A spin-out company focussed on driving environmental sustainability in the mining sector, founded by a doctor who attended Camborne School of Mines, has secured investment to help develop their business.

The ground-breaking company, Minviro, received a £125,000 investment package from Sustainable Ventures, under a programme that develops new sustainable businesses.

Minviro was founded by Dr Robert Pell, who completed his PhD last year at Camborne School of Mines, based at the Penryn campus of the University of Exeter.

Dr Pell described the funding as "a significant milestone” for Minviro, and said it is an “exciting opportunity” to drive sustainability in the mining sector.

Under the supervision of university professors, Dr Pell developed methodologies and technologies to predict the environmental impact of mining projects during the early planning and development stages.

This aim is to optimise mining projects in order to reduce environmental impacts such as carbon and dust emissions, water consumption or land use change.

Dr Pell said: “We want to ensure that this approach and technology is accessible for all future mining and metal projects.”

Minviro has since applied these approaches to a number of commercial projects around the world, supporting mining companies in reducing their environmental impact.

The University of Exeter’s research commercialisation manager, Jim Williams, said: “It’s very exciting to see a new generation of mining technology emerging from the University of Exeter in Cornwall, a county that continues to export mining innovation across the globe.”

Jim added: “Minviro is an excellent example of the University of Exeter’s expertise in environmental intelligence driving positive environmental and economic impact on the international stage.”

Susannah Mcclintock, investment director at Sustainable Ventures, said: "Sustainable Ventures is very excited to have invested into Minviro. We are looking forward to working with Robert and the team over the next 12 months as part of our Sustainable Accelerator support programme.”

Susannah added: “Minviro’s life-cycle assessment tool has the potential to become a market standard and to create a step-change in the environmental performance of this sector."

Dr Pell labelled Minviro’s approach as ‘acutely important’ in a future that expects to see material use double by 2060.