Transforming mined lands: South32's Soil Shift challenge seeks your solutions!

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South32 proudly announces the Soil Shift open innovation challenge in collaboration with Unearthed!

Transforming mined lands: South32's Soil Shift challenge seeks your solutions!


The globally diversified mining and metals company headquartered in Perth, Western Australia, South32's mission is to discover innovative methods for delivering high-quality soils while rehabilitating its mined assets. Join South32 in shaping the future of sustainable mining.

Soil and subsoil, crucial for successfully rehabilitating mined assets as they transition into closure activities, are not just a local concern. The establishment of vegetation, a vital part of this rehabilitation, is often hindered by a shortage of soil or reduced soil quality. This challenge is prevalent globally, as the rehabilitated areas typically exceed the original footprint from which topsoil was extracted before mining. Bringing forward innovative solutions can make a significant impact on a global scale.

This open innovation challenge seeks solutions for creating final growth soil and subsoil tailored to the diverse regions and ecosystems within South32’s portfolio.

South32 invites innovators to propose methods for generating soils from locally sourced materials or, preferably, using mining waste streams. The mining and metal company also seeks ideas to enhance soil quality and growth medium, ensuring that rehabilitation efforts are self-sufficient and successful.

The opportunity

South32 is dedicated to discovering innovative solutions and ideas to enhance the delivery of high-quality soils in large volumes to various global operations for rehabilitation and improved outcomes.

Innovators who have yet to engage with the mining sector should know that these challenges are not unique to South32; the entire mining industry, including South32, offers significant growth opportunities for soil regeneration and engineering expertise. We are all in this together, working towards a common goal.

Soil Shift provides an ideal platform for innovators to gain substantial exposure within South32, raise the profile of their companies and/or research, and showcase their capabilities.

Selected innovators will be invited to meet with members of the South32 team via video conferencing for a deeper engagement. During these sessions, participants will discuss their proposals and explore how their innovations can contribute to solving this challenge.

Among other base metals mined, South32 mines bauxite in the southwest of Australia and transports it on an overland conveyor belt to a refinery, where it is turned into white alumina powder.

Want to know more?

Join the Q/A Webinar on July 4th. Connect with the South32 team, discuss potential solutions, and learn about the scope of the challenge. Register here.

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