Rise of mining start-ups

Powering progress together

For the past two decades technologies advanced a lot further than during centuries before. Such progress couldn’t go unnoticed, resulting in a significant increase in the number of startup companies in various spheres of market. Mining industry is also experiencing this trend. At the beginning of 2018 there are nearly 200 mining startups located all over the globe and the counter keeps incrementing. As we can see, this upward trend in recent years is a positive sign for the current and future health of the industry. Investors have clearly noticed value in mining startups.

What is a startup and how can it affect mining industry?

As defined by dictionary, a startup is a newly established business designed with ability to grow and scale rapidly. While traditional mining companies fully concentrate on raw production with use of existing resources and technologies, startup companies usually specialize in creating innovative products and solutions for modern problems in industry. A symbiosis of this kind is usually beneficial for both companies.

Mining startups focus areas

The majority of mining startups are designed to create value by leveraging technology. Startup companies are mainly focused on six areas to improve the mining sector:

1. At this moment, 37% of all startups are focused on technology development. These startups can provide many services and products to traditional miners, such as:

  • Web-based exploration data management systems;
  • Mine site automation and reporting;
  • machine learning in mining exploration;
  • Next-generation geotechnical numerical modelling.

2. Operation driven startups make 26% from total amount, they focus directly on equipment issues and create modern efficient methods for:

  • Equipment maintenance;
  • Cost optimisation;
  • Advanced process control for the mineral processing industry.

3. Environmental startups are focused on embracing the concepts of green mining. They make 10% of all and can provide such services:

  • Remote water monitoring;
  • Energy management .

4. Finance driven startups also make 10% of total startups, they’re focused on new ways to attract capital into the industry. These companies create and implement new ideas, such as:

  • Exploration funding;
  • Crowdfunding platforms.

5. Infrastructure driven startups, they focus on civil construction and connection between various sites. They make 7% and can provide miners with:

  • Intelligent infrastructure for mining plants.

6. Human Resources. It’s great to see 8% of startups being allocated for health and safety, staff optimising and recruitment. Services provided by them:

  • powerfully simple shift planning for mines;
  • Online training for mining companies.

Startup geography

As stated previously, mining startups are located all over the world. It is interesting to note that density of startup companies in the country depends on:

  • How developed country is,
  • How developed mining industry in country is,
  • How easy it is to communicate and develop a starting business.

Australia(22%) and USA(21%) contain almost half of worlds startups. And that’s expected, since both countries are the giant mining hubs of the world. But it is surprising to see that Santiago, Chile is a hometown for the majority of startups. Right after are four Australian cities: Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney. Among others are Toronto in Canada, Johannesburg in South Africa and San Francisco in the US.


Startups were created to improve the mining industry in various areas of operation, and thus can completely change it’s flow. Their services and products are absolutely necessary to use if we want to improve mining business. One of the main obstructions towards progress is that mining leaders do not consider any market options but try to “reinvent the wheel”.

Instead of communicating with startups and getting cutting-edge technology, they try implementing new features in the non-compatible equipment.

United African Prospectors are interested in implementing modern-day technologies into the mining industry and thus, have researched the most innovative startups on market. We want to create a strong collaboration between the partners with a potential to be highly beneficial for long-term development. UAP’s intention is to leverage the innovative services provided by startups. By doing this, our company gets advantage of bringing an outside perspective into mining sector, potentially leading to new, creative solutions to existing problems.

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