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BHP launches US$10M tailings innovation competition

BHP has offered US$10 million-worth of grants for research into the reuse of copper tailings.
BHP launches US$10M tailings innovation competition BHP launches US$10M tailings innovation competition BHP launches US$10M tailings innovation competition BHP launches US$10M tailings innovation competition BHP launches US$10M tailings innovation competition

BHP's Escondida copper mine is located in the Atacama desert in northern Chile

Staff reporter

Launched in association with Fundación Chile - a public-private organisation aiming to promote sustainable development in the South American country -  BHP's Tailings Challenge invites institutions ranging from start-ups to universities "to develop new technological solutions and new business models for reusing copper tailings, such as turning them into commercial products via new materials or other applications".

Chile is home to the world's largest copper mine, Escondida, which is operated by BHP.

Interested parties have until August 21 to submit applications, which "must demonstrate execution capabilities to conduct laboratory/ concept tests that are robust enough to ensure transition to a pilot in an operational environment".

Winners will be announced at a demonstration day in March 2023.

Chile's mining minister Baldo Prokurica praised the initiative, saying it allowed the mining sector to be more sustainable and competitive.

"Mining is fundamental for the development of Chile, but it must always be subject to sanitary criteria and respect for the environment and its communities," he said.

"Mining will provide us with an indispensable lever to face the post-pandemic with job creation and development for the country, because mining has never failed Chile," he added.