The Elements of Innovation Discovered

Mining Tech / Energy

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  • Rendering of a Viper system storing nearby solar and wind energy.

    An innovative take on battery mining

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 3, 2024

    Economical Energy intends to mine cavities to house renewable energy storage systems. An Australian startup has come up with an idea for energy storage mining that does not involve the production of lithium, cobalt, nickel, or any of the battery minerals and metals that have captured headline news over the past couple of years. Instead, Economical Energy proposes mining out a cavity that will house an innovative underground energy storage system that will keep the power on...

  • A bulk commodities ship equipped with large white cylinders with Teck logo.

    Teck takes CO2 reductions to high seas

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Dec 22, 2023

    Collaborates with Oldendorff to install innovative wind propulsion system on vessel that delivers BC steelmaking coal. The pending sale of its steelmaking coal business to commodities giant Glencore has not slowed Teck Resources Ltd.'s push of new technologies that will lower the carbon dioxide emissions footprint of shipping the bulk commodity used to transform iron ore to steel. To lower the CO2 emissions of shipping coal from its mining operations in southeastern British...

  • Illustrated graphic of the Viper underground renewable energy storage tech.

    Studio X empowers Economical Energy

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Nov 1, 2023

    Australian startup, its underground renewable energy tech, selected to join Shell-backed accelerator studio. Economical Energy's potentially game-changing Viper underground renewable energy storage system has joined Studio X, a global energy and climate technology innovations accelerator program powered by Shell. "The Studio X accelerator program is excited to have Economical Energy as part of the 2023 cohort," said Max Gray, director of the Studio X accelerator program....

  • Electric Cat loader carrying a scoop of gravel.

    A case study for zero-carbon mining

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Oct 18, 2023

    Nouveau Monde, Caterpillar's work to create a model for zero-carbon mining in Quebec; tackles key electric mining questions. From working with Caterpillar to develop an electric mining fleet for its Matawinie graphite mine, to securing affordable hydropower to produce lithium battery anode material, Nouveau Monde Graphite Inc. continues to pioneer a low-carbon mine-to-battery supply chain in Quebec. "Quebec is becoming North America's green battery thanks to its vast hydropowe...

  • A mining haul truck used to carry thousands of tons a day.

    Mines researcher champions clean mining

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Aug 9, 2023

    Seeking ways to mitigate and reduce carbon emissions, a doctoral postgraduate of mining engineering and management from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology has taken it upon herself to explore a next-generation clean energy strategy at what may seem to many as an unlikely place – a Wyoming coal mine. Recently completing her doctorate at South Dakota Mines, Amy McBrayer held a background in natural resources and management before pursuing the much-esteemed degree. McBra... Full story

  • A conveyor belt transports ore to the surface at an underground mine.

    Storing renewable energy in old mines

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 16, 2023

    Can old mines be repurposed as giant batteries for cost-effective and long-term storage of renewable energy? A peer-reviewed paper by a team of researchers led by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) makes a compelling case for underground gravity energy storage systems that do just that. Matching electrical generation capacity with consumer demand is key to transitioning to a sustainable low-carbon energy future. This has been a longtime problem... Full story

  • Graphic of potential geothermal uses for power generation, heating, and cooling.

    Geothermal promises increased potential

    K. Warner, For Metal Tech News|Updated Mar 13, 2023

    Geothermal power has generally represented region-specific and niche clean energy in the public consciousness for over a century. Today, thanks to a profusion of social outreach and government incentives, investors and leaders across both public and private sectors are exploring lesser-known applications and exciting advancements in the field. Just a few feet below the surface, the earth maintains a near-constant temperature that belies the seasonal extremes of aboveground... Full story

  • An aerial view of the University of Adelaide campus in South Australia.

    Aussie university tackles clean energy

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Aug 30, 2022

    The University of Adelaide launches Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Resources The global transition to electric vehicles plugged into low-carbon-emissions power sources is requiring enormous quantities of lithium-ion battery materials, copper, rare earths, and a long list of other mined commodities. This creates a dual challenge for mining companies – ramping up production quickly enough to supply the materials to build the envisioned clean energy future while also m...

