How AI is helping mining sector mine some cash

By arvind |Email | Sep 7, 2018 | 11862 Views

When it comes to mining anything that can increase the profit for the companies makes a lot of impact- be it increasing the speed, the quantity of the material or reducing the time in areas possible. It is just better overall if mining companies improve the efficiency and productivity as they provide the raw material for almost all the other economies. Many mining companies have included AI while some are preparing to include AI to their mining operations. Mining companies have a lot of data transmitted from mobiles, sensors and other equipments that needs to be monitored as fast as possible. Sam Walsh Tinto's former CEO in a recent speech said "the company has successfully integrated these multiple mines into an integrated processing and logistics system controlled by operators not located at the physical sites." In this article we will look at some of the ways how mining industries are profiting from the use of Artificial Intelligence.

Exploration of the minerals
An important part of any mining operation is to find minerals to extract, Artificial intelligence and Machine learning can be a big help to the companies in find them. Mining companies are excited about the introduction of this new application of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in the sector. Companies like Goldspot Discoveries Inc. want to turn the art of finding gold into science of finding gold with the help of AI and Machine Learning. IBM is already collaborating with companies to help them with gold locations that are better than other locations in Canada. Machine Learning can help the mining industries be more profitable because of this.

Categorization of minerals
When it comes to finding minerals it is not as easy as finding plastic in the oceans. To reach the minerals that have value in the economy most of the mining operations have to dig large volume of materials that might not be of any value mostly mud. Mining is an expensive profession, segregation of rocks and debris from the material that is actually valuable.  Some companies have begun to use smart sorting machines that can sort the mined material based on whatever criteria a company wants. This work can lead to savings in fuel and energy during processing.

Autonomous vehicles and drillers
Autonomous cars is not the only thing, companies like Rio Tinto have been using autonomous haul trucks since 2008. These are totally independent vehicles, have saved company a fuel like almost 13 percent and are a much safer option when it comes to operating. Now the trucks don't have to worry about pedestrians. The company is also working on a autonomous rail system which might be a reality in a year or two. The company's productivity has increased by almost 10 percent since they have started using autonomous loaders drillers and other autonomous vehicles.

Digital twinning
Digital twinning was first created by NASA is currently being used by many in the sector. Digital twinning is a technology that creates virtual model that fed on real time data collected from the field; it is able to test the scenarios so that companies can optimize the operations and the production. This ability to test out decisions before they are implemented in a replica system leads to better outcomes and savings.

Safety and maintenance
AI allows monitor and maintain equipments and sensors even before they can break down. Sensors can monitor temperature, speed, and vibration on machines to take action transforming preventative maintenance into predictive maintenance. By assessing real-time data and analytics, mining operations can be safer for all involved.

Source: HOB