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OZ Minerals has revealed the companies selected to participate in its Scalable and Adaptable Mining Challenge – an initiative aimed at fostering innovative solutions for integrated mine design.

Seven teams have been chosen to take part, which will work together to develop a simulation that showcases the flexibility and modularity of mine design.

Novamera will bring its new drilling-based extraction method to the table, fitted with a downhole guidance system to enable precision mining.

Komatsu was also selected as its electric, hard rock mechanical cutting machines were deemed an asset for the simulation.

Other companies participating in the challenge include Comminution Reimagined, Sepro Mineral Systems, Sedgman, Juwi and Energy Flex.

OZ Minerals general manager transformation Katie Hulmes said she hopes the initiative will set an example for the mining sector.

“Today’s mining projects favour economies of scale, resulting in large projects that are capital intensive with bespoke designs and little flexibility,” she said.

“… We are looking to explore the concept of modularity as an enabler of flexibility, and new models for project valuation, asset ownership, development and operation.

“We are curious to discover if flexible, modular architectures might unlock future assets that are currently uneconomic.”

The challenge is running as a partnership between OZ Minerals’ Think & Act Differently incubator, Canada-based Inspire Resources and Australia’s Unearthed.

Inspire Resources president Andy Reynolds is buoyed by the initiative’s collective nature, which fosters teamwork and cooperation.

“We are excited to be working with OZ Minerals to nurture an ecosystem of imaginative people and companies who value collaboration,” he said.

“Flexible mining could open the door not only to unlocking smaller projects, but also to enabling innovative commercial arrangements for suppliers and local communities.”

The Scalable and Adaptable Mining Challenge received 36 submissions from 33 countries before the seven successful companies were chosen.