Mining Indaba 2024 hosts the return of the Mining Innovation & Research Battlefield

With up to $25,000USD prize money on offer, innovators and researchers from around the world are invited to compete in front of industry-leading judging panel


Investing in African Mining Indaba and the Development Partner Institute launched the 2024 Mining Innovation & Research Battlefield to entrants today; The Battlefield is a high-profile platform for innovators and researchers to share their ideas on the challenges facing large-scale, small-scale and artisanal mining; BHP Xplor are sponsors of the US$25,000 Innovation Grant which will support early-stage innovation and research; Applications are open until 06 November. Shortlisted applicants will be notified on 30 November, with Battle Round pitches online on 14 December 2023 and at Mining Indaba in Cape Town on 6 February 2024.

After considerable success in 2022, the Mining Innovation and Research Battlefield , hosted at the Mining Indaba conference, is now open for applicants to submit their research proposals for this year’s competition.

On February 6, 2024, the Innovation & Research Battlefield , a high-profile event convened by Investing in African Mining Indaba and the Development Partner Institute , will provide a platform for participants to showcase early-stage innovations. Competitors will present their ideas and research proposals to address this year’s challenge: What are the innovative responsible collaborations between LSM & ASM, and how can these be applied to the just energy transition?

The Innovation and Research Battlefield fast-tracks new approaches to complex sustainability challenges in the resource sector by connecting future-focused academics, researchers, the private sector, NGOs, and young people to a network of vested organisations and the opportunity to win a research grant.

BHP Xplor are sponsoring the US$25,000 Innovation Grant, which will support the winners in furthering their research. The results of the winning project will be presented at the following Mining Indaba Conference in 2025.

DPI Mining Executive Director Florence Drummond said, “We want to connect great minds and passionate innovators from across academia, research and the mining sector, and young leaders to foster agile collaboration, connect viable ideas to financial support, and catalyse real change that could transform the mining and minerals industry.”

Laura Cornish, Head of Content, Mining Indaba, said, “This year’s Battlefield challenge is a critical concern for the future of the mining industry, and Mining Indaba is excited to be a platform that allows innovators from across multiple sectors to bring creative solutions to an audience of global leaders.”

The first stage for entries is now open, allowing individuals, groups and organisations to submit their innovative solutions and research proposals. Shortlisted participants will have the exclusive opportunity to pitch virtually in the first round of the Battlefield. Participants who are successful in round one will receive a delegate pass to Mining Indaba, South Africa, and will pitch their proposal live in the final Battlefield round.

Sheila Khama, former CEO of De Beers Botswana and natural resources policy advisor at the World Bank and African Development Bank, hosts the Innovation and Research Battlefield. This year’s judging panel includes Mark Cutifani, co-founder of DPI Mining and former CEO of Anglo American, Sonia Scarselli of BHP Xplor, and leaders in the artisanal mining space.

Those interested in participating have until 6 November to apply, but early applications are encouraged. All applicants need to be affiliated with either an institution or an organisation that will assist in managing the awarded Innovation Grant.

For more information on the Innovation & Research Battlefield and to apply visit:


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