Natural Resources Canada

Crush-It! Challenge

Back to all challenges
challenge banner


Andy Reynolds

Andy Reynolds
Managing Director
Alacris Innovation Consulting

Andy Reynolds is managing director of Alacris Innovation Consulting Inc., based on Vancouver Island in western Canada. He founded Alacris to help mining companies with the commercial and leadership challenges of innovation partnerships, particularly with equipment suppliers. Clients include mining companies in Canada and Australia that work with a global ecosystem of companies and institutions.

Andy’s experience includes almost a decade of managing resource sector research & development in Canadian government labs. He served more than 20 years as a marine engineer officer in the UK’s Royal Navy, where his roles included front line operations and maintenance; management of technology, procurement, programs and portfolios; and international collaboration. He holds B.Eng. and M.Sc. degrees from the Royal Naval Engineering College, is a UK Chartered Engineer and a Professional Engineer in British Columbia.

Angela Hamlyn

Angela Hamlyn
Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM)

Angela Hamlyn has worked with the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) for over 11 years, first as Editor-in-Chief of CIM Magazine and the CIM Journal and then for eight years as Director of Communications, Publications, Web and IT.

Angela worked for both the Federal Government and the Ontario Provincial Government after earning a master’s degree in Public Administration from Carleton University. She subsequently built a career in journalism, marketing and communications consulting prior to joining CIM. She has an honours bachelor’s degree in political science and English literature from Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Angela sits on a variety of committees and boards within CIM, including the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee, the Safety Task Force, the Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves Definitions Committee, the CSA/CIM Committee and the Board of the Centre for Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility.

Peter Kondos

Peter Kondos
Chief Executive Officer
YaKum Consulting Inc.

Peter Kondos has extensive expertise in innovation, technology and IP management and commercialization with a track record of implementing new solutions in challenging situations. He partners with senior leadership, collaborates across organizations and is a creator of worldwide networks and innovation ecosystems.

Peter was born in Athens, Greece, where he completed his Diploma of Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens, followed by an M.Eng. in Computers in Mining and a Ph.D. in hydrometallurgy, both at McGill University.

Peter has worked for CANMET in Ottawa, the Noranda Technology Centre in Montreal, Inco Technical Services, Barrick Gold Corporation and YaKum Consulting Inc. His peer recognitions include the Sherritt Hydrometallurgy Award, the Chair of the Canada Mining Innovation Council and an Innovation Award.

Peter Radziszewski

Peter Radziszewski
VP Product RDT
Adjunct Professor Metso

Peter Radziszewski has a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Université Laval. His research work in mineral processing (comminution) has led him to McGill University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Canadian Space Agency.

His research efforts have contributed to the development of discrete element methods in modelling of tumbling mill charge dynamics and to development of a steel media wear prediction methodology.

His teaching activities in engineering design have led to the development of an electric snowmobile, a hybrid race car, and a prototype wheel for lunar mobility. Peter also has worked with the cement and the pulp and paper industries and is the author and co-author of over 100 paper and conference proceedings.

Since joining Metso in 2012, Peter has contributed to the continuous development of an innovation culture and to the exploration of innovative equipment and process concepts in comminution, flotation, sensor development and tailing processing.

Michelle Ash

Michelle Ash
Global Mining Standards and Guidelines Group (GMSG)

Michelle Ash is the Chairman of GMSG and former Chief Innovation Officer at Barrick Gold. GMSG is a member-driven industry association working to develop best practices and guidelines for the implementation of technology and socially enabled changes in the industry. In her role with Barrick, Michelle oversaw the company’s innovation program, looking both at how innovation can drive productivity in the existing business and how it can be harnessed to deliver alternative business models.

Michelle was named to the 2016 list of “100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining” by Women in Mining UK. She holds a degree in civil engineering, an executive MBA from the Melbourne Business School and a degree in psychology from Deakin University.

John Starkey

John Starkey
Principal Consulting Engineer
Starkey & Associates

John Starkey graduated from the University of Toronto in 1961 as a Mining Engineer. He worked in operations at Kam Kotia, Kidd Creek and INCO for 15 years and in the engineering of new plants for 15 years at Kilborn and Aker Kvaerner.

John has been a Designated Consulting Engineer in Ontario for 28 years, focusing on comminution. He invented and co-developed the SAG Power Index (SPI) and SAGDesign tests, both of which are used globally to measure ore hardness.

He is a frequent lecturer at universities world-wide, teaching the fundamentals of commercial SAG mill design for new projects.

Simon Hille

Simon Hille
VP Global Innovation
Process and Metallurgy Goldcorp Inc.

Simon Hille is a metallurgical professional with over 25 years of experience in gold and base metals, specializing in maximizing value from complex ore bodies. As VP, Global Innovation, Process & Metallurgy at Goldcorp, he is accountable for delivering step-change innovation to multiple, highly complex, highly visible projects that have an immediate and long-term business impact and ensures that Goldcorp’s mine sites can rapidly adapt to and adopt new technologies to achieve process and business efficiencies.

Simon is currently a Board member of the Coalition for Eco-Efficient Comminution (CEEC), the Energy & Processing Chair for the Canadian Mining Innovation Council (CMIC), and a member of the ICMM Tailings Aspirational goal working group member, and he serves in a technical board role for the Bradshaw Research Initiative for Minerals and Mining (BRIMM).

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


  • $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

Key dates

  • January 15, 2019: deadline to submit applications
  • March 2019: pitch proposal at #DisruptMining event
  • May 2019: top 6 announced
  • May 31, 2021: final submission deadline for Challenge finalists
  • Summer 2021: final grand prize winner announced