Unearthed Sydney to solve mining and METS challenges

Unearthed returns to Sydney this year for the third time, with a hackathon designed to develop solutions to mining industry challenges.

Held from 25-27 August at financial technology hub, Stone and Chalk, the hackathon will connect around 100 innovators to mining, equipment, technology and services (METS) companies, produce around 20 prototype technology solutions to challenges from METS and mining companies, and highlight the capabilities of METS companies to potential industry customers.

“The METS and resources sectors are facing significant change due to the accelerating pace of disruption from technology,” METS Ignited Australia CEO Ric Gros said. “Through collaboration, this change can be turned into an opportunity.”

Unearthed Sydney 2017 will feature real-world challenges and operational data sets from Boart Longyear, Mine Vision Systems, the NSW Government and Rio Tinto. Students and professionals from the science, engineering, business, entrepreneurship, software development and mathematics disciplines will put their skills to the test at the event.

The hackathon experience is a first for Boart Longyear and Mine Vision Systems, while the NSW Government, which is supporting the event through Energy and Resources Knowledge Hub, and Rio Tinto have taken part in Unearthed hackathons in the past.

“We are excited to be part of this hackathon,” Michael Ravella, director, geological data services at Boart Longyear, said.

“Boart Longyear looks forward to getting out-of-the-box ideas and solutions to help our mining clients easily identify and log structural features in rock core. We welcome the participants’ ideas and are happy to support them to develop and promote their IP.”

NSW minister for innovation, Matt Kean, said Sydney was an ideal place to host this year’s Unearthed hackathon.

“Sydney is leading the way in both innovation and resources so it’s only fitting this year’s hackathon is taking place in our great global city,” he said.

“I’m confident the event will foster new ideas to boost mining productivity, sustainably expand the industry, grow our economy, lift exports and create skilled jobs.”

Kean added that the NSW Government set its own hackathon challenge to create an open source solution for the industry to share complex 3D geological models and images across NSW.

“Expanding the amount of quality geological data available nationally and internationally could provide a major boost for mineral exploration and geoscientific research, so I look forward to seeing what the participants come up with,” he said.

This will be the second time Rio Tinto will provide a challenge at an Unearthed hackathon, since their involvement at the inaugural Perth hackathon in 2014.

Participants at Unearthed Sydney 2017 will be challenged to improve productivity efficiency at two Rio Tinto mine sites, by detecting the presence of carry back, which is the material that is stuck in the back of a truck after tipping.

Participants stand to win up to $15,000 in cash and tech credits from Amazon Web Services, and the first prize winners also have the unique opportunity to present at the biennial Asia-Pacific International Mining Exhibition (AIMEX) in August.