive Managing Director, Dave Mitchell, says the collaborative investment further validates the customer value proposition and enables the company to accelerate its growth plans.

“We recognise that Toyota Landcruisers are familiar and currently the brand of choice for miners,” he said. “These funds will be used to progress our go-to-market strategy; delivering five more converted Land Cruisers for user trial by Electric Mine Consortium members and enhancing our production capability for scale.

“We would like to thank Adrian (Beer) and his team at METS Ignited for their ongoing support and congratulate other successful industry participants.”

METS Ignited CEO, Adrian Beer, said the resources sector is transforming to meet society’s demand for minerals obtained in a sustainable manner.

“We are delighted to see this overwhelming demand for Australian innovation,” he said. “This round of investment includes technology that delivers safety, autonomy and low emissions technology. METS Ignited continues to invest in Australia’s future.

“By commercialising our home-grown innovation through Australian technology vendors, we increase market access to our innovative capability, making Australia an attractive market for further technology investment. These projects demonstrate the importance of resources technology and critical mineral processing for the Australian economy.”

IMDEX sets BLASTDOG drill and blast tech on commercial course

IMDEX has announced what it says is a “major milestone” for its BLASTDOG™ drill and blast technology.

IMDEX BLASTDOG is a semi-autonomously deployed system for logging material properties and blasthole characteristics at high spatial density across the bench and mine and is commodity agnostic, according to the company. It has been developed in collaboration with Universal Field Robots and tested at mines in Queensland, Western Australia, Chile and Nevada (USA).

At an industry event today, IMDEX said BLASTDOG would move from engineering development to commercial prototype by the end of the year.

Progress was outlined to representatives from development partners from METS Ignited, as well as other mining sector executives.

IMDEX said there is already strong industry interest in BLASTDOG because of its capacity to deliver reliable, real-time data that will enable critical mine planning decisions to be made earlier, introducing greater efficiencies throughout the mining value chain.

IMDEX Chief Executive Officer, Paul House, said no other technology had the capacity to produce the same data and provide as large an impact on downstream processes, including enhancing productivity.

“It has the capacity to improve productivity, efficiency, and safety and is part of IMDEX’s internet of geosensing initiative, and will significantly increase mine to mill efficiency,” House said. “Moving to a commercial prototype is a significant development. We will work with prospective clients to ensure that when it is released IMDEX BLASTDOG will deliver the results, efficiencies, and safety that will be its trademark.”

Among the benefits of IMDEX BLASTDOG outlined by the company are the ability to:

  • Improve fragmentation;
  • Improve material and grade control;
  • Reduce geotechnical risk;
  • Reduce adverse vibrations;
  • Define ore boundaries and prevent ore waste;
  • Indicate reactive ground; and
  • Reduce fume, fly rock and vibration

Australia’s IMARC mining event rescheduled to January 2022

Due to ongoing travel and gathering restrictions, and the rise of COVID-19 infections around Australia, Beacon Events, the organisers of the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC), has today announced its decision to reschedule the 2021 edition.

IMARC 2021 will move to the new dates of January 31-February 2, 2022, with the hybrid event taking place in-person at the Melbourne Showgrounds, and online for those that cannot attend in-person.

IMARC Managing Director, Anita Richards, said that while it is disappointing that the event has had to be postponed from 2021, it is the responsible action to take under the circumstances as the health and safety of IMARC’s participants is our number one priority.

“The rescheduling comes after much deliberation with our founding partners, and in consultation with our sponsors, exhibitors, supporters and various Victorian Government agencies who have been very supportive of the decision,” she said.

Victorian Government’s Head of Resources, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, John Krbaleski, added: “IMARC is a home-grown industry event that has become a major international resources conference. There is significant interest in IMARC and it’s clear that industry is keen to see it go ahead in January 2022.”

Austmine CEO, Christine Gibbs Stewart, said: “Considering the health and safety of our members, delegates, and staff members, we support postponing IMARC 2021 until January 2022. We know how important this event is to our members who are exhibiting and attending, as well as the METS sector overall, and we encourage everyone to consider this as an opportunity to refocus your efforts and support the event in 2022.”

