Case Study

Hack the Rock! Rockathon mining challenge

Onboard ore analysis for mining equipment – laser guidance helps miners ‘see’ through rock

The Rockathon Mining Challenge, a co-creation and open innovation event, was organised by EIT RawMaterials partner, Sandvik and EIT RawMaterials Innovation Hub (CLC) Baltic Sea team. The Rockathon gathered technology and software development companies, as well as subject-matter experts, to collaborate intensively on an onboard analysis project. The challenge was to create and design a workable and compatible system for onboard ore analysis for mining equipment. Rockathon participants were asked to contribute via brainstorming, ideation exercises and co-creation design thinking to real-time and onboard analysing system for moving mining machines. The analysing system should “see” inside the rock utilising mining equipment with a new intelligent rock mass analyser. It should also measure ore grade to define ore boundaries and avoid mining and processing of waste material.

How to understand online, and in very harsh conditions, both the chemistry and the mineralogy of the rock. Photo credit: Sandvik

Rockathon participants visiting Sandvik’s Test Mine to see a production scale rock drilling in action. Photo credit: Sandvik

Participants of the Rockathon Mining Challenge. Photo credit: Sandvik

Winning team

The winner of the first Rockathon was the team from SPECTRAL Industries. SPECTRAL Industries develops a system that uses laser guidance to help mining engineers “see” into rock and make precision cuts.

As the winning team, SPECTRAL Industries was awarded a collaboration agreement with Sandvik.

The concept of a hackathon creates very intense co-operation in a pressure-cooker mode. The information input density was high, due to a combination of field demos with expert team interviews. We learned a lot and experienced enormous efficiency in terms of results achieved versus time invested.

Ad Maas
SPECTRAL Industries