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18 May 2015 - Event News

Unearthed Brisbane Solves Resource Industry Problems

The Unearthed national program created a buzz over the weekend with its second mining hackathon in the 2015 event series held at Brisbane’s co-working hub, RiverCityLabs. Seventeen teams participated, rapidly developing solutions to complex resource industry problems in only 54 hours.

Participants had a choice of five challenges with coal industry challenges emphasised at the Brisbane event. BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), which operates seven Bowen Basin mines, submitted three out of the five challenges.

Participants could choose from the following:

  1. The Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines provided a resource data API problem. Teams had to figure out what next generation resource data API looked like and how to best manage access and data usage of geological data.
  2. BMA presented their first challenge on stockpile monitoring and visualisation. This challenge examined how to track and monitor coal location within a stockpile.
  3. BMA’s second challenge examined the reduction of energy usage on site and how to improve crushing efficiency through their real time particle size distribution analysis problem.
  4. The third challenge presented by BMA, explored real time drill rig operations tracking. Participants were asked how to better track drill rig operations during exploration drilling with off the shelf solutions,
  5. The fifth challenge presented by WesTrac/AWS focused on utilising big data to improve efficiency and productivity, and reduce costs. The challenge, predictive maintenance using oil samples, focused on improving soil analysis interpretation processes and using test data to better understand, track and predict future maintenance events.

The Young Innovators Award to be granted to a team with members under the age of 25 and cash prizes and Amazon Web Service credits were up for grabs.

The winning team, “Smart Lumps”, took out first prize with their prototype solution to the BMA problem on stockpile monitoring and visualisation problems. Team member Chris Fullelove expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to work with a global mining company.

“In the early stages of the weekend the most important thing we did was picking the brains of every representative from BMA or a person in the room that was close to the mining industry.”

“Having BMA present over the weekend allowed us to consult their representatives as we progressed in our development and for us this was invaluable.”

Second place was awarded to team “Hay Stack” who took on the WesTrac challenge of oil lab sample data analysis. The Young Innovators Award was presented to team “Prickle” who tackled the BMA challenge of how to reduce energy usage on site and improve crushing efficiency.

Unearthed Community Partner acQuire Technology Solutions is impressed by the ideas, passion and innovative protoypes that have been present at the last two hackathons.

“We are extremely pleased to support the Unearthed events and witness the quality of ideas and solutions to mining problems being developed in such a short amount of time”, said Steve Mundell, Director of Research

“We are really looking forward to the next two events in Sydney and Melbourne and seeing the natural resources industry getting behind the Unearthed National program”.

The winners of Unearthed Brisbane will present their winning solution during the Austmine 2015 conference program running over the next two days, 19 – 20 May in Brisbane.

The next Unearthed event will be held in Sydney. Visit for more details.


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