XPRIZE recently attended the CESCO conference in Santiago, Chile, and hosted a Zero-Waste Mining Prize Design workshop. There, industry professionals collaborated on potential Prize Designs they would like to see disrupt the mining industry and tackle the problem of waste.
Ultimately, the attendees pitched six Prize Designs, and the majority were focused on developing technologies for use upstream in the mining process. There was considerable excitement around the idea of “Zero-Footprint Mining,” or minimally-invasive mining technologies that do not involve the removal of huge amounts of rock or radically change landscapes.
In order to impact waste globally, such a technology would:
Reduce or eliminate the creation of waste during operation
Reduce the need to create and manage waste downstream
Not increase inputs such as energy and water
Be economical relative to current technology
- Be scalable enough to be adopted across the industry