Natural Resources Canada

Crush It! Challenge

Back to all challenges
challenge banner

Finalists

The Crush It! finalists have been announced.

Transcript

Robert Stephens

Mining innovation is absolutely critical to society. Many people forget where the minerals that they use in their daily life actually come from. If it can’t be grown, it has to be mined. So therefore, as the deposits that we are mining get deeper and they get more complex, we absolutely need innovation to actually be able to produce the minerals and metals and materials that modern society relies on. The need for innovation — typically, we have got larger, we’ve made our trucks larger, we’ve made our sag mills larger, we’ve made our flotation cells larger. But now we’re getting to a point where larger doesn’t cut it anymore. We need to be innovative, and we actually need to change the technology that we’re using, not just make them bigger and bigger. So therefore, the innovation activities that we have going on through the Canada Mining Innovation Council and supported by programs like Crush it! and the Clean Growth program actually give us the opportunity to test these new innovations and actually develop them to the point that mining companies are ready to adopt them and put them into practice.

Robert McIvor

In our project, we’re going to extend the application of high-pressure grinding into fine grinding, that is, to replace ball mills. Ball mills are still the workhorse of the industry when it comes to producing the final fine product ahead of separation processes like flotation, magnetic separation, leaching and the like. And over half the total amount of energy for comminution is still used by these ball mills. We believe we can replace those ball mills with about half the energy by extending the application of high-pressure grinding.

Tracy Holmes

I think since mining uses so much of the worlds’ energy, we have a real responsibility to try to do it as efficiently as you can to make things better. And we have so much room for improvement, I think we should really go after it.

Cliff Edwards

Our innovation is to rethink the crushing and grinding process from first principles. So we came up with a process where you permeate rock with super critical CO2 , and then you transcritically cycle the CO2 from the super-critical to sub-critical state and explosively expand the rock from within, thus scattering it.

Philippe Gagnon

The current grinding technologies already allow significant gains in grinding. A whole series of technologies have been demonstrated over the past few years, and obviously what we proposed with this tool is to be able to integrate those technologies into the grinding circuits. This will really let us look for all the gains that have been proposed with the different technologies. Several of them propose gains of 20%, 30% and 50% in terms of energy consumption. So by really looking for the gains offered by these new technologies, we’ll be able to design circuits that are clearly more efficient for the industry.

Erin Bobicki

The CanMicro process reduces comminution energy in three main ways. What we’ve done is to combine micro-assisted comminution and sorting. The first two mechanisms actually, by which energy is reduced, is through micro-assisted fracture. We reduce the ore competence as well as increase the mineral liberation side. The third mechanism is through ore sorting, so we reduce the amount of ore that has to be ground. These three combinations can lead to up to 70% reduction in mineral comminution.

Finalists
Lead Applicant       Organization Proposal Title
Erin Bobicki University of Toronto Demonstration of Combined Microwave-Assisted Comminution and Sorting for Energy Reduction in Mineral Processing
Cliff Edwards Envisioning Labs Transcritical CO2 Pulverization
Philippe Gagnon COREM IntelliCrush: Advanced artificial intelligence tools to design eco-efficient comminution circuits
Gillian Holcroft CMIC (Canada Mining Innovation Council) CAHM - A Disruptive Grinding Technology that will Significantly Reduce Energy Consumption in Comminution
Tracy Holmes Jenike & Johanson Targeted Microwave Heating Rocks! A Step-Change Energy Reduction in Comminution
Claude Gagnon COREM Development and Demonstration of HPGR Grinding and Novel Classification to Mineral Separation Circuit Feed Sizing in Replacement of Ball Milling

Semi-Finalists

Semi-Finalists
Lead Applicant       Organization Proposal Title
Erin Bobicki University of Toronto Demonstration of Combined Microwave-Assisted Comminution and Sorting for Energy Reduction in Mineral Processing
Hassine Bouafif CTRI (Industrial Waste Technology Centre) New Approach to Continuous Comminution via High Pulse Power (HPP)
Georgi Doundarov Magemi Mining High Optical Power Laser for Mining to Replace Drill and Blast and Crushing
Cliff Edwards Envisioning Labs Transcritical CO2 Pulverization
Philippe Gagnon COREM IntelliCrush: Advanced artificial intelligence tools to design eco-efficient comminution circuits
Gillian Holcroft CMIC (Canada Mining Innovation Council) CAHM - A Disruptive Grinding Technology that will Significantly Reduce Energy Consumption in Comminution
Tracy Holmes Jenike & Johanson Targeted Microwave Heating Rocks! A Step-Change Energy Reduction in Comminution
Saeed Karimifard Motion Metrics AI-Driven Dilution Control (Mine to Mill Optimization via Ore Sensing and 3D Imaging)
Claude Gagnon COREM Development and Demonstration of HPGR Grinding and Novel Classification to Mineral Separation Circuit Feed Sizing in Replacement of Ball Milling
Todd Parker Blue Spark Energy Crush Pulse
Mark Sherry iRing Eliminating the Crusher and Grinding Requirements Using the Blast to Create the Required Fragmentation
J. Lyall Workman Barr Engineering Blasting Down Crushing and Grinding Energy Consumption

Challenge details

Who can apply?

  • For-profit and not-for-profit organizations such as companies, industry associations and research centres
  • Indigenous organizations and groups
  • Canadian post-secondary institutions
  • Independent small-scale innovators and individuals

Key dates

  • January 15, 2019: deadline to submit applications
  • March 2019: pitch proposal at #DisruptMining event
  • May 2019: top 6 announced
  • November 30, 2020: final submission deadline for Challenge finalists
  • March 2021: final grand prize winner announced

Prizes

  • $10,000 for each small-scale innovator selected as one of the up to twelve (12) Challenge semi-finalists to help them pitch their ideas to the Challenge Jury
  • Up to $800,000 each for up to 6 finalists to build and test their cleantech solutions.
  • $5 million grant to the innovator who can demonstrate the best energy breakthrough in crushing and grinding rocks