Mining Cleantech Challenge

A Globally Accessible Event | Denver, CO 

May, 2021

The Mining Cleantech Challenge efficiently provides targeted connections between mining industry operators, OEMs, and clean technology solution providers with a mutually beneficial goal of meeting industry’s needs while at the same time introducing innovative solutions to the marketplace.

Innovative solutions providers will complete a competitive vetting process, after which 10 companies will be invited to present their technologies to the partners and sponsors.

There are no geographic restrictions or requirements for participating companies.

In Partnership With:

Mining companies are looking for the following technologies:

Novel materials or chemicals comprised of no or fewer hazardous chemicals; advanced materials less likely to rust or corrode which will improve containment; improved treating chemicals and detection methods; chemicals to extract hazardous items from produced fluids; new products made from captured CO2, new ways to capture/separate CO2 and NGLs.
Blockchains are an immutable, distributed database that opens up new use cases between trust boundaries, such as between disparate organizations. Applications of blockchain technology in mining could include the creation of efficient, trusted marketplaces; or distributed transactional platforms that can provide value in many areas of the business (such as compliance, CSR and social engagement, supply chain efficiency and tracing, and commodity trading). A recent example is the creation of a consortium involving Shell, BP, and Statoil who are working on the development of a blockchain-based energy commodity trading platform, along with three large commodity traders. The common thread found in most emerging blockchain based solutions is increased efficiency between boundaries of trust- either through disintermediation of 3rd parties or by enabling the digitization of cross organizational processes.
Methane, SO2, CO, CO2 and other emissions control/reduction/detection from valves, piping and vented sources; control of emissions from tanks and pressure vessels; real-time gas detection and alarm systems.
Salt tolerant vegetation or trees targeted for beneficial use of produced water; vegetation or trees targeted for growth in drill cutting based soils; site or spill remediation solutions. Bio-characterization for produced/released water cleanup, soil remediation.
Analytics to improve availability and utilization of fixed and mobile assets; advanced process control; remote operations management; application of new technology to reduce operating costs.
New processes or novel applications of existing processes to improve the recovery of valuable minerals at lower capital or operating cost.
Zero or low-carbon haul truck technologies such as diesel fuel replacements, H2 fuel cells, electric vehicles and trucks, overhead trolleys; conveyors, rail-veyor and other non-truck solutions. 
All-electric mines offer distinct advantages compared to conventional mines, especially in reducing diesel emissions and associated negative impacts on worker health. Areas of innovation that present significant opportunities include: EV battery management systems; regenerative braking systems; charging areas and systems to control charging related heat; scheduling and maintenance systems incorporating EV and blended EV/diesel fleets; smart ventilation systems.
Management of mobile fleets in mixed surface/underground environments; real-time activity monitoring in active working areas; data capture/access and telemetry solutions for mixed fleets; proximity warning and collision avoidance; ventilation on demand (VOD).
Renewable/rechargeable sources including solar, wind, wave, geothermal, nuclear and fuel cells; storage technologies including batteries, flywheels, compressed air, thermal and pumped hydro-power; modular combined heat and power; micro/islanded grid technology; field gas powered equipment. Specific interest in high efficiency, low-emissions, cold weather-tolerant power generation technologies (50kW to +10MW) applicable to off-grid exploration or mine sites (e.g. methanol fuel cells that can use field-grade methanol, higher efficiency thermoelectric generators, micro-CHP systems). 
Use of unmanned aerial (drone) and satellite-based systems to improve efficiency and safety of operations including; facilities inspections, site progress surveys including stockpiles, environmental monitoring, security monitoring and alarm systems, supply delivery systems.
Improving predictability and accuracy of resource estimates; reductions in elapsed time from sampling to digging (e.g. lab-on-a-rig); geochemistry in resource models and circuit designs; planning tools for combined surface and underground mines.
Reduced water consumption; lower impact/risk tailings disposal techniques; improved management of acid generating material; advances in reclamation.
Real-time monitoring including efficient sampling and analysis; beneficial re-use of produced water including recycling or conversion to solid salt suitable for secondary use (e.g. winter road maintenance or dust control); recycling of process water; new disposal methods; minimization of water volumes; well bore integrity monitoring systems; alternative sourcing and processing to freshwater; water-less processing; metals treatment.
More efficient comminution and recovery processes; more energy efficient and responsive drives and motors; efficient and clean generators; more efficient hybrid fuel (diesel and natural gas) engines that coordinate operations to provide power and response. Technologies that can economically convert waste heat sources (reciprocating engine exhaust heat and jacket water heat) into electricity at smaller scales (e.g. 20kW to 250kW). High efficiency engine technologies could include smaller scale natural gas fueled micro-turbine engines (<500kW). Small scale APUs on heavy equipment to eliminate idle during down time; ventilation on demand (VOD).
Automation has the potential to radically change the way mines operate. Technologies that will play a crucial role include: positioning and proximity sensors for autonomous vehicles; video imaging; predictive analytics; machine learning; data system efficiency; remote power; battery systems; remote charging; augmented reality; virtual reality.

