Tag Archives: Think & Act Differently

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.

OZ Minerals invests in seven hydrogen experiments as part of Hydrogen Hypothesis challenge

As part of the Hydrogen Hypothesis challenge, seven teams have been selected to take part in the OZ Minerals’ Think & Act Differently (TAD) accelerator program.

The focus of the challenge, launched at the end of March, was to identify experiments that can demonstrate the safe and effective use of hydrogen in a mining context, with the aim of providing OZ Minerals insight into how hydrogen can be used to support zero or low carbon processes.

It was underlined by the miner’s strategic aspiration to eliminate Scope 1 emissions and strive to systematically reduce Scope 2 and 3 emissions across its value chain.

There were 158 participants in the OZ Minerals and Unearthed Hydrogen Hypothesis challenge, from 35 countries.

Brett Triffett, OZ Minerals’ Transformation Technologist, said: “The mining sector has the opportunity to leverage the progress made in other sectors and explore the use of hydrogen technology in its operations.

“The finalist teams were chosen because they have proposed ideas that have the potential to demonstrate the value hydrogen technologies and applications could create for our industry.

“These teams also demonstrated their willingness to work and learn together with each other and OZ Minerals. The OZ Minerals TAD incubator acceleration program is designed to create as much mutual value as we possibly can, rather than just transacting an experiment for funding.”

The program, according to Triffett, includes frequent capability uplift sessions on a range of topics so participants come out with something more than just a funded experiment.

“Many of the finalist teams are not from the mining industry and are keen to learn more about how the industry works,” he added.

These insights are embedded through regular insights panels with members of OZ Minerals’ broad ecosystem. They also come together with a technical mentor to gain valuable feedback on the technical aspects of their work with one another.

The teams selected are

  • Avid Group (Aaron Teo) – Hydrogen powered lighting towers;
  • Carbon 280 (Mark Rheinlander) – Hydrilyte storage system – safe hydrogen transport and storage at atmospheric temperature and pressure;
  • Carnot (Francis Lempp) – Ultra efficient ceramic engine;
  • Fly H2 Aerospace (Mark Van Wyk) – Hydrogen-powered drone;
  • OZ Minerals (Steve Day) – Hydrogen highway;
  • Supercritical (Luke Tan) – High pressure electrolyser; and
  • Yakum Consulting/Queens University (Yeonuk Choi) – Produce clean metal products from concentrate using green hydrogen.