By Martin Spitznagel, Founder & CEO of Bind-X
Dust in open pit mines causes health and safety problems, environmental penalties, and loss of production. The problem gains importance as governments enforce increasingly strict regulations. Current methods, such as spraying water or using chemicals (eg salts, synthetic polymers, bitumen) are costly and often harmful to the environment. Dust also affects productivity.
Through an innovative, patented, and sustainable dust control product, Bind-X provides the mining sector with a twofold value proposition: a 35% cost reduction over the cheapest alternatives and an improved environmental performance.
Their solution helps to reduce water consumption, CO2 emissions due to less traffic and waste (especially white pollution). It further improves overall health and safety and helps operators of mines comply with local legislation and to improve community relations.
Revolutionizing dust control
Through the application of biotechnology, the Bind-X solution provides a massive cost benefit throughout the lifecycle by reducing fuel, maintenance and labor, by, for example, reapplying water or chemicals. At the same time, it helps drastically reduce the environmental footprint (ie less water, chemicals, CO2, and waste).
The advantage it has over conventional products is that Bind-X enables binding of very small particles (<10μm), and the product is versatile and robust to changing environmental conditions.
Customized product varieties can be applied to all different areas of mining operations such as roads, tailings, etc. The start-up has launched its novel bio-based dust control products in several markets with excellent client feedback.
A big milestone was achieved by establishing the subsidiary and production facility in South Africa to serve mines on the Southern hemisphere.
We want to improve sustainability in the mining industry in a long-term and traceable way. Martin Spitznagel, Founder & CEO of Bind-X
Award winning team
Bind-X has recently won the first prize in the Eramet Responsible Mining Challenge 2021 with their biotechnological product that curbs dangerous dust formation in mines. More than 120 start-ups and SMEs worldwide took part in the competition. A jury of experts from Eramet and EIT RawMaterials selected ten innovative companies whose solutions addressed five key challenges for the sector: large-scale exploration, water and waste management, mine site safety, mine rehabilitation and biodiversity security, and traceability of raw materials. Bind-X won over the Eramet Executive committee at the final challenge during the Eramet Innovation Seminar.
This initiative shows us that innovation can make an important contribution to responsible mining.
Marion Lenoir, Head of Open Innovation at Eramet Ideas
Moreover, Bind-X has achieved many other recognitions such as the Hello Tomorrow Award for Industrial Biotechnology in 2019 and the Toulouse White Biotechnology (TWB) Award for Industrial Biotechnology Start-up in 2018.
Investing in a sustainable future
EIT RawMaterials supported Bind-X in adapting to the post-crisis economy with Booster funding as part of the EIT Crisis Response Initiative, which directly contributes to the European Union’s response to the COVID-19. Through the Eramet Open innovation challenge organized by EIT RawMaterials, we connected Bind-X with a major industrial player and customer, helping them to secure a first pilot project with Eramet. We are convinced about their positive impact in the mining sector and see more opportunities within the EIT RawMaterials community.
The continuous support from EIT RawMaterials has a direct impact on the success of Bind- X and through our products on the transformation of the mining industry towards more sustainability and higher operational efficiencies.