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Prospect Mining Studio selects startups to pilot sustainability solutions

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Vimson Group and Newlab’s Prospect Mining Studio announced Tuesday the 12 companies selected to participate in this year’s cohort, the Studio’s second since its launch in 2019.

In January 2021, Prospect Mining Studio announced a global open call inviting startups from both within and outside the mining industry to apply to join the Studio.

As the mining industry increasingly trends towards green solutions to mitigate its impact on climate and the environment, Prospect Mining Studio enables innovative teams to build, pilot, and scale solutions that drive enhanced sustainability and operational efficiency; bring innovation from adjacent industries that have thus far not been applied to mining.

This year’s Prospect Mining Studio follows last year’s program, which saw successful product development and innovation support, investment, and partnership cultivation between mining houses and early-stage ventures.

Through experimentation in real-world environments, Studio pilots will enable teams to de-risk their technologies and gain insights into how to best adapt their solutions to the mining industry

The startups will work to define critical gaps in the mining industry, develop prototypes, and pilot their solutions at mining sites to solve the industry’s most significant sustainability challenges.

The Studio’s focus areas include reducing operational costs; improving the energy efficiency of ore processing; valorizing tailings and reducing waste; maximizing ore understanding; and enhancing worker safety.

The cohort companies will address these focus areas by applying technology platforms from industrial IoT and artificial intelligence to synthetic biology and alternative, low-carbon energy storage infrastructure.

Through experimentation in real-world environments, Studio pilots will enable teams to de-risk their technologies, gain insights into how to best adapt their solutions to the mining industry, and build momentum for adoption and long-term traction.

“Amid the growing climate crisis, the future of mining will be increasingly defined by a trend towards sustainable practices that enhance efficiencies while reducing its impact on surrounding environments,” Vivek Salgaocar, Director of Vimson Group said in a media statement. “The newly announced cohort of Prospect Mining Studio companies, which include leading innovators from across industries specializing in sustainability, will help the industry bring that future to fruition.”

Following a review and selection process of more than 75 applicants from 17 countries that included feedback from mining industry leaders, the Prospect Mining Studio selected the following companies to participate in its 2021 cohort:

Pitcrew AI provides artificial intelligence-driven predictive analytics and condition monitoring for heavy vehicles and equipment, enabling fleet owners to extract the full value from their investment in autonomous assets by keeping vehicle fleets moving safely;

SBQuantum develops diamond based quantum sensors with vectorial capabilities for mineral exploration, infrastructure inspection, space, and defense. Its mission is to reduce the environmental and operational burden of exploration and to provide high precision magnetometers for navigation;

Muon Vision leverages a transformative, deeply penetrating X-ray technology to boost the throughput, sustainability and safety of mineral processing, steel-making and industrial processes;

Electramet develops targeted solutions for sustainable water treatment. Its technology protects the environment by allowing facilities to remove and/or recover heavy metals from their water streams, providing an added revenue source and turning waste into an asset;

SafeAI offers a bespoke, aftermarket solution for companies wishing to move towards autonomy and driverless operations in the mining and construction industries. Their solutions are custom-built and designed to work with
any software system users prefer while enabling autonomous workflows. As their autonomous kit is a retrofit for any OEM brand, their customers are able to incorporate mixed-fleet automation;

Cemvita Factory applies the latest synthetic biology methods that are already disrupting adjacent industries to mining and other heavy industries. Cemvita’s biotechnology can leverage what nature knows to enhance the kinetics and resilience of biomining microbes from preconditioning of rock, to extraction of metals and recycling and remediation;

Impulstec GmbH is engaged in the development and construction of an industrial shock-wave system for material fragmentation and recycling applications. The fragmentation process uses mechanical shock waves generated due to an electrical discharge in an underwater spark gap to disassemble composites;

rad.Data is a cloud-based spectral imaging services provider, driven by a superior algorithm and operated by spectral geologists. The service manages a deposit or mine-specific dynamic spectral database which functions as the live reference for multiple geometallurgical sensor applications along the value chain, such as exploration, mine-face mapping, stockpile management, ore sorting and process analytics. rad.Data unveils mineralogical information for machine automation, decision making and process control to enhance productivity and profitability;

Earth Alive Clean Technologies develops and distributes environmentally sound microbial products that resolve some of the greatest sustainability challenges currently faced in the mining, agriculture and infrastructure sectors;

Broadbit Batteries is a technology company developing revolutionary new batteries using novel sodium-based chemistries to power the future green economy;

Quidnet Energy is developing an alternative approach to energy storage by storing water to deliver energy. This new form of sub-surface pumped hydro storage enables large-scale deployment of renewable energy and allows for predictable, dispatchable delivery of power from intermittent renewable energy resources such as solar and wind;

Talpasolutions is one of the leading drivers of the Industrial Internet of Things in heavy industry. The company helps machine manufacturers and operators to make better and faster decisions by offering data-based, reliable and actionable insights that can be integrated into daily workflows. Talpasolutions makes data accessible, understandable and usable to enable the industry to operate more productively, safely and sustainably.

“As ESG and energy innovation continue to be major priorities for leading mining companies around the world seeking to combat climate change, Prospect Mining Studio strategically sought out innovative teams spanning disciplines, both from within mining and adjacent sectors, developing technology solutions with the power to make mining more sustainable and efficient,” said Satish Rao, chief product officer at Newlab.

“Over the coming months, we will work closely to support the startup teams as they build, iterate and validate their unique solutions.”

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