Sustainability is the logical new battleground for Aussie miners
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Tech startups like Plotlogic are taking advantage of a growing push for the resources sector to fast track its adoption of new sustainable and efficient technologies which will make Aussie mining much less messy.
Climate policy and sustainability have been a hot button issue this election as the major parties juggle economic realities with affirmative action. But while the PM bulldozes children on football fields, the resources sector has been bulldozing mine sites more effectively and more sustainably to unlock new deposits of rare earth minerals.
New technologies from hyperspectral imaging to electrified truck fleets have been flooding the sector, as operators fight for ways to rapidly decarbonise their sites and win new tenders.
QMines (ASX: QML) is one such company that has been aggressively advancing its zero-carbon vision. Being only the third ASX-lister to receive the coveted “carbon neutral” status by independent auditors, the explorator is slashing its carbon footprint by utilising technology.
Recently QMines inked a deal with an Australian company for the long-term supply of renewable fuel, targeting an initial 20% reduction in scope 1 diesel emissions from drilling and exploration activities.
High on the sustainability checklist is hyperspectral imaging technology developed by Brisbane-based mining tech company, Plotlogic.
The Aussie-made tech is offered on a subscription basis and used for grade control and real-time mineralogical classification. Knowing the exact mineral composition of an open pit mine face, core or blasthole sample, underground drive, spoil pile or waste dump gives operators the ability to precisely extract ore deposits and markedly improve rehabilitation of old sites.
It’s basically the equivalent of swapping out the hack saw for a scalpel.
Plotlogic Founder and CEO, Dr Andrew Job says miners love to use the tech.
“Our patented OreSense Technology can be used in a variety of ways to add value to a mine.
“By knowing the minerals and grade of each and every rock, our clients can mine much more selectively.
“This makes our customers huge amounts of money and also significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The system is very easy to use and each scan takes about two minutes to complete. Once scans are approved, the data and images are automatically pushed into mining software the mine already uses making it hassle free.”
Already working with some of the world’s largest miners including BHP, Glencore and Anglo American, Plotlogic technology is being rapidly deployed across Australia and internationally.
The startup has already secured work across an array of rare earth miners including Tungsten producer EQ Resources (ASX: EQR) at their flagship Mt Carbine site and copper producer Austral through an operating partnership with French logistics giant Thiess.
Plotlogic’s technology is attracting a lot of attention beyond mining with the start up last month named an industry partner in the first project under the Federal Government’s $242.7 million Trailblazer Universities initiative, which is aimed at building commercialisation in the critical minerals sector.
Despite being at pre-revenue stage Plotlogic is already making significant revenue only a year on, due in part to the rapid push for sustainable practice within the industry. CEO Dr Andrew Job has no plans on slowing down and will use the company’s growing revenue to expand into WA with the planned opening of an office in Perth in coming months.
“We’re now looking forward to boosting our physical presence in the richest resources state in Australia and expanding into projects producing minerals essential for the new economy, as well as further supporting the iron ore industry.”
“Mining should be able to generate the resources society needs without harming the environment. Our goal is to work with our customers to use AI and automation to deliver the future of natural resources – one that benefits both society and the industry,” Job said.
This article was developed in collaboration with Plotlogic, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.