Virtual reality opens the door to the future
In an economy of implementing cost effective and efficiency measures, mining companies in Vancouver are investing more money in new technologies to fully realise the potential within their assets.
Integra Gold, a Canadian gold mining company, operates predominately on its Lamaque South project in Val-d”Or, Quebec – one of Canada’s premier gold producing sites.
The company also owns the assets to two defunct sites nearby - as well as 75 years’ worth of mining and exploration data.
With their sights firmly set on their current site, Steve Jong, Integra Gold’s CEO, admits that time – and money – is of the essence. “We don’t have time to go start digging through six terabytes of historical data to try and unlock the value and see if there are targets there,” he said.
In a bid to process this data and determine where best to install drilling programs, Integra held a crowdsourcing contest.
All of the asset data was made public, with Integra calling on geologists and software engineers worldwide to pitch how they can use new technologies to quickly, and effectively, break down this data and develop an exploration plan on the sites.
Following over 1000 submissions and a pitch between five shortlisted finalists, Canada based SGS Geostat were crowned winners, scooping a $500,000 prize for their efforts.
The team, global experts in body modelling and reserve evaluation, won after they had used Oculus Rift, virtual reality technology, to sift through the masses of data.
SGS Geostat team captain, Guy Desharnais, said: "As a team of geologists, engineers, and computer scientists often bound by certain limitations and boundaries, we relished in the opportunity to channel our collective creativity and curiosity to provide new exploration targets in a historic and famous mining jurisdiction known worldwide,"
“This innovation exercise has been extremely accretive. We have to break this idea that innovation is just going to be a direct expense that might pay for itself years down the road,” added Steve de Jong, Integra Gold’s CEO.
Read the April 2016 issue of Mining Global magazine
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.