AusIMM CEO, Stephen Durkin, added: “We’re looking forward to reconnecting with our mining community at IMARC in January 2022. The rescheduled event will provide an opportunity for delegates to network with leaders and experts from across the sector and take part in thought-provoking conversations about the future of our industry.”

BHP, MMG, Newcrest, Mitsui, OceanaGold and Kirkland Lake Gold have all confirmed their continued support for IMARC in January 2022, with their executive leadership teams confirmed to speak within the conference program, Beacon Events said.

In addition to the Federal Minister for Resources, the Hon Keith Pitt, and major sponsors METS Ignited, Caterpillar, ABB and World Gold Council who have also confirmed their support and participation.

IMARC 2021’s new dates are aligned with the expected easing of restrictions from all states across Australia, allowing for strong domestic representation, according to Beacon Events.

Richards said: “Holding IMARC at the start of 2022 helps create a unique opportunity for the industry to kick off the year with new conversations, develop existing relationships and create business opportunities for the coming year. With better weather comes opportunities for outdoor events and networking, alongside some major events at that time of year here in Melbourne.”

There is an expectation that when IMARC returns in 2022, from October 17-19, there will be greater international travel freedoms, allowing for the conference to attract a large domestic and international audience in-person once again, Beacon Events said.

International Mining is a media sponsor of IMARC

AusIMM and METS Ignited look to improve METS sector productivity, competitiveness

AusIMM has announced a new partnership with industry-led, Australian government-funded industry growth centre, METS Ignited, to improve the productivity and competitiveness of the mining equipment and technology and services (METS) sector.

AusIMM will work with METS Ignited to build recognition of innovation in the resources sector and highlight a shared vision of industry growth, it said.

AusIMM CEO, Stephen Durkin, welcomed the collaboration between two major representative bodies in the Australian resources sector.

“With over 300,000 people directly employed by the METS sector in Australia alone, this workforce is at the forefront of Australia’s contribution to the global mining industry,” he said. “This partnership ensures that AusIMM can support the careers of professionals working in the METS sector, providing them with the leadership and development necessary to sustain a booming national industry.”

As part of the partnership, METS Ignited CEO, Adrian Beer, will feature as a panellist during AusIMM’s Thought Leadership Series.

Beer said: “METS Ignited welcomes the formal partnership between our Industry Growth Centre and AusIMM to deliver greater collaborative opportunities between the resources sector and Australia’s leading tech innovators from the METS sector.

“The AusIMM Thought Leadership Series provides a significant platform to promote the technology and innovation coming out of the sector that addresses our future industry needs, such as low emissions technology, social and environmental responsibility, the future skills for our resources workforce, and capitalising upon the emerging critical minerals demand.”

METS Ignited-backed program to fund OreFox’s AI exploration ambitions

Artificial intelligence-based geological data analytics company, OreFox, has successfully secured funding via the Queensland METS Collaborative Projects Fund to further its geological mapping efforts at the Mount Chalmers mine site in Queensland, Australia.

The Queensland METS Collaborative Projects Fund is delivered by METS Ignited with funding support from the Queensland Government as part of its Queensland Mining Equipment, Technology and Services 10 Year Roadmap and Action Plan.

OreFox is working with QMines Ltd and Ironbark Marketing to further commercialise its technology that, it says, solves a pressing challenge facing the Queensland mining sector of how to accelerate critical mineral deposit discovery and mine more efficiently.

The consortium led by OreFox will use cutting-edge proprietary AI technology to gain further knowledge of the Mount Chalmers deposit, located near Rockhampton. As a historical producing mine, there is significant potential to increase the known mineral endowment and add new economy mineral opportunities.

QMines has commenced exploration activities across the Mount Chalmers project, including an aggressive drilling program and is planning an airborne EM survey. QMines has reported an initial JORC 2012 inferred resource equal to 73,000 t of contained copper. Historical drilling at the site shows the mineralisation is open in multiple directions.

