Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, a top global clean tech venture capital firm, has announced investment in MineSense Technologies Ltd., a sensor-based sorting system provider, to pre-concentrate low-grade ores in the metal mining—its first in a mining startup.  Long an energy-intensive industry, mining faces “mounting challenges with declining ore grades and less favorable ore bodies, further exacerbating energy use and squeezing margins,” said Charlie Haythornthwaite, a Chrysalix partner. MineSense, he added, offers “specific challenges of metal mining application—especially related to sensor sensitivity and scalability.”

Ore grade declines in base and precious metals mining is a trend challenging industry sustainability, noted company officials; greater quantities of rock need to be moved and processed to maintain output capacity leading to falling productivity. Ore upgrading approaches mean waste rock can be sorted and rejected, leaving ore to be processed, added the company; the technology reverses this decline in grade, leading to reduced costs and reduced environmental footprint.