Written by subcommittee member Lauren Pow, Consultant, Cannings Purple.
Newcrest Mining recently held its second Newcrest Crowd online challenge, Get 2 the Core, encouraging problem solvers to tackle a complex mining problem by providing a real business challenge, data sets and opportunities for ongoing partnerships.
Drill cores are one of the most important data sets in exploration and mining, and photographs of drill cores provide a lasting visual record of geological information. However, due to the extensive time it takes to manually crop historic core photography into a format compatible with other geological data, many historic photographs are underutilised.
Get 2 the Core was a global online competition, inviting innovators from around the world to build an algorithm that could automatically determine and map the spatial extents of the core tray and then the individual rows contained within. The solution has the potential to decrease the time it takes to crop drill core photography by up to 90 per cent. The developed algorithm will determine and map the content of core tray rows and distinguish between different aspect ratios, along with the ability to effectively perform on inconsistent photography.
With a top prize of $10,000, the winners were judged on the solution’s ability to meet implementation, creativity and performance criteria outlined on the Newcrest Crowd portal against the supplied data set. Participants with solutions that solved the problem without meeting scoring requirements were still in the running to be awarded a separate prize.
Winners of the Newcrest Crowd Get 2 the Core challenge: 1st Prize AUD $10,000: Team “Straight off the Couch” – Hugh Sanderson and Derek Carter; Open Tech Innovation Prize AUD $5,000: “Avant Data Solutions” – Zhen Sheng Wang and Andrew Vinciguerra.
Registrations for the Get 2 the Core mining challenge ended on 25 July 2018. A total of 195 innovators from 8 countries registered, and after 1 month of rigorous prototyping, a total of 198 submissions were received from 20 global teams from Australia, New Zealand, France, Russia, Ukraine, Canada, the Netherlands and Germany.
The Newcrest Crowd’s next online challenge ‘Burn your Bridges’ opens on 3 September 2018. The problem tackles Newcrest’s top priority at their Telfer mine site in Western Australia, which is to keep operations going without major interruptions. After planned maintenance, rock bridges are the single biggest issue preventing more ore moving through the crushers. For the Telfer site alone, the accumulated losses due to rock bridges can regularly surpass $10m per annum. The Burn your Bridges challenge will be an open invite to propose feasible solutions, which may reduce the time lost due to rock bridges.
More information can be found on the Unearthed Portal.