Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster has launched the Earth X-ray for Low-Impact Mining project.
Like X-rays and MRIs give us visibility inside the human body, the project will enable mining exploration companies to identify density and magnetic anomalies with greater resolution and certainty up to 1 kilometre beneath the Earth’s surface.
To power the global transition to electrification, wind, solar, nuclear, and other clean-energy technologies, production of many critical minerals and metals needs to increase by nearly 500% over the next 20 to 30 years.
With most near-surface deposits already discovered, the mining industry is forced to search deeper underground in more difficult to reach locations. Traditional exploration methods involve extensive and environmentally invasive drilling, which often yields no results at a sizeable cost.
The Earth X-ray for Low-Impact Mining project will deliver a new Discovery Platform that will help mining exploration companies to precision-target deposits beneath the Earth’s surface in a way that changes the economics of discovery and increases the sustainable production of critical mineral resources needed to fuel the clean energy transition.
The project will be led by muon tomography pioneer Ideon Technologies, in partnership with Simon Fraser University (SFU), Dias Geophysical, Microsoft, Fireweed Zinc, and Mitacs. The project also benefits from the direct involvement and support of BHP, the largest mining company in the world.
“This project will generate new technologies and breakthrough approaches to help solve one of the oldest problems on Earth,” said Gary Agnew, Ideon CEO and Co-Founder.
“As co-innovators, we will deliver a solution to the global mining industry that will directly reduce the cost, time, risk, and environmental impact of finding new mineral and metal deposits, while dramatically increasing certainty and discovery rates in a sector that has been historically characterized by uncertainty.”