AI supplements and supports the human factor in the mining sector and, with the help of analytical power, replace traditional methods.
FREMONT, CA: AI is a theory and development of systems that enable the computers to create streamlined methods of performing tasks, which generally require human intelligence. These include data analysis, speech image recognition, and decision making.
Accuracy Equals Productivity
Mining is an expensive undertaking, where the cost to a company should always be monitored. As miners move into harsher environments such as deep-sea drilling to artic mining, any errors in drilling location, resource distribution, and weather prediction can quickly add to the cost. By analyzing previous maps of an area, geological surveys, terrain, and the historical evidence; AI can provide an accurate cross-section of a prospective site for the retrieval of resources. By implementing predictive analytics, pattern matching, and 3D mapping, it is possible to identify new and potentially valuable areas to mine or drill.
A New Perspective
AI enables mining companies to get their hands-on the minute-by-minute picture of their operation. This is where drones come into the picture. Their bird’s-eye view provides an entirely different look at the layout of an organization’s aboveground facilities such as the waste piles and quarries, retention and leaching ponds, and the environmental impact of drilling operations. This data is then fed into the AI systems, which can offer solutions to optimize a mining operation.
Security and Efficiency
Adding to this new perspective, autonomous mining equipment with cameras and sensors provides increased safety and productivity. Systems can be programmed to track the tremors, temperature changes, and gas levels underground, predicting and avoiding accidents before they happen. All these factors speak volumes and describe why, in some countries, they are adopting ‘digital mine,’ which is free of the human workforce.
The Way Forward
The fourth industrial revolution is explained by the creation and utilization of big data gathering systems, artificial intelligence, and cloud-based software. Currently, the mining industry invests 1.5 percent of its turnover in such technologies. The time is approaching when humans will no longer be able to completely process and understand the sheer volume of data being collected.
Current predictions are that by the end of this year, tech spending in the mining industry will increase to 10 percent with a prime focus on asset protection, efficiency, reducing environmental impact, and increasing safety.
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