Disrupting Gold Mining with Open Innovation

Published Mar-20-17

Injection hoisting technology that transports gold ore to the surface using a pump driven pipeline loop.

Goldcorp/Integra Gold Corp, Canada

The Story:

Disrupting Gold Mining with Open Innovation In 2000, Goldcorp astonished the mining industry by releasing its proprietary geological data for an open innovation initiative that challenged participants to tell the company where best to dig for gold. It was a huge success that identified more than one hundred sites, many of which were previously unknown to Goldcorp.

Fast forward the clock to 2016 and once again Goldcorp has turned to open innovation. Then it joined forces with Integra Gold to help revolutionize the staid mining industry through #DisruptMining. This open innovation challenge called on innovators to pitch disruptive technologies and business ideas to a panel of senior industry executives and a live audience of key influencers and decision makers from the mining industry.

Catalyst for Innovation

"The mining industry is overdue for radical, disruptive innovation that drives value, enhances safe production and performance across every aspect of our business, from exploration through to reclamation and closure," said Todd White, Senior Vice President, Technical Services and Business Excellence at Goldcorp.

The gold producer believes that the pace of mining industry innovation can be ramped up through collaboration, and that open innovation challenges act as catalysts to make this happen quicker.

Innovators from all over the world took up the call, and the competition received 153 submissions. From this pool of ideas, five finalists were selected who were each given five minutes to pitch and defend their idea at a 'shark tank' style event at the annual Prospectors and Developers of Canada convention.

Open Innovation Prize Winners

The $1 million first prize was shared between Cementation Canada and Kore Geosystems. Cementation took home a check for $650,000 for their proof of concept injection hoisting technology that uses a combination of existing and proven crushing, pumping and slur technologies. The company's innovation is designed to do away with mine shaft production hoisting or trucking, replacing them with a process that transports ore to the surface using a pump driven pipeline loop.

Kore Geosystems was joint winner for a concept that aims to solve a huge industry challenge. Often, critical engineering, operational and planning decisions have to be made with insufficient information. This can result in delays and unforeseen expenditures. So Kore plans to install instruments onto drill rigs that combine real time quantitative measures and robust data analytics to deliver critical information and intelligence about multiple mining stages at unprecedented speed. The end result could be huge cost savings, risk reduction and improved speed to market.

The other three finalists were:

Goldspot Discoveries - developed a machine-learning algorithm to improve mineral exploration.

Bio-Mine Ltd - uses a consortium of bio-intelligent organisms for targeted metal recovery and remediation. The company claims their approach is better than current methods because their organisms can be programmed and adapt to all different environments and with all types of mineralogy. The industry currently uses microorganisms that can only perform one function in very specific environments, and if the conditions such as PH are not right, they die.

TradeWind Markets Inc. - developed a new electronic trading, settlement and custody platform for physical gold bullion.

The Future of Mining

Disrupt Mining's final was just the beginning. It provided a forum for companies to present their groundbreaking ideas to an audience of mining executives, investors and financiers, a platform to secure backing to radically transform the future of mining.

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