[VIDEO] Is crowdsourcing the next chapter in innovation?
Canadian miner Integra Gold Corp is looking to leverage the powers of the Internet to find the next multimillion-ounce deposit.
The company has launched the Gold Rush Challenge, an innovative crowdsourcing initiative which will see the company take 70 years of prospecting data from its recently acquired Sigma-Lamaque mine in Quebec and upload it to the Web. Online prospectors will have a chance to analyze and interpret the data to come up with a plan on where they think Integra has the best chance of making a major gold discovery.
The company and a competitions board of advisors will vote on which has the highest probability location for a major gold discovery. The winner will receive a $1 million prize.
"By giving the public access to this data, Integra hopes to tap into the collective brainpower of thousands of participants and save itself years of time and resources to identify high-potential exploration targets we likely wouldn't even know exist," said CEO Stephen de Jong.
"By utilizing external sources this competition allows us to stay focused and disciplined on the work we are doing at our Triangle Zone and Lamaque South property, and at the same time move forward with an exciting exploration target."
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Rather than utilize the various geological survey and drill-sample reports, the company intends to let people who usually aren’t involved in the exploration process bring creative data analysis methods to the table.
The company believes the crowdsourcing initiative will be a cheap alternative to adding some necessary innovation into the sector.
“The price of whatever commodity, in our case gold, has come down quite a bit,” De Jong said. “There’s just not the excess capital. Now are the times when we really need that innovation.”
This isn’t the first time a mining company has launched a crowdsourcing initiative. Goldcorp held a similar challenge in 2000 that attracted over 1,600 participants and helped the company find roughly $6 billion in gold.
Integra is launching the crowdsourcing initiative with HeroX, a company started by XPrize founder Peter Diamandis.
George Salamis, Integra’s chairman, hopes the project will motivate larger mining companies to do the same.
“We’re prehistoric in how we view data, how we share data, it’s very much an every man for himself industry,” Salamis said. “The rest of the new world of business is heading in a completely different direction, and we have to head in that direction.”
Axora launches global challenge for digital technology
Axora is launching the world’s first international competition to discover new cost-saving digital technology for industrial companies, which can produce rapid benefits within a year.
The Metals & Mining and Oil & Gas sectors have recently experienced budget cuts of 20% on average, driven by a variety of factors including the global pandemic, slump in demand and price wars. The Axora Cost-Saving Technology Challenge aims to transform these industries by discovering innovative, digital solutions that reduce cost fast and pay for themselves, whilst achieving the same or improved productivity, health and safety and sustainability standards.
“While digital solutions can help to get work done quicker and more cost-effectively, they typically require a three-year ROI, and if there’s no flexibility in the budget, a full budget planning cycle is needed to get things moving”, said Dr. Nick Mayhew, Chief Commercial Officer, Axora.
“Yet, extra financial cost is often incurred in delaying digital projects, so customers have asked us to highlight solutions that can have an ‘in year payback’ whereby the cost spent on the solution and deployment will be more than recovered within the budget year - this accelerates the timeline and drives positive business impact, quickly.”
The Axora Cost-Saving Technology Challenge
Axora is keen to learn of any digital cost-saving innovation which: meets the 12-month payback timeframe; can be deployed in any part of the value chain including upstream, downstream or midstream oil and gas, metals processing or mining; and is ready for market. The Axora Cost-Saving Technology Challenge is open to entrepreneurs, start-ups, academics and sector leaders across the world. The competition will be judged by a panel of leading industry experts.
“We’re passionate about supporting our industries and customers through all forms of digital transformation and the cost-saving solutions we are searching for could also provide a lifeline to many mining and metals and oil and gas companies in the current economic climate,” added Dr. Mayhew.
Improving productivity, safety and sustainability
Up to ten finalists will be chosen to pitch their solutions at a digital pitch day later this year, after which Axora will validate the ROI models and vet the solutions. The winner will receive the ‘Axora Market Accelerator’ sales and marketing package worth £10,000. This includes a two-hour workshop, promotion through Axora’s thought leadership content and inclusion into its digital demand engines, providing the opportunity for the winning solution to benefit thousands of industrial companies. Entries are open until May 31. Full details of the competition including terms and conditions can be found here.
To learn more about the Axora B2B digital solutions marketplace read our feature in the latest issue of Mining Global magazine.