• Mining Lab

    Challenge

     

    Find out about the program!

 

 

 

The Mining Lab Challenge program was created to support initiatives of entrepreneurs who wish to develop technological innovation projects for the mining and metallurgy industry.

Through the Mining Lab Challenge program, we seek solutions from the global innovation ecosystem for challenges related to strategic themes and that have a medium level of maturity or the ability to be tested and customized to Nexa's needs.

 For this reason, this is a long-term program with challenges linked to Nexa's core business, in which initiatives from around the world are identified and connected to test their solutions together with our technicians.

Since its creation in 2016, we have had more than 1100 innovative solutions registered through the eight editions of the program.

Now in its 9th edition, we are looking for innovative solutions to 5 challenges across 3 major themes: Decarbonization, Circular Economy and Productivity & Safety. 

Find out more about the current call and submit your solution!

Apply here

Challenges - Mining Lab Challenge 2024

Here are the five challenges in the program's current call. For more information on each of them, just click on the name of the challenge and the information will be updated.

One of the main contributors to GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions in mining is fossil diesel used in automotive fleets. We are looking for economically viable solutions that promote better energy efficiency of this fuel, reducing GHG emissions. The solutions should apply to:

- Mineral transport trucks operating on the surface and in underground mines;

- Loaders with a load capacity of up to 18 tons.

The solution should improve the performance of these vehicle engines or reduce diesel consumption without compromising their warranties or making modifications that would affect the operation or increase maintenance stops and intervals. Additionally, solutions focused on underground mining vehicles should consider the specific industrial environment with moisture, vibration, dust, and data transmission limitations.

With this, we expect a reduction in the specific diesel consumption of vehicles and, consequently, in GHG emissions.

We are not looking for solutions that pose contamination risks to internal combustion components, overload or increase the pressure drop in diesel oil filters, solutions with marginal fuel economy gains, fleet management software with AI that requires real-time communication or constant updates, and maintenance management software

Ícone descarbonização

One of the main contributors to GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions in mining is diesel. We are looking for transformational, economically viable technologies (or with medium-term prospects) that allow partial or total substitution of diesel by biogenic fuels without complex modifications for their use.

The proposed solutions should maintain or enable an improvement in vehicle performance and, in the case of partial substitution, be miscible with fossil diesel or not require complex modifications to the vehicles. Additionally, they should not compromise vehicle operability or increase stops and maintenance intervals. Solutions focused on underground mining vehicles should consider the specific industrial environment with moisture, vibration, dust, and limitations in data transmission. Moreover, should be observed the existing legislation for testing new fuels and the requirements for using fuels in underground mining. 

The evaluation indicators in this case are specific fuel consumption and GHG emissions reduction. For solutions involving liquid fuels, quality indicators should be like fossil diesel. We are not looking for solutions that pose contamination risks to internal combustion components or solutions that overload or increase the pressure drop in diesel oil filters.

ícone descarbonização

Our mining units process the ore into zinc, copper, and lead concentrates. To obtain the concentrate it is necessary to process the ROM (run of mine), which is the ore before beneficiation, through several stages, including particle comminution, concentration, and finally thickening and filtration.

During these processes, water use is essential and must be treated subsequently. However, we face difficulties reusing the generated effluent due to the characteristics of the beneficiated material originating from volcanic massive sulfide, deposits with recurring carbonates, and quartz.

The generated effluent contains various metals in solution that must be reduced before disposal. In this challenge, we are looking for solutions that treat the effluent to promote water recirculation, reducing water intake and maintaining the parameters established by the regulations (reference standard: CONAMA Resolution No. 357/2005).

 

ícone economia circular

At Nexa, we are committed to safety in our operations. Consequently, we are constantly looking for more efficient ways to monitor and track the conditions of all our industrial processes. 

Currently, we have a level-by-level access control system in the mine through the leaky feeder network, where we transmit 120 kbps in a 20 kHz channel. 

We are looking for solutions that can use this data transmission infrastructure. The bandwidth is limited, and communication applications should consider this restriction. We want to add value and create other opportunities, such as monitoring geotechnical parameters, air quality (in all its parameters), temperature, noise, etc.

The solution should impact safety or productivity (e.g., optimizing the execution of preventive actions, reviewing ventilation systems, mine planning, team allocation, etc.). If the measured parameter is regulated, the solution must at least meet the standard criteria, with the potential to be accepted in an eventual inspection.

ícone produtividade e segurança

Geomechanical stability in underground mining is fundamental to ensuring safety and the continuity of operations. This stability is ensured through measurements of seismic activity, fracture position, rock quality and strength, and rock mass stresses, among other parameters. Measurements are made regularly, but there are opportunities to improve their precision and data granularity.

The challenge, therefore, is to capture geomechanical information and ensure the availability and accessibility of this information for decision-making. Due to difficult access and limited connectivity, solutions that are portable, widely deployed, fast and locally processed, ergonomic, continuous, low-cost, and reliable are desired. 

The project aims to allow the prediction of potential incidents, reduce the occurrence of unforeseen events, and increase the efficiency of our operations.

 

ícone produtividade e segurança
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Program steps

All stages of the program will take place online and communications will be made via the e-mail address registered at the time of registration.

Registration

June 6th to July 1st

  1. Evaluation 1

    July 9th to 17th

    Nexa team will evaluate the received applications and define which ones will go on to the next phase


  2. Bootcamp

    August 7th to15th

    This phase has the objective of aligning the projects and refining the proposed solution


  3. Evaluation 2

    August 20th to 27th

    Nexa team will evaluate all the documents submitted and define which ones will go on to the next phase.


  4. Immersion

    September 4th to 26th

    The final alignment of the projects with Nexa's technical managers and mentors will take place to format the value proposition of each project


  5. Evaluation 3

    September 30th to October 2nd

    Nexa team will evaluate all projects value propositions and define which ones will go on to the next phase.


  6. Demoday

    October 9th to 18th

    Event in which the companies will present themselves before a panel of Nexa executives for evaluation and final selection


POCs
Kick off

starting in 2025

Benefits

Photo: Gloved hand holding ore

Find out about the benefits of participating in the Mining Lab Challenge

Investment in the development of proposed solutions projects through proof of concept

Possibility to perform tests in an industrial environment with Nexa’s technical support

Promotion of co-development partnerships for new technologies/solutions with Nexa

Opportunity to become a supplier of Nexa and, potentially, of other Votorantim Group companies

Documents

In this section you will find the official Mining Lab Challenge documents

  • Challenge 2024

    Access the program rules here

    Download

FAQ

The Mining Lab Challenge is Nexa Resources open innovation program that aims to find innovative solutions for the demands in its mining and metallurgical processes in its operations in Brazil and Peru. 

No. Only projects that have at least one process or product already defined, and that can be tested within a maximum of 12 (twelve) months, will be considered. The idea is to scale the business model to market in the short-term, so only projects that are already at an advanced stage will be accepted. 

The deadline for the completion of the testing and validation stage of the projects is twelve (12) months after the selection and the contract signed. 

You can include your solution at any time in the Mining Lab Channel. More information can be found at: https://www.mininglab.com.br/channel/

Companies duly constituted and registered with the competent and regular bodies in accordance with the law and the articles of incorporation of their countries of origin that have a proposal for a solution that adheres to one of the challenges.

Get in touch with us by the e-mail [email protected]

Partners

Apply here