Eight METS (mining equipment, technology and services) companies will receive A$7.14 million (US$5.3 million), combined, to “launch collaborative industry projects that will deliver highly-advanced solutions to a variety of mining challenges and contribute to the growth and capability of the METS sector”, METS Ignited has confirmed.
The METS Ignited Collaborative Project Funds is a government-funded, $15.6 million, four-year initiative to support, encourage and fund sector-wide collaboration. It, like the industry-led, state-backed METS Ignited organisation, was set up to improve productivity, competitiveness and innovative capacity in the country’s METS sector.
The latest announcement represents the second round of government funding, with the first round of recipients being Austmine, Unearthed Solutions, CORE Innovation Hub, Resources and Engineering Skills Alliance, and the Coalition for Energy Efficient Communition.
This round of funding recipients includes:
• The University of Western Australia (UWA)
• Manufacturing Intelligence
• Energetique Mining Vehicles
• Resolution Systems; and
• Micronised Mineral Systems.
METS Ignited CEO Ric Gros said the funding would spur necessary collaboration in the sector: “Opportunities for the sector to band together and innovate are vital to the growth of the sector. Facilitating such innovation is part of the mandate for METS Ignited, and the recipients of this round will be making invaluable contributions to the mining and METS sectors through their initiatives.”
Recipients of the funds are required to secure equal or greater investment from an industry partner. As a result, the total value of the eight projects is $17.4 million.
The largest share of the funding – $2 million – was awarded to Resolution Systems, a South Australia-based business conducting a project to develop fleet management software to allow different operational areas of mine sites to communicate with one another, increasing truck fleet productivity by 20%.
Resolution is partnering with Barrick Gold, South 32, Macmahon Holdings, Petra Data Science and Manta Controls on this project, which has been able to source $3.5 million of industry investment.
Other projects to receive funding in this round include:
• Technology testing facilities (UWA, partnered with BHP and Core Innovation Hub)
• Battery-powered vehicles for underground mining (Energetique Mining Vehicles, partnered with Aeris Resources, Safescape, Minetech Australia and Cougar Mining Group)
• Data acquisition software for environmental rehabilitation and drilling (Emapper, partnered with Roy Hill Iron Ore, Mt Gibson Iron, eagle.io and Astron Environmental Solais Geoinformatics)
• A new water treatment process (Micronised Mineral Systems, partnered with Tronox, Acadis Australia Pacific, Tech Bakery)
• Real-time data collection during blasthole drilling (IMDEX, partnered with Orica, Anglo American and Tech Resources)
• Software for data transfer between different platforms (Manufacturing Intelligence, partnered with Fortescue Metals Group, South 32 and Mining3 Enterprise Transformation Partners); and
• Production of drilling sensors and instrumentation (Qtec, partnered with Wallis Drilling and Gyromax).
METS Ignited said: “Collectively, the projects will benefit the mining sector by optimising the value chain, increasing productivity for mining and mineral processing, supporting and enhancing environmental management, and improving operational safety.”