Ideon Technologies, a B.C. startup that developed a way to X-ray ore bodies for mining, has landed US$16 million ($21 million Canadian) in Series A funding led by San Francisco venture capital firm Playground Global.
“To build a reliable, sustainable, secure critical mineral supply chain, there must be a radical new approach to discovering and mining critical metals and minerals,” Playground Global general partner Bruce Leak said in a press release. “Ideon has developed a major technological breakthrough that is being used by the world’s largest mining companies, today.”
As detailed by BIV News in 2020, Ideon Technologies was spun out of TRIUMF -- Canada’s national particle accelerator.
Ideon developed a system that detects subatomic particles – muons -- that bombard the Earth from space. This provides a way of reading what’s underground – a kind of geological X-ray that can paint 3D geological maps for mining and exploration companies.
While it can’t detect ore types, it can reveal the densities of ore bodies, which could take a lot of guesswork out of the process of exploratory drilling.
“This helps geologists identify mineral and metal deposits with precision and confidence, reducing risk and cost, saving time, and minimizing the environmental impact of exploration,” the company said.
Ideon will use the Series A funding to expand production capacity and accelerate the commercialization of its Discovery Platform.
“Today, billion-dollar decisions are being made with just 1 percent of 1 percent of knowledge of the ore body,” said Ideon CEO and co-founder Gary Agnew. “Our solution gives clients the confidence to identify new discoveries, map and characterize ore bodies in-mine to accelerate resource-to-reserve conversion, and to target high-recovery/low-waste deposits to deliver critical minerals faster, more reliably, and more sustainably than ever before.”