2020 Highlights

Congratulations to the 2020 winner of the Mining Cleantech Challenge, Rail-Veyor!

Rail-Veyor’s technology was chosen by mining executives and investors in the industry as the best among a competitive field of 31 total companies representing the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the UK. An international team of judges reviewed and voted on the winners at the first-ever virtual Mining Cleantech Challenge.

Read the press release or the highlights below for more info.

Second place in the competition went to Earth Alive Clean Technologies, a unique microbial dust control technology that is non-hazmat, 100% organic and has biodegradable properties.

Third place was awarded to Nanoseis, a company that specializes in high fidelity surface microseismic processing.

The top two placing companies are from Canada and third place company represents Colorado.

2020 Highlights

Rail-Veyor Wins the 2020 Mining Cleantech Challenge

Canadian company Rail-Veyor won the fourth annual Mining Cleantech Challenge. The company won the winning title and $5,000 prize on July 23rd, 2020. Colorado Cleantech Industries Association (CCIA) hosted their flagship cleantech challenge event virtually for the first time.

“The Rail-Veyor® TrulyAutonomous™ haulage system is a natively electric solution so there are no diesel emissions to affect the workforce or community of a mine either underground or on surface. We are proud that the Rail-Veyor system is a cleaner choice for the planet than other standard hauling choices with the added benefit of significantly reduced opex costs.” Rail-Veyor’s Lisa Youngblood, Executive Director, Marketing and Communications, stated of the winning technology.

“We were excited to be selected as a finalist for the Mining Cleantech Challenge. The change to a virtual event provided some challenges, but it was great to meet innovators from around the globe. With so many great ideas presented during the day, I was honestly surprised and thrilled when Rail-Veyor was announced as the winner. We are looking forward to advancing the conversations with industry leaders who are making cleantech a priority for their companies.”
Lisa Youngblood

Executive Director, Marketing and Communications, Rail-Veyor

The presenting companies included:

  • Cascadia Scientific Inc.
  • D&D Manufacturing LLC
  • Earth Alive Clean Technologies inc.
  • Electriphi
  • EnviCore Inc.
  • Intelligent Valve Applications Pts Ltd (iVapps)
  • Muddy River Technologies Inc.
  • NanoSeis
  • Rail-Veyor Technologies Global Inc.
  • Resolution Systems
  • SolarMultiple
  • Starfire Energy

Sponsors and partners of the program included Newmont, Fresnillo, Royal Gold and BHP among others.

CCIA’s Executive Director, Helen El Mallakh reflected on the relationship between cleantech and the mining industry, ” Today, the mining industry is being called upon to provide the materials that are necessary to build a more sustainable global economy. In many ways, mining is at a pivot point and cleantech is the catalyst. That is why the technologies that are used in this sector are so meaningful and why events like the Mining Cleantech Challenge are critical in advancing the process.”

The Mining Cleantech Challenge was followed by the virtual VIP Reception where guests of sponsors and presenting companies joined cleantech industry leaders to network. Presenting company Earth Alive Clean Technologies from Canada came in second place and presenting company NanoSeis from Colorado came in third place.

“On behalf of CCIA, I thank our sponsors, partners, and participants for making this year’s Challenge so successful and we look forward to future Mining Cleantech Challenges that will be held in less challenging times for us all.” Helen El Mallakh concluded. CCIA will be continuing their cleantech challenge series virtually with their Oil & Gas Cleantech Challenge in the fall.

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