  • A large Komatsu mining haul truck being tested at a site in Arizona.

    Mining sector races to net-zero by 2050

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Aug 16, 2022

    CO2 reduction path for mines is difficult but not impossible Aligned with global climate goals agreed upon in international pacts such as the Paris Agreement, most of the major mining companies that will supply the raw materials required to build the low-carbon future have declared their own targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30 to 40% by 2030 and net-zero by 2050. How likely is it that this industrial sector known for its enormous diesel-powered digging and hauling... Full story

  • The Las Bambas mine that will soon benefit from hydropower from SmartH2OEnergy.

    Capturing hidden energy flows at mines

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 12, 2022

    Nearly every mine on Earth has a source of potential low-carbon energy that remains largely untapped – the natural surface waters flowing into, through and out of the operation. Germany-based SmartH2OEnergy, however, is investigating an innovative approach that transforms the potential of waters from various mining processes into energy that can help power the operation. Along with wind and solar, hydropower is a great source of zero-carbon electricity for power-hungry m... Full story

  • First Solar Nevada Gold Mines Barrick Newmont cadmium-telluride thin-film PV

    American solar for largest gold complex

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 12, 2022

    Looking to lower the carbon footprint of the single largest gold-producing complex in the world, Nevada Gold Mines has turned to First Solar Inc. to provide enough cadmium-telluride thin-film photovoltaic solar modules to supply up to 17% of the energy needs of its Nevada gold mines. A joint venture between Barrick Gold Corp. and Newmont Corp., the world's two largest gold mining companies, Nevada Gold Mines produces approximately 3.5 million ounces of gold a year. Joining a...

  • BHP Group Tesla TransAlta Nickel West Australia lithium-ion battery low-carbon

    Solar to help power BHP Nickel West mines

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 12, 2022

    To lower the carbon footprint of the nickel it delivers to lithium-ion battery and electric vehicle manufacturers such as Tesla Inc., BHP Group is having 38.1 megawatts of solar power capacity installed at its Mt. Keith and Leinster mines, part of the global miner's fully integrated mine-to-market Nickel West operation in Western Australia. This announcement comes just a week after BHP reported that it has cut a deal to supply Tesla with up to 18,000 metric tons of nickel per...

  • 247Solar MIT HeatStorE remote off-grid generator emission-free clean renewable

    Sandbox battery to energize remote mines

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 10, 2022

    Solar energy company and startup from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Solar247 Inc., announced earlier this year a robust new battery technology, HeatStorE, a long duration thermal battery designed to offer a reliable, renewable energy storage alternative to the conventional diesel engines powering remote mines, villages, and micro-grids. "In the mining industry, we see more and more off-grid microgrids that incorporate short-term energy storage systems," said Thomas...

  • General Motors lithium battery hydrogen fuel cells electric aircraft Hydrotec

    GM powers trains, planes and automobiles

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 10, 2022

    Semis, trains, and now planes, General Motors' Hydrotec hydrogen fuel cell technology is offering a zero-carbon-emissions alternative to powering the way goods and people are being transported. Hydrogen fuel cells such as the Hydrotec technology developed by GM are much like batteries that generate their own electricity and heat by splitting hydrogen molecules into electrons and protons – electrons create a flow of electricity, and the protons unite with oxygen and to p...

  • University of Adelaide HiTeMP Forum Gus Nathan zero-emissions low-carbon green

    Australia tackles heavy industry carbon

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 10, 2022

    University of Adelaide's Centre for Energy Technology just announced potential pathways to divert the production of heavy industry emissions through the use of green energy methods instead of fossil fuels. Through the High Temperature Minerals Processing (HiTeMP) Outlook #2 Report, published by Adelaide following the second HiTeMP Forum, a world-leading think tank, international specialists from industry, research, government, and community have charted a path for the heavy...

