AgriProve is on the frontier of climate solution projects, providing farmers and landholders with a way to earn carbon credits from their land by sequestering soil carbon under pasture, crops, horticultural and mixing farming systems. Soil Carbon Sequestration at Scale works by taking baseline soil carbon measurements from soil cores up to a metre deep. Subsequent periodic measurements allow the farmer to earn carbon credits from increases of organic carbon in the soil over the baseline.
In 2019, AgriProve and its flagship soil carbon project in Gippsland earned Australia’s first soil carbon credits under the Emissions Reduction Fund, and it is the only company that has had these carbon credits issued, the AgriProve website says.
Within broad parameters, landholders can choose which type of land management activity to use to build soil carbon but it must be new or materially different from previous land management systems and must be reasonably expected to sequester carbon in the soil.
Winner of the best innovation in the agriculture, mining and utilities category.
One of the world’s leading mining and infrastructure solutions providers, Orica is now marketing a cloud-based software platform that can accurately simulate a mine’s value chain all the way from the ore body to the final product and provide information on ways to maximise performance.
Developed by the government and industry-funded Australian Cooperative Research Centre (ORE), the Integrated Extraction Simulator (IES) can connect the discrete silos in any type of mining operation’s value chain to help it move to an integrated workflow. Using the IES, a mine planner, for example, can see the effects of any particular design or schedule all the way through to mineral processing at the end of the value chain. Based on that information, the mine planner can alter plans to optimise overall production.
Orica Vice President, Digital Solutions, Raj Mathiravedu says the IES can be adjusted by incorporating different scenarios, and it can provide information on ways to achieve a combination of maximum productivity with the least carbon footprint. “You don’t need to compromise one over the other,” he says. “Because you are able to collect data in an integrated fashion, you are able to make decisions in an integrated manner through end-to-end workflows across the mining value chain.”
Global technology company Plotlogic can provide mining operations with a rapid and accurate picture of the geology of their mine sites, providing comprehensive information to enable mining operations to effectively increase their yields without increasing their power consumption or other costs.
The Plotlogic Oresense technology stack uses a multi-senser configuration, mostly on the infrared spectrum, combined with advanced machine learning algorithms to scan the rockface and provide accurate ore characterisations.
This technology can effectively replace traditional core sampling from drill holes which are sometimes as much as hundreds of metres apart providing mine operators with often sparse and patchy data. The technology has proved successful in the mining industry. It has led to partnerships with some of the world’s largest mining operations and the rapid expansion of the Plotlogic company.
Plotlogic founder and CEO Andrew Job says the Oresense technology can fill in these information gaps: “We can essentially provide that next level of granularity and sophistication that just hasn’t existed before.”
The underground mapping solution is the most recent of Plotlogic’s developments, Job adds, but the company is now refining technology to provide a senser layer across the entire mining business.
Drone footage of mine blasts is converted into blast analysis by GroundProbe’s BlastVision software to provide GroundProbe clients with detailed data on mine blast effects. BlastVision provides second-by-second information and interpretation on how a mine blast affects its surroundings – within the blast pattern and in adjacent areas – and uses advanced algorithms to map and analyse blast damage, rock falls, and fly rock.
Vibration sensers and radar can provide information on the effects of a mine blast, but they are limited in terms of chronological and geographical precision. BlastVision product manager Stefania Mancino says the new technology can provide video analysis with a high frame rate and resolution so clients can see exactly what is happening inside and outside the blast pattern and in the adjacent areas. “Then you can compare frame by frame, second by second,” she says.
Currently limited to analysing drone footage from open-cut mines, BlastVision processes raw video from off-the-shelf drones that is uploaded by clients to a GroundProbe portal and then provides them with a report on the mine blast. A subsidiary of Orica, GroundProbe launched BlastVision in 2021, Mancino says, adding there is now “a lot of movement” and interest internationally, in Latin America, North America, Asia and just beginning in Africa.
Grain traders of all sizes can rapidly access capital they need to expand by using grain parcels they have in stock as collateral for loans from AgriDigital. The company’s software inventory management system was first implemented four years ago and it is an essential component of its finance product, which has been in operation in its current state for 18 months. The inventory system gives AgriDigital confidence that a grain parcel comprising grain of a certain grade actually exists at a particular site.
The company can provide finance for any type of grain parcel, mostly wheat, but grains like canola seed as well. Loans can range from several thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Smaller, up-and-coming grain traders looking to expand can seek finance from AgriDigital if banks decline to provide them with finance if they’re too small or if they don’t have a lengthy credit history.
“The grain parcels are managed in our AgriDigital platform,” says AgriDigital marketing manager Emma Williams. “We can see a grain parcel is being held by a trader at a particular site that uses AgriDigital software. And they will reach out us and ask for finance over that grain parcel, and we provide the finance directly, within 24 to 48 hours. So they don’t deal with the banks, the legal agreements all sit with us.”
Plotlogic’s successful strategy
Four months after successful ‘proof of concept’ scans of an underground mine rockface, Plotlogic is negotiating commercial contracts. Company founder and CEO Andrew Job has developed scanning technology that uses a range of different sensers to determine the characteristics of a rockface; whether it is a high-grade ore or a low-grade ore or a waste material.
“It’s quite a new technology and we’re seeing huge excitement in the industry,” Job says.
The Oresense technology can save mining companies money because they don’t have to spend as much sending samples to labs, but more importantly by increasing a mine’s yield. “The really big value for the mining operations is we uplift their output for the same amount of input,” Job says.
The platform ingests all the rockface data gathered by multiple sensers in the mine and provides analysis. The technology combines an infrared scanning system with LiDAR laser-based technology to enable mine operators to zero in on valuable ore. “We can provide a layer of unprecedented precision to allow mine operators to home in on those areas where the minerals are and leave the other stuff behind without wasting time and money,” Job says.
The speed of the procedure is an advantage, he adds. “We have the sensers at various points in the mine, the platform collects that data, aggregates it, converts it into usable information through our AI models and then we use that information hour by hour to driver smarter decisions and provide this yield uplift.”
Job worked in mining for nearly 20 years. As a senior executive at a large mining company, he had ideas about how mining could be done differently; how mine performance could be lifted, environmental impacts and energy use reduced, and more critical minerals extracted. So he went to the University of Queensland, completed a doctorate based on his ideas on how to use technology to increase mine efficiency. With a degree under his belt, in 2018 launched his own company: Plotlogic.
The company began operations with some mapping in a surface mining enterprise, determining the rock properties at the mine, and Job’s ideas proved successful. “From there we started building out a commercial platform and the team grew from just me,” he says. “We’re about 75 people now.”