Today, we are pleased to announce the selection of the ‘Scalable and Adaptable’ mining cohort who will work together to explore flexible mine design.

The ‘Scalable and Adaptable Mining Challenge’ was focused on finding flexible and modular solutions that could be deployed as part of an integrated mine design. The challenge was run as a partnership between OZ Minerals' Think & Act Differently(TM) Incubator, Canada-based Inspire Resources, and Unearthed.

Holly Bridgwater from Unearthed commented, “Engagement with the crowd has been extraordinary. We made great connections with leading global thinkers in the modular and flexible system architecture world and as a result we received 36 diverse submissions from 33 countries with seven teams selected to work together on this collaborative simulation exercise.”

The teams have been selected for their commitment to collaboration and collective learning. Representing innovations in all parts of the mining value chain, they will work together to develop a simulation that demonstrates the value of flexibility in mine design.

Katie Hulmes, General Manager Transformation at OZ Minerals’ explained, “Today's mining projects favour economies of scale, resulting in large projects that are capital intensive with bespoke designs and little flexibility. Traditional project valuation processes don’t place a value on flexibility. We are looking to explore the concept of modularity as an enabler of flexibility and new models for project valuation, asset ownership, development and operation. We are curious to discover if flexible, modular architectures might unlock future assets that are currently uneconomic.”

Andy Reynolds, President of Inspire Resources, commented, "We are excited to be working with OZ Minerals to nurture an ecosystem of imaginative people and companies who value collaboration. Flexible mining could open the door not only to unlocking smaller projects, but also to enabling innovative commercial arrangements for suppliers and local communities.”

The following organisations make up the Scalable and Adaptable Mining cohort:

  • Novamera - a novel drilling-based extraction method with a downhole guidance system to enable precision mining.
  • Komatsu - electric, hard rock mechanical cutting machines.
  • Comminution Reimagined - low-energy comminution, assembled from modular units.
  • Sepro Mineral Systems - mobile and modular mineral processing modules for scalable and adaptable mineral recovery.
  • Sedgman Modular Processing - modular plant design for precious and base metals.
  • Juwi - modular, deployable PV and microgrid solutions
  • Energy Flex - an energy mining system, to identify and extract the full value of energy use in complex assets.

We look forward to building on the ideas and expert insights of this team. It represents a network of companies who have pieces of the puzzle and this experiment will enable participants to understand what attributes of their product or service create value in a flexible system through faster startup, easier development, lower risk and wider stakeholder value.