The consortium will carry out a multi-element geochemical sampling program focused on critical minerals at the mine site and other notable prospective sites around the historic mine site.

Data collected from this program, including assays from the current drilling program, will be processed by OreFox, using its machine and deep learning systems to gain further insights. QMines believes the discovery of further economic minerals will enable the company to move to development faster, thus bringing economic benefits to the region and the state.

QMines has recently acquired Traprock Resources and Rocky Copper, which both held significant tenements in the Mount Chalmers region. QMines has extended their tenement and landholding within the area since these acquisitions.

OreFox Chief Executive Officer, Warwick Anderson, said: “This project has the potential to increase exploration activity in Queensland, particularly for new economy minerals and could be applied to numerous other historical mines and deposits.

“The partnership between OreFox, QMines and Ironbark Marketing is anticipated to bring more regional jobs to Queensland and aid Queensland exploration frontiers.

“If we can prove the value of this project, then that opens the door to a significant export market for the processes we are developing.”

The OreFox project is one of five recipients of the Queensland METS Collaborative Projects Fund receiving a share in A$1 million ($733,978) to accelerate the commercialisation of technology into industry.

METS Ignited CEO, Adrian Beer, said the growth centre is backing the collaborative projects to fast-track the commercialisation of innovative technologies and provide value to both the local and global resources sector.

“METS Ignited is driving collaborative projects to accelerate commercial outcomes for the Australian economy and promote collaboration opportunities as part of a long-term strategy for growth,” he said.

“We are backing projects using technologies such as sensors, data analytics, machine learning, optimised x-rays, and solar energy that result in improvements in productivity, efficiency, safety and sustainability.

“The OreFox project is a great example of how AI and data science technologies can be harnessed to improve exploration and unlock the economic benefits of a historical mine site.”

Emapper shoots for the skies after concluding successful METS Ignited backed project

METS Ignited Collaborative Project Funds recipient Emapper has recently brought together industry partners, customers, service providers and supporters to celebrate the completion of its environmental site monitoring project in Australia.

Emapper and collaborative partners developed a multi-scale and multi-source environmental data platform to monitor, manage and reduce mining’s footprint and extend the global capability of mine site rehabilitation technology, according to METS Ignited.

METS Ignited’s industry-matched investment enabled this world-first technology to be rapidly developed and proven with strong support and engagement from customers Roy Hill and Anglo American, it said.

Emapper is an ecological restoration platform that uses UAVs, satellites, mobile field data and IoT sensors to monitor, guide and improve environmental performance. Users can identify and visualise environmental impacts and outcomes using on-demand analysis tools, selecting, procuring and deploying a variety of data sources to suit the sites, activities and requirements of the user. This allows users to produce customised compliance and management summary reports for all restoration and rehabilitation areas to plan, compare and share progress.

Across the life of the METS Ignited-backed project, Emapper has expanded its workforce from three to 10 full-time staff and increased its revenue more than 10-fold at the end of the project (September 2020), with significant growth anticipated in the next five years, METS Ignited says.

Emapper CEO, Julian Kruger, says the project funding has been foundational in bringing its ground-breaking technology to commercialisation, leading to better environmental outcomes and confirming Australia’s position as a global leader in mine rehabilitation.

“The funding helped us to reach our goal of creating a spatial analytics platform enabling faster, cheaper, safer environmental rehabilitation, by providing more data, improved results and better reporting to meet regulatory needs,” he said. “This project would not be possible without our collaborative partners Roy Hill Iron Ore Pty Ltd, Anglo American Metallurgical Coal Pty Ltd, Mount Gibson Iron Ltd, eagle.io Pty Ltd, Astron Environmental Services Pty Ltd and Solais Geoinformatics Pty Ltd.

“We are now focused on continuing to grow our Australian footprint, as well as expanding the service to international markets – everything we have learned from rolling out the platform to clients across all mining jurisdictions throughout Australia can be now applied to our international expansion.”

