Ideon Technologies closes $16M Series A round
The company uses energy from supernova explosions to probe mining deposits on Earth.
Ideon Technologies, a Richmond-based company that specializes in high-resolution underground imaging for the mining industry, has closed a USD $16 million Series A funding round, led by Playground Global. The investment will accelerate the commercialization of its Discovery Platform: a tool that uses new technologies to help mine critical minerals in a cleaner and more sustainable way,
The raise comes hot on the heels of the company’s CAD $1.3 million seed round in July 2020, and its CAD $3.7 million investment from the Digital Technology Supercluster in November the following year.
How does it work?: Spun out of UBC’s Triumf particle accelerator, it’s no surprise that the company is at the cutting edge of tech (and has the awards to prove it). Ideon leverages the natural energy generated by supernova explosions in space – in the form of subatomic particles called cosmic-ray muons – to provide x-ray-like visibility up to one kilometer beneath the Earth’s surface. Here’s where the Discovery Platform comes in. Ideon’s software integrates muon detectors, imaging systems, inversion technologies, and artificial intelligence to probe underground deposits and caves with exceptional locational accuracy, and the highest spatial resolution of any existing technique.
Unearthing the future: Mining is often seen as a dirty word by the climate conscious, often associated with legacy, fossil-fuel-extractive industries. It is, however, a vital part of moving to clean energy. Green solutions – think batteries for electric vehicles, and more – require critical minerals, which have to be taken from the ground. The World Bank Group currently estimates that the production of critical minerals must increase by nearly 500 percent, or 3 billion tons, by 2050 to meet the growing demand for clean energy technologies. That represents an estimated $12 trillion supply gap. Ideon believes that by leveraging its technology, mining organizations can minimize damage to the land by reducing exploration, as well as reducing risk and cost.
Burrowing in: Ideon is already working with some of the world’s largest mining companies and critical mineral suppliers, including BHP, Glencore, and Vale. The company now has more than 50 of its patented muon detectors deployed worldwide, and is ramping up to meet customer demand with this new investment.
Digging deeper: “Today, billion-dollar decisions are being made with just one-percent-of-one-percent of knowledge of the ore body,” said Gary Agnew, co-founder and CEO at Ideon. “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 and low waste deposits to deliver critical minerals faster, more reliably, and more sustainably than ever before.”
“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,” said Bruce Leak, general partner at Playground Global. “Ideon has developed a major technological breakthrough that is being used by the world’s largest mining companies, today. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with a team whose mission is aligned with ours and whose technology is already speeding the transition to a cleaner world.”
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