Wednesday, 2 December 2020
BHP's Tailings Challenge
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BHP's Tailings Challenge

This was originally published online by Expande.

Operation: BHP

About the challenge

BHP aims to make progress in the reduction and recycling of industrial waste. It has developed specific guidelines for the efficient use of all the resources used in their operations and the protection of biodiversity in the places it operates. In addition, it wants to contribute to a more sustainable economy where there is an extension in the use of resources.

In that context and with the support of Fundacion Chile, through its open innovation program EXPANDE, BHP has launched “BHP Tailings Challenge”, a new initiative that seeks to promote the development of innovative solutions for repurposing copper tailings.

What are they looking for?

We are looking to combine cutting edge technology and business acumen to identify circular economy solutions able to repurpose copper tailings into a marketable product, valuable materials or other type of value proposition.

We are open to a broad range of disruptive proposals. We expect a suite of technologies to be involved in the process, welcoming the formation of teams and consortiums.

The objective is to radically reduce the environmental and social impact of mining operations around the world and is aligned with BHP´s sustainability goals.

Who can apply?

Innovative companies, startups, consortia, research centers and universities from around the world able to develop solutions to repurposing tailings using the concept of circular economy.  These can be a single or a set of solutions at different maturity levels.

Participants need to demonstrate execution capabilities to perform lab tests robust enough to justify moving from a proof of concept to an on site pilot.

Eligible solutions can be at different level of maturity, from being available in the market to a Technology Readiness Level 2 (for details check terms and conditions). The only requirement is to have a scientific background. Previous pilots or tests are not required. Knowledge of mining, markets and business practices in LATAM are highly appreciated.

At this stage a high level market assessment is highly desirable but a detailed business model will only be required later in the process.

We expect the best solution to be able to establish a business with a market potential large enough to be able to repurpose a large copper tailings dam in about 10 years.

For more information, please visit



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