METS Ignited Industry Engagement Manager, Peter Clarke, says the remote capabilities of the Emapper platform continue to be advantageous to the company’s expansion.

“The great thing about Emapper is that it lets environmental managers and mine operators get amazing insights on their environmental performance whilst remaining remote,” he said. “Julian and the team have found that a number of their local clients who also operate internationally are now picking up on that opportunity.”

Gekko installs OLGA, Carbon Scout solutions at Gruyere as part of collaborative project

Gekko Systems, as part of a collaborative project to collect and analyse real-time gold reconciliations and automate gold processing plants, has installed its OLGA and Carbon Scout solutions at the Gruyere gold mine in Western Australia.

In October 2020, METS Ignited Industry Growth Centre announced the consortium of Gold Fields, Orway IQ, CSIRO, Curtin University and Gekko Systems as recipients of the Tranche 4 Collaborative Project Funds. The METS Ignited funding will assist the development of this project.

In a world-first, the project draws together a range of technologies, including the Gekko OLGA and Carbon Scout, and skill sets that are the first step to truly understanding what is happening in a gold production plant in real time and will eventually lead to a fully autonomous gold plant, Gekko said.

Gekko recently installed the OLGA and Carbon Scout at Gruyere (a joint venture between Gold Fields and Gold Road Resources), the site where the project will become reality.

“The Gekko OLGA and Carbon Scout will revolutionise the industry’s ability to measure gold circuit inventory and recovery in real time, move it into the digital world and provide opportunity for full automation,” Gekko said.

OLGA is a world first on-stream analyser designed to continuously read low grade gold grades in slurries and solutions, giving operations the ability to see and control their plants in real time, the company says. The alternative traditional sampling methods involve significant delays – of up to one or two days for feedback.

The Carbon Scout is a self-contained, ground-level sampling system to improve carbon concentration measurements in carbon-in-leach and carbon-in-pulp circuits to an accuracy of ±0.5 grams of carbon per litre of pulp. Uniquely, multiple other data points include slurry density, pH, DO and gold loading on carbon, Gekko explained. Data profiles are provided in every tank, every hour.

“The combination of OLGA and Carbon Scout, supported by the Gekko Sample Delivery System, means all CIL/CIP sampling can be done conveniently and safely at ground level,” it said. “Each tank is sampled by a patented pumpless delivery system. All samples in the plant including leach feed and tails will be delivered through this system to potentially alleviate the need for expensive cross-cut samples.”

The team of Orway IQ will deliver the data through the Trinity program. With the MillROC data system and the Gekko technical team using the data for system analytics.

The ultimate aim of the project is to have gold process and recovery data being analysed within minutes rather than days from anywhere in the world and for production to be adapted to reflect this data, Gekko said.

Roy Hill backs interoperability developments with ERDi TestLab membership

Iron ore miner Roy Hill has become the latest member of the University of Western Australia’s (UWA) Energy & Resources Digital Interoperability Industry 4.0 (ERDi i4.0) TestLab.

Roy Hill is committed to the development of interoperability within the resources industry and recently appointed Michael Waller to a new role – Interoperability Manager – to lead the company’s strategy and engagement, according to the TestLab.

In the few short weeks since Michael’s appointment, Roy Hill’s interoperability approach has progressed at a rapid rate, with Waller spearheading the establishment of a collaborative interoperability project within the TestLab, it added.

This new project will be sponsored by ERDi TestLab founding partner METS Ignited, and centres around interoperability in the mobile equipment execution management and control technology space across both manual and automated equipment, it said.

“We are thrilled to be working with Roy Hill and the other participants on this exciting project, more details of which will be announced soon,” it added.

Roy Hill’s interoperability streak was made clear earlier this year when it signed an agreement with Epiroc and ASI Mining to deliver a fully automated solution for the iron ore mining operation’s mixed fleet of 77 haul trucks.

Other companies to recently sign up to the TestLab include Trevali, RPMGlobal and ABB.