Open innovation as a major contributor to responsible mining

Eramet, the French mining and metallurgy group, successfully concluded the second edition of its Real-Time Monitoring Challenge, jointly organised by Eramet Ideas, its research and innovation subsidiary, and EIT RawMaterials.

For the second edition, Eramet selected a new theme: Real-time monitoring, applicable to any activity or area. The motivation behind this initiative was the Group’s desire to grow its network of partners so as to include more innovative start-ups and SMEs.

Sisprobe, this year’s winner, is an international seismology service company based in Grenoble, France. Their solution? A new way of monitoring the structure and stability of Eramet’s mine tailings, whether it be at Société Le Nickel (SLN) in New Caledonia or at Comilog in Gabon, using ambient seismic noise, i.e. earth vibrations.

The Real-Time Monitoring Challenge is the fruit of a partnership with EIT RawMaterials. It was a real success and highlighted several very good proposals. The Sisprobe project chosen by Eramet’s Innovation Community is in line with the current themes of responsible mining and addresses a major issue which is the stability of tailings. The implementation of such a challenge also shows us that innovation can be a major contributor to responsible mining.

Marie-Axelle Gautier, Eramet Public Affairs Director and Member of the EIT RawMaterials board

The challenge was launched online in July 2020, and by September, 42 projects had been submitted. After a pre-selection, 20 projects were evaluated by a jury of Eramet and EIT RawMaterials experts. Three finalists were then selected and received tailor-made advice and coaching from an Eramet mentor team before the finale on 21 January 2021.

Sisprobe is extremely pleased and honoured to be awarded the first prize in this challenge. We greatly appreciated the enthusiastic support that we received from our Eramet mentors and we look forward with great anticipation to being able to start the interesting and challenging projects that we discussed during the preparation for the challenge. Our company was created following our receipt of an EIT RawMaterials Booster Award in 2017, and we are eager to repeat this success during our partnership with Eramet.

Nick Arndt, President of Sisprobe