Rio Tinto

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Rio Tinto Ore Upgrading Challenge

Rio Tinto Ore Upgrading Challenge

Rio Tinto seeks economically-viable new technologies to increase titanium dioxide content in ilmenite ore from 32% to 50% or better.
stage:
Stage 1 Submission Deadline
prize:
$350,000
Overview

Challenge Overview

Rio Tinto supplies the metals and minerals that help the world to grow. Rio Tinto Iron and Titanium (RTIT), the group originating this challenge, provides ilmenite ore containing titanium dioxide as a raw material to pigment producers. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is non-toxic, biologically inert and used by downstream pigment producers as a coloring or opacity agent in paints, plastics, paper, and other materials. 

In this challenge we seek your ideas for how to cost-effectively improve TiO2 content in our ilmenite ore (from 32% TiO2 content to 50% or better) by isolating and separating out lower-quality hematite inclusions (lamellae) from the ore matrix and liberated gangue (non-valued) material. Given the scope and scale of our operations, the business opportunity for successfully solving this problem is very large.

This two-stage challenge will provide innovators with the most compelling ideas funding to demonstrate feasibility and may ultimately result in commercialization. In our Stage 1 Challenge, participants will provide a non-confidential submission that describes the proposed approach to increasing TiO2 content in ilmenite ore. Up to three (3) of the most compelling concepts will be selected to advance to Stage 2, which will be conducted under mutual non-disclosure agreements. Each accepted Stage 1 winner will receive $50,000 USD to support their work in Stage 2, which is focused on demonstrating initial feasibility for the proposed approach via both written descriptions and results of testing using Rio Tinto ore samples. At the end of Stage 2, Rio Tinto will select the challenge winner and award one winner up to $200,000 to support additional development under a negotiated co-development agreement. Rio Tinto will also provide the winner with technical support and the opportunity to collaborate with Rio Tinto R&D scientists and engineers. Should this solution prove technically and commercially feasible, Rio Tinto may propose a follow-on agreement with the winner for commercialization and scale-up. 

Solving this problem represents a significant opportunity for both Rio Tinto and the challenge winner. We look forward to your engagement and ideas!

 

Challenge Structure Overview

Stage 1 (Concepts):

  • Stage 1 is open to everyone (see eligibility rules)
  • Submissions must be received by Monday March 2, 2020, 12 noon ET
  • Up to three (3) submissions selected to advance to Stage 2 by Monday April 6, 2020, 5pm ET
  • Stage 1 winners each receive $50,000 for Stage 2 development work along with a sample of ilmenite ore

Stage 2 (Feasibility):

  • Stage 2 begins Monday April 6, 2020 (Only Stage 1 winners are eligible to participate)
  • Upgraded ore and technical report must be received by Monday August 3, 2020
  • Presentations to RTIT and analysis of ore complete by Wednesday September 2, 2020, 5pm ET
  • One winner to be selected by Friday September 18, 2020, 5pm ET
  • Winner will receive up to $200,000 to support additional development work toward validating cost-effective feasibility and potential commercialization
Guidelines
Timeline
Updates 13

Challenge Updates

Final Deadline Reminder

April 5, 2020, 9:02 p.m. PDT by Kyla Jeffrey

Submissions are due in less than 12 hours for the Ore Upgrading Challenge! Submissions are due on Monday, April 6th at noon Eastern Time (New York).

To be considered eligible for the judging stage, you must complete and finalize your submission before the deadline and meet the requirements outlined in the Guidelines section.

Here are a couple of last-minute tips for a smooth entry process:

1. Begin your submission process before the cutoff time. This allows you to ensure everything you have been working on can be seamlessly integrated into the form.

2. Your submission will not be reviewed until you click the orange "Submit Final Entry" button at the top of the final review page. Please remember to do this! 

3. Review the Challenge Guidelines to ensure your submission is complete. Pay particular attention to the judging criteria which will be the scorecard used to evaluate your entry.

4. If you haven't already, watch the challenge webinar and review the important details that were released in February.

5. Have any questions? Head over to the challenge forum and we would love to help you out. 

In case you need assistance, you can view a How-To video on completing your submission here.

We can’t wait to see what you’ve developed!


Submission Reminder: 48 hours Remaining

April 4, 2020, 9 a.m. PDT by Kyla Jeffrey

It's not too late! This is your final weekend to work on and submit your solution to the Ore Upgrading Challenge. 

You must finalize your submission prior to the deadline which is Monday, April 6th at noon Eastern Time (New York).

Please also make sure your submission meets the requirements outlined in the Guidelines section.

You can view a general how to submit your entry video here.

We are excited to review all your innovative ideas!


Submissions Due Monday April 6

March 31, 2020, 4:15 p.m. PDT by Kyla Jeffrey

We are 6 days away from our submission deadline for the Ore Upgrading Challenge!

This message is to remind you to complete and finalize your submission before the deadline on Monday, April 6th at noon Eastern Time (New York). Make sure your submission is finalized before that time to be considered for the judging stage. For your entry to be eligible, it must meet the requirements outlined in the Guidelines section.

View a How-To video on completing your submission here.

As a reminder, if you have any questions regarding the competition, you can post it in the forum or email us at gethelp@herox.com

We look forward to receiving your solutions!


Submission Deadline Extended

March 20, 2020, 4:34 p.m. PDT by Kyla Jeffrey

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is disrupting the personal and professional lives of many people all over the world, including the lives of solvers who would like to submit their ideas to this Challenge but they probably need some more time.

For this reason, Rio Tinto has decided to extend the deadline for the “Ore Upgrading” challenge to April 6 at noon, ET. If you have already submitted your entry, you are welcome to edit it during this time.

In this challenging period, it is very important that you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy. And Rio Tinto is still looking forward to receiving your solutions!


Submissions Due Monday

March 20, 2020, 9:41 a.m. PDT by Kyla Jeffrey

It's not too late! This is your final weekend to work on and submit your solution to the Ore Upgrading Challenge. 

You must finalize your submission prior to the deadline which is Monday, March 23rd at noon Eastern Time (New York).

Please also make sure your submission meets the requirements outlined in the Guidelines section.

You can view a general how to submit your entry video here.

We are excited to review all your innovative ideas!


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