Seeking ideas for new mining approaches to reduce the footprint on the area mined and avoid the need for traditionally costly infrastructure.
Rio Tinto supplies the metals and minerals that help the world to grow. Rio Tinto Iron and Titanium (RTIT), the group originating this challenge, is continuously looking for new deposits of mineral sands to mine, which contain valuable heavy minerals such as ilmenite, zircon and rutile. These deposits can be high in grade but small in size, or of considerable size but low in grade and located in difficult to mine areas, creating social and environmental concerns.
Traditional sand mining methods include significant infrastructure and disruption to the area in order to perform initial mineral concentration on-site, using wet separation methods. In this challenge, we seek your ideas for conceptual solutions related to new mining approaches whereby mineral sands are mined and processed using unconventional means that minimize or eliminate the need for water, infrastructure or other disruptions to the area.