Unearthed Cape Town 201606 Feb - 08 Feb
Driving Startup Style Innovation in the Resource Sector
This competition has finished.
Smart Nano Mining
Mining in it’s current context:
Due to enormous amount of material that needs to be moved and the associated mega pieces of equipment required, it takes billions of dollars to get a mine to the point of production and generating revenue. Once such a large investment has been made, it’s nearly impossible to reduce the capacity of the mine in circumstances where commodity prices are no longer favourable. It’s also difficult to introduce any technological change as it introduces risk and because large amounts of money have already been invested this is not favourable. The large pieces of equipment also require special expertise and big workshops to maintain.
What if we could change the current paradigm of mining altogether and replace the mega pieces of equipment with swarms of small pieces of equipment no larger than can be picked up by hand with simple plug and play componentry? What if we could start a mine with less than $1mil, access the ore quickly and use the revenue it generates to scale up rapidly?
Provide the following material to the teams:
- Current mining animation
- Current costs associated with starting a new mine
Develop a mining concept that uses swarm technology to access, mine and transport the ore to the processing plant. The swarm needs to be able to move the top layer of soft material to access the ore. Thereafter it needs to fragment/break the ore and make a decision on what material is valuable and what material is considered waste. Waste needs to be moved (either back filling or to a stockpile). Ore needs to be transported to the processing plant.The system must be scalable and able to ramp up from 10ton/month to 100000ton/month. Limit the scope to the mining activities (i.e. excludes exploration and the processing plant).
For the purposes of this exercise assume the following:
The ore body definition is a manual human input into the system. The swarm equipment can be either multi-purpose or single purpose. Don’t limit yourself to merely scaling down existing equipment