Global $250,000 critical minerals challenge lures brightest minds Down Under

ADELAIDE, Australia, July 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A South Australian global crowdsourcing challenge featuring a prize pool of A$250,000 has been flooded with proposals from the world’s best and brightest minds as the state looks to accelerate its burgeoning critical mineral sector.

Run by the Government of South Australia in partnership with Unearthed, Thinking Critical South Australia attracted more than 40 innovative critical mineral business ideas from more than 30 countries as part of a global push to add value to the state’s critical mineral riches.

Proposals were received from as far afield as the US, Canada and Asia as competitors vied for the opportunity to unlock the state’s endowment of critical minerals to help grow the state’s critical minerals processing and manufacturing capabilities.

"The Government of South Australia is thrilled with the global response to the Thinking Critical Challenge," said Executive Director, Mineral Resources, Department for Energy and Mining, Alex Blood.

"The challenge was focused on attracting the best, most innovative proposals from individuals and businesses across the globe and supporting them to set up operations in South Australia to grow our critical minerals capabilities.

"The quality and number of applications received was outstanding, reflecting strong interest in our state’s critical mineral resources and highly supportive business and government ecosystems."

The judging panel was faced with the gruelling task of whittling 40 proposals from more than 200 competitors, down to just five proposals over two rounds as the search unveiled dozens of innovative ideas suitable for commercialisation.

To be eligible to enter, an entrepreneur or business needed to be a registered, non-government business or non-for-profit organisation; are, or involved in the critical minerals value chain and willing to register their operations in South Australia.

The finalists included NDB Inc (US), Rockburst Technologies (Canada) as well as Australian winners QL Space, CBSM Mining Services, and Scantech International.

Silicon-based nanotechnology company NDB Inc’s idea redefines and revolutionises the battery sector by converting radioactive decay energy from nuclear waste into energy.

Meanwhile, Vancouver-based Rockburst Technologies’ patented Transcritical CO2 Pulverisation (tCO2) technology is a novel mining comminution process designed to significantly reduce energy and GHG emissions.

"We would like to congratulate the finalists on their applications and we look forward to working closely with them to accelerate South Australia’s use of critical minerals," said Ms Blood.

"The innovation shown, not only in the winning proposals, but across all submissions was impressive and we are excited to open a dialogue with dozens of participants, not just the winners."

The five finalists will share in A$250,000 and will receive high value incentives including, but not limited to, marketing and promotion, professional networking and business development.

In establishing operations in South Australia, the finalists will leverage world-class resources and research facilities and have access to a rich network of customers, suppliers and investors.

"The Thinking Critical South Australia Challenge has been an outstanding success," said Unearthed Director Zane Prickett.

"We look forward to seeing the benefits the challenge continues to bring to the South Australian economy for many years to come."

For more information, visit www.thinkingcriticalsa.com 

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