The results of our Ingenious Extraction challenge experiments have been released today in a White Paper (PDF 3.8MB). Find out more about what we have learned and the innovators who took part in the challenge.
The Ingenious Extraction crowd challenge was launched in February 2021, through the Think & Act Differently (TAD) incubator, powered by OZ Minerals. The aim of the challenge was to test ideas that had the potential to disrupt traditional leach and electrowinning processes and move towards lower impact on-site metals production.
The seven finalists ran experiments and tested their ideas, while collaborating with each other and the TAD team. Through this, the cohort demonstrated some promising processes for extracting metal from copper concentrates on-site, however, there are some constraints that need to be unlocked to improve the economics of these processes. The cost of reagent schemes, the use of energy intensive electrowinning, labor intensity and the cost of executing a new process all need to be considered, and we will continue to pursue several promising technologies.
The next decade will see an acceleration of disruptive change to the energy, transport and mining sectors. As government and industry strives to achieve decarbonisation goals and create a sustainable supply of raw materials, society could benefit from a technology that enables the economic on-site production of copper metal. As a core material used in renewable energy infrastructure, copper is an essential ingredient in the clean energy transition.