Innovation challenge focuses on covering system for ore heaps

Coal loading and sorting equipment. Credit: Ennomotive

Global innovation platform Ennomotive has launched a new online competition to design a safe and efficient system to protect materials stored in outdoor heaps before processing.

Mineral processing plants, often located near harbours to facilitate the shipping of minerals, store raw minerals in heaps (mineral parks) that are generally consumed over a period ranging from three days to several weeks. A combination of railed stacker-reclaimers and transportation belts are used to unload minerals into the heaps and subsequently move the raw materials into the processing plant.

Mineral heaps can be covered with liner material to protect the minerals from weather and/or strong winds. However, using conventional liners with weights on top presents risks that make it not feasible for Ennomotive’s client.

Entrants are challenged to design an automatic or semi-automatic system to place and remove the protective covering in a simple, innovative way. A liner, or a similar material, is needed, since it forms a physical barrier to the wind. Either a commercial solution can be adapted for this application, or the design and basic engineering of a new solution can be submitted.

This online competition is open worldwide to any engineering professional, company, university, or technology centre.

Participants who submit the best solutions in the first round will share 3,000 EUR when they submit their detailed solutions in round 2. The best solution in the second round will receive 12,000 EUR, and might collaborate on the development of a pilot and a subsequent complete implementation.

Interested participants should sign up at and submit their solution before Aug. 3.

Ennomotive announced the results of another challenge 18 months ago, in which it asked for solutions to the problem posed by the presence of dust in various work environments.

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