Artificial intelligence is all around us and it is inevitably going to have a huge impact in the mining sector. The mining industry produces everything from coal to platinum and indirectly impacts the economy of a country. Mineral exploration industry is greatly influenced by AI and machine learning technologies. Companies are taking leverage of artificial intelligence and implementing this technology to increase the efficiency and success rate of exploration.
Companies in the mining and exploration industry are utilizing AI to improve operational efficiency and productivity. These cutting edge technologies are helping in generating a more positive return on investments.
Following are some advantages and use-cases of AI in the mining and mineral exploration industry:
1- Mineral Exploration:
Artificial intelligence has the capability of mapping of geographic locations from multiple inputs and helps in prospecting for minerals, such as industrial raw materials, gemstones, or fertilizer minerals. Geologists also utilize machine learning algorithms to discover ores.
- Goldspot Discoveries Inc. uses artificial intelligence to analyze all geographical information and uncover gold deposits with a better success rate.
- Earth AI is a California-based mineral exploration technology company that uses artificial intelligence technology to discover potential mineral deposit sites and guide researchers in exploration programs.
2–Mapping and prediction of mineral sites:
AI is capable of processing millions of data points and learns from historical data. It helps to find exploration targets and predict possible mineral beds in the Earth crust all over the world with increased accuracy. It can provide real-time insights for improving processes in the mining sector. AI is also able to study terrains and environment for making better site predictions.
- Drone Deploy makes use of AI to gather aerial data, process it and inspect sites before mining and excavation.
- A team from the University of Adelaide’s Australian Institute of Machine Learning (AIML) exploited AI to find locations of new mineral deposits.
3- Remote sensing and Mineralization forecasting:
Artificial intelligence makes it possible for a massive amount of data collection and pattern recognition. Mineral deposits form for a reason, machine learning links this reason to available geoscience data to determine the relationship. With that relationship, scientists can predict the likelihood of mineralization in new regions.
Geologists have recently started leveraging AI to examine a large amount of material dug and sort the mineral they want from unwanted rock. Technology saves lots of money, time, and human resources.
- TOMRA, a Norway based company, take benefit of AI models to optimize the whole process of exploration and maximize mineral recovery rate. The company utilizes AI-powered smart sorting equipment to extract all types of minerals, from ore to diamond.
5-Keeping an eye on Equipments:
AI programs help in monitoring of all mining equipment and analyzing all the data. It helps in the maintenance, tracking performance, and identifying faults with the equipment, which in turn results in smooth mining operations.
- Sandvik Group, an engineering company located in Stockholm, is working with IBM to make the mining and mineral exploration sector more productive. With the support of AI, the effect of equipment breakdown can be minimized.
The Road Ahead:
Mineral exploration begins in the mind of geologists. We are residing on a big mountain of untapped information that AI-powered computers can crunch in seconds and find patterns in the data that humans cannot possibly find. Mining industry is waking-up to artificial intelligence and machine learning. AI also helps in identifying staking targets and investment opportunities in the mining industry. Get ready to embrace the future of mining with artificial intelligence.