Despite not being one of the main industries most folks think about when it comes to disruption, the mining industry is currently undergoing massive changes as leading companies adopt technologies such as drones and AI.
To that end, the biggest companies in the business are always looking for ways to stay ahead of the tech curve, and one way to do so is through open pitch competitions inviting startups to disrupt the industry for a chance at equity and cash. That is the goal of #DisruptMining, a pitch event hosted each year by Goldcorp where companies vie for an investment of up to $1 million. This year’s winner is ANDRITZ, a supplier of machines and automation solutions based in Austria. Goldcorp has been a leading innovator in the mining sector when it comes to tech, recently partnering with IBM’s Watson to explore potential drill sites with AI.
ANDRITZ successfully train AI engines to operate a mineral processing facility using their digital twin, allowing the platform to respond to different inputs and improve its overall recovery time. Essentially, ANDRITZ makes it easier for mines to process information and improve their overall operation by combining events that continually take place with discrete events such as human intervention, creating a process that successfully mimics the lifecycle of an entire mine. This means mine operators can test feasibility plans, construction, and optimization without actually having to roll out the solution to an operational mine.
Goldcorp runs #DisruptMining to invite potential partners into a pitch competition event where they present ideas for a chance at $1 million. The final three selected companies pitch live at a gala event where the winner is then crowned. Judges for this year’s event included Sue Paish, the CEO of Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster, and Ian Telfer, the chair of Goldcorp.
“Innovation doesn’t stop or start with one idea, one technology, or one company,” said David Garofalo, president and CEO of Goldcorp. “For the mining industry to reach the demands and potential of the 21st century, every company must step up and innovate. We must all be safer, more efficient, and responsible and we’ll get results faster through collaboration and the kind of break-through thinking the #DisruptMining platform is meant to uncover for our industry.”
The #DisruptMining finale also generated $200,000 in net proceeds, all of which will go towards mining, innovation and tech scholarships at the University of British Columbia.
Acoustic Zoom took home the #DisruptMining 2018 prize last year for their ultra high-frequency 3D drill hole seismic imaging solution.