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08 Jun 2016 - Event News

Innovative Ideas Develop at Unearthed Adelaide

Cash and giveaways, collaboration with major players in the resources industry, and an open arena for innovative minds were some of the opportunities available for participants at the latest Unearthed hackathon held in Adelaide last month.

Held at St Paul’s Creative Centre, eleven teams competed to provide fresh solutions for Iluka Resources, Santos and the South Australian Government.

For the likes of teams, “Journey Optimizers” and “Skunk Missile”, they will now engage and brainstorm their ideas further with Santos and Iluka Resources, respectively.

Teams were invited to present solutions to real and current industry challenges:

  1. Rapid identification of minerals in samples – Iluka Resources sought innovative approaches to quickly determine the amount of minerals of interest present in a sample.
  1. Work order and travel optimisation – Santos asked participants to find a solution that optimised and automated work order and travel routes for a network of assets and facilities in different locations, with varying levels of complexity, and across 80,000 square kilometres in central Australia.
  1. Tenement availability visualisation tool – The South Australian Government was seeking the creation of a modern tool to communicate the availability of open ground or exploration release areas for the minerals exploration industry.

The judging panel consisted of representatives from the South Australian Department of State Development, Iluka Resources and Santos.

First prize was awarded to the “Journey Optimizers” (Harish Girishankar, Tzu-Chuan Huang, Yupin Huang, and Sam Christopher Johnson Manickarajan), who offered a solution to Santos for optimising work order allocation. Their model focused on improving workers’ time utilisation. They almost doubled the time utilisation of workers through efficient route optimisation in the workers’ journey, based on the shortest path, then the prioritisation of orders based on other important factors.

Team “Skunk Missile” (Hilary Goh, John Vial, Shona Swart and Xiaogang Dong) were awarded second prize for their prototype for Iluka Resources. The team produced a rapid, easy-to-use, in-field mineral composition analysis tool. They used a process to first determine the difference in mineral in a given sample by panning the sample and separating it through gravity and density. The entire process takes approximately 60 seconds and significantly reduces the time spent to find the overall mineral content.

The Unearthed series of innovation events showcase some of Australia’s top technical talent and identify promising prototype solutions for real industry challenges.

acQuire supports the Unearthed program, as mining companies globally will benefit from seeing prototype technologies developed to enhance efficiency and the competitiveness of the industry.

For more information about Unearthed 2016 visit

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