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Sudbury-conceived ore haulage system wins Mining Cleantech Challenge

Rail-Veyor Technologies rises to the top during Colorado innovation showcase

A Sudbury-based material haulage company has won the 2020 Mining Cleantech Challenge in Colorado.

Rail-Veyor Technologies earned the first-place spot – and $5,000 in prize money – after their light-rail hauling system won out over 13 competitors at the fourth annual event.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Colorado Cleantech Industries Association (CCIA) hosted the event virtually on July 23.

The Mining Cleantech Challenge is a product innovation showcase and competition that connects clean technology solutions to the mining industry.

There are no geographic restrictions or requirements for participating companies.

First conceived in France in the 1960s, the Rail-Veyor was more fully developed in Sudbury in the mid-2000s.

The system is comprised of a series of connected, open-topped rail cars that carry ore along a track. Propelled by an electrified drive network, the remote-controlled system can climb a grade of up to 22 per cent, and it works in both surface and underground applications.

It’s energy-efficient, produces no diesel emissions, boosts productivity, and increases safety by removing workers from its operation.

Systems have been installed at Agnico Eagle’s Goldex Mine in Val d’Or, Que., and Doe Run’s Casteel underground lead mine in Missouri, U.S.

Lisa Youngblood, Rail-Veyor’s executive director of marketing and communications, said the event allowed the company to connect with innovators from around the globe.

“With so many great ideas presented during the day, I was honestly surprised and thrilled when Rail-Veyor was announced as the winner,” she said in a news release.

“We are looking forward to advancing the conversations with industry leaders who are making cleantech a priority for their companies.”

This is not the first time the company has fared well in the competition. In 2019, Rail-Veyor placed third out of 12 competitors.