MABC Challenge Winner Reduces Water Use in Mining

VANCOUVER, BC, July 5, 2022 /CNW/ – Foresight Canada and the Mining Association of British Columbia (MABC) are pleased to announce Sepro Mixing and Pumping Ltd is the winner of the Mining Innovation Challenge: Reducing Water Use.

The Challenge sought solutions to reduce water use intensity at operating BC mines, with the winner receiving a $150,000 prize and a potential opportunity to pilot the technology if there is an appropriate fit with a mine.

After a rigorous two stage evaluation process, Langley, BC’s Sepro Mixing and Pumping Ltd won with their Large Scale Linear Fluid-Driven Peristaltic Pump. Their technology will limit water waste for slurry liquefaction and enable tailings to be delivered to a storage facility with much higher density than currently possible. It will also allow water to be reclaimed for use at the concentrator and will enable more sustainable tailings storage techniques. Pilot opportunities are being explored for this technology.

Special mention also goes to finalist and Foresight alumni, 2S Water Incorporated, for their AquaValid Sensor. This innovative solution offers BC’s mining sector real-time data collection on metal concentrations in water in order to increase water reuse and reduce freshwater consumption.

The mining industry uses a large quantity of water through the mill, mineral processing, and tailings processes. This water needs to be sourced, stored, and treated. Foresight is proud to have led this challenge with MABC to identify innovation that reduces water use intensity while achieving the same mineral recovery, and keeping water clean.

Competition Background

The Mining Innovation Challenge was announced in December 2021 and provided an informational webinar to interested organizations in January 2022.

The first phase of the competition (Expression of Interest) concluded on February 18, 2022, and received more than 25 applications from small and medium businesses, as well as larger established companies based in Canada and around the world.

The second phase of the competition (Full Project Proposal Stage) began on April 1, 2022 and concluded on May 12, 2022 with the five finalists submitting their detailed project proposals for evaluation:

Evaluation was based on a combination of technology readiness, technical excellence, innovation, additional impact, and resources and implementation plan. PwC was the Fairness Evaluator for the Challenge. 

This two-phase Challenge was led by MABC and Foresight Canada, in partnership with the Government of British Columbia, Newcrest Mining, Teck Resources Limited, Natural Resources Canada, PwC, the Bradshaw Research Initiative for Minerals Mining (BRIMM), the Global Mining Guidelines Group, and the Mining Suppliers Association of BC (MSABC).

Quotes

“Congratulations to Sepro Mixing and Pumping Ltd, and all the finalists in this Challenge. By connecting corporate leaders facing sustainability hurdles with market-ready cleantech innovators, we can accelerate Canada’s path to a green economy. Sepro’s innovation could have enormous environmental and economic benefits for Canada’s mining sector and beyond.” – Jeanette Jackson, CEO, Foresight Canada.

“We’re pleased our Challenge has identified a new technique to reduce water use and potentially enable better tailings storage techniques at BC mines using a new innovation designed by BC-based Sepro Mixing and Pumping. Congratulations to Sepro, and thank you to all of the sponsors, partners and contributors who made our first Mining Innovation Challenge a success.” – Michael Goehring, President and CEO, MABC.

“We believe we have achieved a breakthrough in peristaltic pumping that will substantially reduce the amount of water taken from the environment for mineral processing and allow construction of safer tailings storage facilities at lower cost than previously achievable.  The recognition from winning this prize will be very helpful in establishing a Beta site. We are hopeful the credibility gained will allow us to advance the schedule for field trials by at least one year.” – Steve McAlister, Director, Sepro Mixing and Pumping Ltd.

“With our abundance of minerals and our ingenuity, Canada can become an even greater mining superpower in a world where critical minerals and rare earths are used to move toward a greener future. Congratulations to Sepro Mixing and Pumping Ltd, and all the finalists in this year’s Mining Innovation Challenge that represent the kind of ingenuity that will drive Canadian mining toward an even brighter future.” – The Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources (Government of Canada)

“Mining is a foundational industry in B.C. and will continue to play a critical role in the growth of our province and the transition to a low-carbon economy. Congratulations to Sepro Mixing and Pumping Ltd, and all the finalists in the Mining Innovation Challenge for demonstrating clean-tech innovation and commitment to safety.” – The Hon. Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation (Government of British Columbia)

“Congratulations to Sepro Mixing and Pumping, and all other participants in the challenge. Innovation is a critical component to the continuous improvement of responsible mining practices. Water quantity and quality management are at the core of responsible mining and increased efficiency of water use is an important environmental and operational objective applicable to all Newcrest sites. We look forward to learning more about this promising technology.” – Patrick Merrin – VP Projects and Planning (Western Canada), Newcrest Mining.

“Teck congratulates Sepro Mixing and Pumping Ltd. for developing this innovative technology to reduce water use intensity. Enhancing water stewardship is a key priority industry-wide and through initiatives like this Mining Innovation Challenge, B.C.’s mining industry will continue to be a global leader in responsible resource development.” – Jeff Hanman, Senior Vice President, Sustainability & External Affairs, Teck

SOURCE Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre

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