Six teams have been successful in getting their experiments funded and taken through the TAD incubator acceleration process, as part of the Ingenious Extraction Challenge.

This challenge sought to find new ways to extract metals and was the first challenge run through the ‘Think & Act Differently (TAD)’ ideas incubator powered by OZ Minerals, in partnership with Unearthed.

60 submissions were received and all 120 participants had an opportunity to engage with OZ Minerals’ subject matter experts. Finalists were then provided with expert ‘pitch’ coaching and the opportunity to present to the OZ Minerals leadership team.

Brett Triffett, OZ Minerals’ Transformation Technologist, explained that the teams were chosen because their ideas had the potential to materially disrupt the cost structure for traditional leach and electrowinning processes and move towards lower impact metals production.

"The finalists demonstrated a willingness to collaborate with the other teams and us. This is such a big part of how OZ Minerals works, as stand-alone ideas will only be a part of an overall solution and everyone will have to collaborate to eventually bring it all together.

"The teams will be funded to run their experiments, but it is not sink or swim. Our TAD incubator acceleration program is designed to create as much mutual value as we possibly can. The program includes monthly capability uplift sessions on a range of topics so that participants can come out with something more than just a funded experiment.

"We regularly hear that companies from adjacent sectors trying to break into Mining want to learn more about how the industry works. One of the ways we are helping to do this, is by allocating a technical mentor and we are pleased to have hydrometallurgical technology specialist, Professor David Dreisinger, from the University of British Columbia in this role," Brett said.

The finalist teams are:

  • DCS Technical (Dave Sammut) – Chloride Electrowinning.
  • Clean and recover (Luke Berry) – Electrodialysis for metal recovery from solutions.
  • Mine to Metal (Ray Shaw) –Ammonium Chloride Leaching.
  • Krishna Parameswaran – Roast, leach, Electrowinning process.
  • University of British Columbia – (Wenying Liu) Ferric Chloride/ Thiocyanate Leaching.
  • Curtin University/ Mining and Process Solutions - (Ivor Bryan) - Glycine Leaching.

The experiments are expected to take from 6 to 12 months.

Congratulations to the finalists and thanks to all participants who took part in the challenge!