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Disrupt Mining? Yes Please!

by Lobo Tiggre
Monday, April 23, 09:33pm, UTC, 2018

Doug Casey frequently describes mining as a “terrible business, a 19th-century choo-choo-train industry.” That’s why most of his speculations are on exploration, not production. Same here.

But the mining industry is ripe for disruption—so much so, that even miners see it. Many techniques in use have changed only marginally over the last 100 years.

No surprise then that industry leader Goldcorp held a #DisruptMining contest to spur innovation.

Finalists will pitch competing innovations to a “shark-tank” style panel of industry titans. More than 1,000 mining executives, investors and financiers will be in attendance, each looking for that one revolutionary idea. #DisruptMining is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to produce real and powerful change.

The final round was held at this year’s Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention, on March 4, 2018.

The winner was a company called Acoustic Zoom. It’s developed a cheaper version of seismic imaging technology to help miners and explorers see the shapes of structures in the earth. This could potentially reduce the amount of drilling needed to define amenable ore bodies and improve grade control at some operating mines. Very cool.

Runners-up included a startup working on a more eco-friendly metal recovery process and a 3D virtual/augmented reality imaging company.

My favorite pick didn’t win. It’s a company called Open Mineral, which has set up a new market for mineral producers and end users to connect without middlemen. I’m a free-marketeer. I love using the power of markets to make things better. Combine that with new IT platforms that shorten the path of valuable, verified information, and great things can happen. And that’s just the beginning. This could be the Uber-equivalent that changes the whole industry.

Watch this space.

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