Canadian Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi has challenged innovators to develop new technology solutions to lower energy consumption for crushing mined rock - a process that currently accounts for up to 3% of the world’s electricity usage.
Launching the $10-million Crush It! Challenge, Sohi said on Tuesday that the mining industry used a disproportionate amount of energy to extract minerals.
“This process has not fundamentally changed in more than a century, consumes more than 50% of the total energy used in a mining operation, is the industry's largest operational cost and is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions from mining.”
During the 25-month Crush It! Challenge, up to 12 semi-finalists will be selected to pitch their concept at Goldcorp's #DisruptMining event in March next year, coinciding with the Prospectors and Developers Association Convention, in Toronto.
A challenge jury, comprising key experts from the Canadian mining sector, will select the top six finalists, who will each receive up to $800 000 to build and test their cleantech solution.
Ultimately, the challenge jury will choose the best breakthrough clean technology and award the winner a $5-million prize grant.
The Crush It! Challenge is the fourth of five clean technology challenges under Natural Resources Canada's Cleantech Impact programme, part of Impact Canada.