International Minerals Innovation Institute

EECOL Electric and SafeBox System was named the 2020 Innovation Award winner by the industry members of the International Minerals Innovation Institute (IMII) today. The Innovation Award winner was selected for the first time this year from among those innovative supply chain companies chosen to participate in IMII’s DEMOday on December 1st.

Applications in three categories were considered for DEMOday and the Innovation Award this year:

  • Safety innovation – applying technology or improving processes in innovative ways, above and beyond mandatory requirements, to improve mine worker safety and health;
  • Technical innovation – improving productivity through advances in automation, digitalization, electrification, drones and smart sensors; and
  • Green innovation – technologies for increasing efficiency of assets, strengthening recovery rates, reducing releases of wastes, lessening consumption of energy and water.

“SafeBox was selected as the award winner as it is both a safety and technical innovation,” says Al Shpyth, IMII’s Executive Director. “It offers a distributed energy isolation and single point lock -and-tag system which allows users to execute complex, system-wide lockouts in a matter of seconds. It automates what has historically been a manual process and presents an opportunity to improve productivity and safety.”

The SafeBox System was nominated by EECOL Electric’s Oil & Gas, Mining Industrial Division of Estevan, SK and developed by Ionic Mechatronics of Lively, ON. More information may be found at SafeBox™ – Reduce Lockout Time to Seconds (

This is the third time IMII has given out an Innovation Award on behalf of its minerals company members – BHP, Cameco, KSPC, Mosaic and Nutrien, and is again pleased to do so in association with the Saskatchewan Mining Supply Chain Forum (

Download the news release here.