Tag Archives: Novamera

Novamera and OZ Minerals to take surgical mining concept forward with new MoU

Novamera Inc and OZ Minerals have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that, they say, provides a basis of common understanding to support the creation of a “collaborative innovation relationship” between the parties.

The two companies share a desire to unlock value in stranded mineral assets, transform the mining project lifecycle and enable the world’s raw material needs to be met responsibly, equitably and sustainably, they said. To that end, the partnership plans to engage in certain activities including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Participation by OZ Minerals in the Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC) Consortium of Mining Companies to trial Novamera’s near borehole imaging tool (NBIT) at various project sites later in 2022;
  • Assess the potential of deploying Novamera’s technology within OZ Minerals’ project portfolio;
  • Collaboratively evaluate potential project opportunities; and
  • Co-develop collateral to articulate the operational experience and value proposition associated with Novamera’s technology.

The agreement follows Novamera being named as one of seven companies in OZ Minerals’ ‘Scalable and Adaptable’ mining cohort to work together to explore flexible mine design, in September. The challenge was run as a partnership between OZ Minerals’ Think & Act Differently Incubator, Canada-based Inspire Resources and Unearthed.

Dustin Angelo, President and CEO of Novamera, said: “Since last September, we have been working with the Think & Act Differently team on the Scalable & Adaptable Mining Challenge. Over that period of time, we realised we share common goals and ideas on the direction of the mining industry and where to unlock value. The MoU will allow us to focus our efforts collectively and begin to leverage our individual core competencies to create a tremendous amount of value for each of our companies.”

Katie Hulmes, General Manager Transformation at OZ Minerals, added: “The Novamera technology can enable surgical mining. This approach has the potential to operate with less waste, water, energy and a smaller footprint. We look forward to working with Novamera as part of the CMIC Consortium and various internal projects.”

Novamera, through surgical mining, has set out to adapt a combination of drilling and imaging techniques already proven in the oil & gas industry for the narrow-vein mining sector, providing the technical and economical means to mine steeply dipping narrow-vein orebodies with the reduced footprint disturbance modern mining operations require.

Last year it carried out a proof of concept trial of the technology at the Signal Gold-owned Romeo and Juliet deposit in Newfoundland, Canada, which was designed to test the entire surgical mining system and process, which is made up of three steps. This includes drilling a pilot hole with a standard NQ-sized diamond core rig and sending imaging tools down through the core barrel on wireline; bringing in a large-diameter drill to drill to depth following the trajectory provided by the imaging tool and extracting the cuttings; and backfilling the holes thereafter.

Angelo told IM recently that the company had assembled a consortium of companies looking to co-fund a field trial of the company’s minimum viable product version of the NBIT (the version used at Romeo and Juliet, pictured), which is the key enabling technology within surgical mining, through CMIC.

Novamera carries out first field trial of SMD narrow-vein mining process

Novamera says it has completed a very successful field trial of Sustainable Mining by Drilling (SMD) at the Anaconda Mining-owned Romeo and Juliet narrow vein gold deposit in Newfoundland, Canada.

The company, back in July, closed a C$5 million ($4 million) Series A financing round, providing the necessary funds to carry out the first full field trial of SMD.

This proof of concept was designed to test the entire SMD system and process, which combines industry-proven, directional drilling equipment and high-resolution, downhole imaging with transformational innovations, smart systems and data analytics. The result, Novamera says, is a two-pass process that identifies vein shape and is highly flexible to changes in vein geometry; with a selective, surgically-accurate mining process that’s clean, efficient and offers the potential for low capital expenditure with high return.

Novamera finds funds for first full field trial of Sustainable Mining by Drilling tech

Novamera has closed its C$5 million ($4 million) Series A financing round, providing the necessary funds to carry out the first full field trial of its Sustainable Mining by Drilling (SMD) solution for narrow-vein mining.

BDC Capital’s Industrial Innovation Venture Fund was the lead investor and Chrysalix Venture Capital also participated with a follow-on investment through the Chrysalix RoboValley Fund.

The field trial, which is taking place at Anaconda Mining’s project site in Newfoundland, Canada, has commenced and will be ongoing until the end of November. The company says it is carrying out a proof of concept, testing the entire SMD system and process.

Dustin Angelo, President and CEO of Novamera, said: “The financing, along with the non-repayable funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada, will help us develop the first generation SMD system and position the company to be the global leader in precision mining. The mining industry faces many challenges that require more sustainable and environmentally-friendly solutions and SMD will be an economically viable option to extract narrow vein deposits with minimal waste and disturbance.”

Novamera says it is developing “keyhole surgery” for mining, an innovative clean technology and process that will be able to mine the numerous small-scale narrow vein mineral deposits found worldwide more safely, economically and sustainably using pilot hole diamond drilling and downhole directional sensors with machine-learning algorithms to to identify vein/host rock interfaces. Then it will use industry proven drilling technology – a variant of conventional Pile Top RCD drills used successfully by the construction industry followed by a form of reverse circulation drilling – to extract the ore.

Hitachi CM looks for access to resource industry start-ups with Chrysalix fund investment

Chrysalix Venture Capital, a global venture capital fund with a history of commercialising innovation for resource intensive industries, has announced Hitachi Construction Machinery Co Ltd has invested in the Chrysalix RoboValley Fund.

Hitachi Construction Machinery, a leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, joins a cluster of mining and metals players such as South32, Severstal and Mitsubishi Corp in the fund, and “will leverage Chrysalix’s extensive network in the mining field to strengthen open innovation by connecting with start-ups that possess the latest technologies for mining in areas such as robotic systems, IoT, AI and data analytics”, the company said.

“Chrysalix has made step-change innovations in the metals and mining, manufacturing and machinery industries, through digital solutions and advanced robotics technologies, a major theme of our fund, and we are delighted to welcome Hitachi Construction Machinery to the Chrysalix RoboValley Fund,” Alicia Lenis, Vice President at Chrysalix Venture Capital, said.

Just some of the companies included in Chrysalix’s portfolio include Novamera, which is developing its Sustainable Mining by Drilling technology for narrow-vein mines; and MineSense Technologies, a Vancouver-based start-up developing real-time, sensor-based ore data and sorting solutions for large-scale mines.

Naoyoshi Yamada, Chief Strategy Officer at Hitachi Construction Machinery, said: “We identified Chrysalix as having a valuable network of start-ups in its global innovation ecosystem, and a unique window on innovation opportunities in the mining industry.

“With the trends toward digitalisation, the autonomous operation and electrification of mining machinery, as well as the growing need for solutions to streamline and optimise not only mining machinery but also overall mining operations, many start-ups offer novel technologies and services, and our investment in the Chrysalix RoboValley Fund will enable Hitachi Construction Machinery to tap into these new breakthroughs.”

The Chrysalix RoboValley Fund, Chrysalix says, seeks to achieve significant returns for its investors by enabling resource intensive industries, including energy, mining, construction, infrastructure and mobility, to tap into innovation from high growth start-ups.