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Leading mining company Rio Tinto seeking solutions to capture and reuse underground heat, contributing towards powering equipment needed to cool operations

Deadline: August 19, 2020

Rio Tinto, a leading mining company, is looking for innovative solutions that will help pioneer progress. They supply minerals and metals that are essential to everyday life, and look to continue to innovate and evolve their practices. 

To keep people safe at the Resolution Copper Mine, Rio Tinto must continually cool the work environment because of the latent heat from the underground rock and groundwater. Electrically driven refrigeration and ventilation systems will help meet their cooling needs. 

Rio Tinto’s strategy will drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from all operations and become Carbon Neutral by 2050. To contribute towards this goal, they are seeking solutions to capture and reuse this latent heat so it can contribute towards or even replace the power needed to cool this underground operation. 

The solution to capture and convert this thermal energy into electrical energy should be safe, environmentally friendly and cost effective. 

Depending upon the feasibility, cost and potential for the solution, financing may be available, and Rio Tinto can provide access to specialists to provide detailed technical information leading to site trials. 

A couple of additional ‘stretch’ challenges for submissions would be to: 

1. Generate electrical energy from low range temperatures below the virgin rock temperature and/or from the high thermal water coming from the underground rock. 

2. The solution should be scalable and easily transported underground within the tunnel geometries mentioned earlier as well as down the surface shaft to underground. 

3. Electrical energy generated should be distributed back into the electrical grid from the mining operation or stored and used at a later stage when energy is required during peak use periods. 

Further information on Resolution Copper Mine is available on the Rio Tinto website  or on the Resolution Copper Website.

Deadline: August 19, 2020
Posted on: July 22, 2020
Location: E-meeting (WebEx, Skype, Zoom, etc.)
Key Words:

Rio Tinto, a leading mining company, is looking for innovative solutions that will help pioneer progress. They supply minerals and metals that are essential to everyday life, and look to continue to innovate and evolve their practices. 

To keep people safe at the Resolution Copper Mine, Rio Tinto must continually cool the work environment because of the latent heat from the underground rock and groundwater. Electrically driven refrigeration and ventilation systems will help meet their cooling needs. 

Rio Tinto’s strategy will drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from all operations and become Carbon Neutral by 2050. To contribute towards this goal, they are seeking solutions to capture and reuse this latent heat so it can contribute towards or even replace the power needed to cool this underground operation. 

The solution to capture and convert this thermal energy into electrical energy should be safe, environmentally friendly and cost effective. 

Depending upon the feasibility, cost and potential for the solution, financing may be available, and Rio Tinto can provide access to specialists to provide detailed technical information leading to site trials. 

A couple of additional ‘stretch’ challenges for submissions would be to: 

1. Generate electrical energy from low range temperatures below the virgin rock temperature and/or from the high thermal water coming from the underground rock. 

2. The solution should be scalable and easily transported underground within the tunnel geometries mentioned earlier as well as down the surface shaft to underground. 

3. Electrical energy generated should be distributed back into the electrical grid from the mining operation or stored and used at a later stage when energy is required during peak use periods. 

Further information on Resolution Copper Mine is available on the Rio Tinto website  or on the Resolution Copper Website.

Application Requirements

In your response, please

  • Explain concisely what you offer & your match with the company above and their interest
  • Any relevant cases / customer stories (can indicate industry/size if not ready to go public)
  • Application Requirements

    In your response, please

    • Explain concisely what you offer & your match with the company above and their interest
    • Any relevant cases / customer stories (can indicate industry/size if not ready to go public)

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