Challenging Canadian Innovators to Modernize Century-Old Mining Processes

News release

October 30, 2018 - Sudbury, Ontario - Natural Resources Canada

Improving the energy efficiency of Canada’s mines is critical to our transition to a low-carbon economy. Finding and advancing innovative solutions that reduce energy use for crushing and grinding mined rock will reduce pollution, improve productivity and help our mining industry become more competitive.

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, today challenged Canadian innovators to develop new clean technology solutions that cut energy consumption for crushing mined rock — a process that currently accounts for up to three percent of the entire world’s electricity generation.

The $10-million Crush It! Challenge tackles the disproportionate amount of energy used in mining to extract valuable minerals. This process has not fundamentally changed in more than a century; consumes more than 50 percent of the total energy used in a mining operation; is the industry’s largest operational cost; and is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions from mining.

During the 25-month Crush It! Challenge, up to 12 semi-finalists will be selected to pitch their concept at Goldcorp Inc.’s #DisruptMining event in March 2019, coinciding with the Prospectors & Developers Association Convention. A Challenge Jury made up of key experts from the Canadian mining sector will select the top six finalists, who will each receive up to $800,000 to build and test their cleantech solution. Ultimately, the Challenge Jury will choose the best breakthrough clean technology and award the winner a $5-million prize grant.

This initiative will mobilize new ideas from inside and outside the mining industry to modernize an important  energy consuming process and will grow the cleantech sector to enhance Canada’s mining innovation ecosystem as part of the Government of Canada’s efforts to transition to a low-carbon economy.

We are excited to collaborate with Goldcorp and the Centre of Excellence in Mining Innovation, two industry champions who will help spread the word on this unique initiative and enable its success.

The Crush It! Challenge is the fourth of five clean technology challenges under Natural Resources Canada’s Cleantech Impact program, part of Impact Canada. It is part of our government’s commitment to deliver meaningful results for Canadians through measurable economic, environmental and social outcomes. Cleantech Impact will invest $75 million over four years in the five challenges.

Visit the Crush It! Challenge website for details.


“Our mining industry has positioned Canada as a leading mining country and a centre of global mining finance and expertise. Improving the energy efficiency of crushing and grinding will create good jobs, build a more sustainable mining sector and help maintain Canada’s position as a premier mining nation. I am proud to be launching this Challenge, which will help modernize a foundational industry in Canada.”

Amarjeet Sohi
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources

“Sudbury’s economy, although slightly more diversified than it was, is still very dependent on the mining industry. Through its transformation, modernization and diversification, the mining sector continues to thrive and remains an important economic driver. This Challenge supports an unsung hero of our country, modernizing it to be part of our low-carbon economy.”

Paul Lefebvre
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

“The Crush It! Challenge is a great example of what is possible when we empower industry to find innovative solutions to the challenges we face as Canadians. As the Government of Canada’s champion for Impact Canada, I look forward to the creative ideas and proposals put forward to develop new clean technology solutions for this important industry.”

Karina Gould
Minister of Democratic Institutions

“The Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation is pleased to work collaboratively with Natural Resources Canada in advancing the Crush It! Challenge. By working together, and with the mining innovation ecosystem, we hope to accelerate the development of new clean technologies and services that provide a foundation for the expansion of Canada’s mining sector.”

Doug Morrison
President and CEO, Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation

“Innovation is a cornerstone of our approach to continuous improvement at Goldcorp. Comminution has not fundamentally changed for a long time and is ripe for disruption, so we are thrilled to see government partner in spurring innovation. Together, we are striving for more sustainable approaches to mining, and we look forward to seeing what new ideas surface through both #DisruptMining and the Crush It! Challenge.”

Ivan Mullany
Senior Vice President Technical Services, Goldcorp

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Vanessa Adams
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources

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