Rockburst Technologies to develop Moon mining technologies


A Canadian-based mining innovation company is opening a new office in Adelaide to study the application of its ore crushing and grinding technologies to remote mining operations envisaged on the Moon.

Rockburst Technologies benefitted from funding as part of the South Australian Landing Pad programme to establish operations in the state, including related to space-based mineral processing.

The company, which is already engaging with BHP’s Olympic Dam copper, gold and uranium mine in the state, plans to continue with the development of this technology in collaboration with industrial and research partners.

Rockburst has hired a local business development director and will hire an expected five-person strong development team and supporting contractors later this year.

CEO and Co-Founder of Rockburst Technologies Oscar Malpica said: “We will be exploring space mining/recycling applications of our technology in collaboration with the University of Adelaide and its Lunar Construction Group.

“The South Australian Landing Pad will support Rockburst Technologies to hire key staff and essentially kick-start our first international subsidiary outside of Canada.”

Malpica said the company saw the mature mining ecosystem in Australia with the many players in critical minerals and cement, coupled with solid mining and energy efficiency and R&D institutions, as fertile ground for R&D.

Rockburst is commercialising a unique ore processing technology it calls Transcritical CO2 Pulverization (tCO2).

Transcritical CO2 Pulverization promotes tensile breakage of ore by using CO2 as a working fluid in a pressurised system, fracturing rock from within.

The technology aims to reduce the energy consumed during particle size reduction in minesite processing, as well as eliminating the need for consumable media needed for normal crushing and grinding.

Rockburst Technologies were winners of the state’s Thinking Critical Challenge in 2022, organised by the Department for Energy and Mining and Unearthed..

This helped it establish links with the University of Adelaide (Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Resources and Andy Thomas Centre for Space Resources), South Australia University (Future Industries Institute), METS Ignited, Austmine, Hughes PR, AusIMM, the South Australia Chamber of Mines & Energy, Core Innovation Hub and Unearthed.

Picture: BHP/Olympic Dam minesite

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