  • Syrah Resources Ltd. Solarcentury Balama graphite mine Shaun Verner solar energy

    US-bound graphite goes greener with solar

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 10, 2022

    Seeking to bring down the cost and carbon dioxide emissions of mining the graphite needed for lithium-ion batteries, Syrah Resources Ltd. has reached an agreement for the installation of solar power generation and battery storage at its Balama Mine in Mozambique. Currently, graphite is the primary anode material in lithium-ion batteries used to store renewable energy and power electric vehicles. These applications are expected to drive an estimated 500% increase in annual...

  • Teck miner at solar power generating facility Chilean mine

    Teck transitions to renewables in Chile

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 10, 2022

    Taking a big step on its path to becoming carbon neutral by 2050, Canadian miner Teck Resources Ltd. has entered into a long-term power purchase agreement with The AES Corp., a global power company that provides sustainable and affordable energy in 14 countries, for 100% renewable power for its Carmen de Andacollo copper and gold mine in Chile. Under the arrangement, Teck's Carmen de Andacollo is sourcing 72 megawatts, or 550 gigawatt hours per year, of wind, solar and hydroel...

  • Photovoltaic solar power plant in southwest US desert USA Rare Earth Texas mine

    West Texas sun may power rare earth mine

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 10, 2022

    Geology dictates where mineable concentrations of the metals we need for our everyday modern lives are located. It so happens that USA Rare Earth LLC and Texas Mineral Resources Corp.'s Round Top rare earths and critical minerals project is in the sunny West Texas high desert. This puts one of America's richest deposits of the rare earths that go into the powerful magnets used in wind turbines and electric vehicles smack in the middle of one of the best places in the world...

  • photovoltaic solar panel installation at Koodaideri iron mine Pilbara Australia

    Sun powered mine in the land Down Under

    A.J. Roan, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 2, 2022

    Mining powerhouse Rio Tinto is raising the renewable energy standard for all global industrialized sectors by completely powering its future Koodaideri iron mine in Pilbara, Australia with solar energy. Having approved of a US$98 million-dollar (A$144 million) investment in a new solar plant as well as lithium-ion battery storage at Koodaideri, Rio Tinto seeks to achieve a fully renewable mine site as early as 2021. This is expected to be Rio Tinto's first company-owned solar...

  • Hydrogen Fuel Cell mining haul truck largest EV electric vehicle Anglo American

    World's largest EV will be a mine truck

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 2, 2022

    Global miner Anglo American has teamed up with Williams Advanced Engineering to develop the world's largest electric vehicle – an ultra-class mining haul truck. A hydrogen fuel cell module and bank of lithium-ion batteries will replace the diesel engines that have traditionally powered these mega-earthmovers. This massive power source and storage system is controlled by a high voltage power distribution unit delivering in excess of 1,000 kilowatt-hours of energy to the 2...

  • Electric battery zero emissions busses at Teck Resources mine in BC

    Teck commits to carbon neutrality by 2050

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 2, 2022

    Understanding that the transition to renewable energy is going to require a vast amount of metals yet mining them consumes a lot of energy, Teck Resources Ltd. is joining a growing number of mining companies with aims of becoming carbon neutral. On Feb. 3, the diversified Canada-based miner announced a goal to be carbon neutral across all operations and activities by 2050. "Setting the objective to be carbon neutral by 2050 is an important step forward in our commitment to...

  • Solar photovoltaic PV renewable energy electricity power Aussie mines

    Green energy future begins in the mines

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Feb 25, 2022

    From the enormous equipment that dig up and haul ore to processing facilities that extract the sought-after metals, mines use a lot of energy. Over the past century, the largest share of this energy has come from fossil fuels. In recent years, however, an increasing amount of mine power is coming from renewable sources such as wind and solar. Many mines are in remote locations that are beyond the reach of electrical grids, making them ideal for considering renewable sources... Full story