Companies that come up with new ways to conserve and treat water in BC mining operations have a chance to win $150,000 in a competition run by the Mining Association of BC
MABC President Michael Goehring announced the industry’s first-ever Mining Innovation Challenge on Thursday. Co-sponsored by the Government of British Columbia, Natural Resources Canada and industry players Teck Resources and Newcrest Mining, the competition for entrepreneurs is open until February 18 for expressions of interest, and a winner will be announced. at the end of June.
Goehring describes it as a “reverse step,” inspired by electric car and spacecraft pioneer Elon Musk’s X-Prize, a $100 million competition to develop the extraction of carbon dioxide from Earth’s atmosphere. The mining industry uses, collects and treats large amounts of water in its mining and tailings operations, and reducing waste and evaporation is a key step in the industry’s efforts to reduce its environmental footprint.
In these innovation competitions, customers pitch their technology needs to innovators, who apply and are evaluated by experts. Winners receive support to bring their ideas to commercial scale in real-world mining operations.
Teck and Newcrest are sponsoring a similar innovation competition in Australia, which, like British Columbia, has extensive metallurgical coal and metal mines. Teck executive Doug Brown said the company continues to have most of its operations in British Columbia and is leading efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its operations. The Australian competition aims to electrify mining operations.
Goehring said the industry is at “a pivotal moment in our transition to low carbon,” which means big increases in battery, electric, wind and solar systems. Goehring noted that British Columbia is Canada’s largest copper producer, its only producer of molybdenum, and has the potential to extract nickel, cobalt and rare earth elements needed for renewable technologies.
Australia-based Newcrest operates the Red Chris mine in northwestern British Columbia, the region of gold and copper deposits known as British Columbia’s “Golden Triangle”. Teck has had metallurgical coal mines and metal smelters in southeastern British Columbia for over a century.
On December 7, the province issued a Mining Act permit to Ascot Resources Ltd. to develop its Premier Gold project, which aims to be one of BC Hydro’s low-carbon gold mines. Located near Stewart, British Columbia and Hyder, Alaska, Premier Gold is a partnership with the Nisga’a Nation.
“Our treaty rights and our commitment to stewardship of the Nass Valley and Nisga’a citizens have helped make the Premier Gold Project a safe, prosperous and responsible mining operation,” said Eva Clayton, President of the Nisga’a Lisims. Government.
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Legislative Assembly of British Columbia