By: Billy Vrbensky
Did you know that the Canadian mining industry employed over 380,000 workers across Canada in mineral extraction, smelting, fabricating and manufacturing and it contributed $54 billion to gross domestic product in 2013?
Ron Emburgh and Ravi Kanipayor had a vision to significantly change the Canadian mining industry that innovation experts say was long overdue in a mining industry often resistant to change since the beginning of its time. The two worked together to revolutionize the process for analyzing mineral samples.
The common practice in place for decades has been to heat an acid solution with the accompanying mineral samples for over an hour, “much like how a microwave and stovetop operate,” explains Nick Kuryluk, CEO of ColdBlock Technologies.
Emburgh and Kanipayor developed a technique that relies on short-wave infrared radiation to target minerals directly, significantly reducing mineral-processing time to as little as 10 minutes. It also proved to be more accurate and environmentally friendly.
ColdBlock’s sample digestion technique significantly reduces time spent on sample preparation, producing greater productivity. ColdBlock’s technology features another unique selling point—it doesn’t require perchloric acid, a potentially explosive chemical called, commonly used in traditional sample digestion.
Nick Kuryluk, CEO of ColdBlock Technologies, noted just how important a role that the RIC Centre has played in their startup journey: “Just following the discovery in 2009, the RIC Centre in Mississauga helped form a collaboration with government, academia and industry to support and fund the research and development of our technology. Since then, the RIC Centre has been an excellent advisor and provides mentorship. In 2015, the RIC Centre was instrumental to help us springboard to commercial operations.”
“Being part of the RIC Centre Business Incubator program is truly a gift,” Kuryluk said. “If you can make it into the program you have access to all these resources – a mentor, formal review sessions, business space and you are part of a curriculum that keeps your business on track.”
The RIC Centre wishes ColdBlock Technologies all the best as they continue their startup journey at BioLinc and implement their innovative technology within the mining industry.