At a splashy event held at a warehouse-style Toronto nightclub, mining technology firm Acoustic Zoom took first place in the finale to Goldcorp’s (TSX: G; NYSE: GG) #DisruptMining 2018 competition, which culminated in four finalists pitching their technological innovations to a live audience and a panel of five judges in a “Dragon’s Den” style showdown.
Serving as judges were: Veronica Knott, University of British Columbia Mining Engineering student and 2017 Engineers Canada Gold Medal Student Award recipient; Rob McEwen, founder and CEO of McEwen Mining; George Salamis, president & CEO of Integra Resources; Wal van Lierop, president and CEO of Chrysalix Venture Capital; and Todd White, chief operating officer of Goldcorp.
The first-place prize is an opportunity to negotiate a contract or investment of up to $1 million with Goldcorp. Accounting firm KPMG was co-host, and Sudbury-based equipment maker and robotics innovator Hard-Line Solutions was also a major sponsor.
Acoustic Zoom won with its ideas on improved ultra high-frequency 3D drill hole seismic imaging.
Acoustic Zoom’s CEO and Chief Scientist Jacques Guigné has described his firm’s technology as giving mining companies a capability to “map deep within the earth’s microstructure, helping exploration teams drill smarter, guide planning and achieve investment value quick.” The firm had been a semi-finalist in the same competition last year, and spent the intervening period fine-tuning its technology.
Goldcorp COO White said in a release that each of the finalists “brought something unique to the challenge making the deliberation process difficult for the judges. It was crystal clear at the #DisruptMining finale that disruptors are responding to our call to innovate.
Goldcorp CEO David Garofalo announced that net proceeds of $230,000 from the #DisruptMining live finale will be granted toward mining, innovation and technology scholarships to the University of British Columbia over the next three years. Goldcorp and KPMG also pledged $100,000 pledge to a charity named HEROS that helps vulnerable children play hockey.
The remaining three finalists out of more than 100 submissions were: EnviroLeach Technologies, which it says has “developed the world’s only safe, stable, sustainable, eco-friendly and economic alternative to cyanide”; LlamaZOO Interactive Inc., which has created the “MineLife VR” virtual-reality software platform; and Open Mineral AG, founded by former Glencore executives to “digitize the relic practices of physical commodity trading that has operated the same way for decades.”