AI Contribution in Mining Industry

Jun 19, 2023

Considered as one of the world’s oldest professions, the mining industry now becomes a vital sector of the global economy. However, the face of the mining industry today is completely different.

There is much more advanced technology. Now, the mining industry has artificial inteligence (AI), machine learning, and cognitive computing. All these technologies support mining companies worldwide in determining when, where, and how to mine most efficiently.

The use of AI in mining has revolutionized the way that mining companies approach everything from exploration and extraction to processing and transportation. This technology has made it possible to gather and analyze vast amounts of data in real time, allowing for faster and more accurate decision-making. From autonomous vehicles to predictive maintenance systems, AI has enabled mining companies to enhance efficiency, safety, profitability and productivity while reducing risk and environmental impact. Let’s see how AI enhances the modern mining industry specifically.

  1. Predicting supply chain disruptions

AI can be used to predict future supply chain information such as forecasting demand for specific products and optimizing inventory.

  1. Energy optimisation

The use of AI to optimize energy use can benefit the mining industry. AI can analyze data to identify energy-saving opportunities and improve efficiency as a result.

Providing environmental data

AI in mining can work to reduce environmental impact and risk on location by analyzing data quickly and efficiently. In particular, AI can work to identify areas where operations can be optimized, as well as considering the impact on the surroundings.

  1. Support exploration

AI can help with mining exploration by analyzing huge amounts of data, identifying on-site targets. It provides greater efficiency with regards to both time and cost.

  1. Predictive maintenance

AI predictive maintenance features are able to evaluate variables that reflect an asset’s current status, make predictions based on usage trends and consequently inform maintenance teams of potential equipment failures in advance. This not only ensures greater safety for workforces, but also allows companies to better plan in advance.

Assessing Safety and risk 

As previously mentioned, AI has the ability to evaluate and alert to possible risks at a mine site. This could be transformative for mining operations, as it creates a more efficient and safer environment for the workforces.

  1. Robotics

Automation is continually increasing with the introduction of more electric mining tools that can sometimes reach where miners cannot. The line of autonomous robots is built for surveying environments, both on the surface and underground, performing excavations, and collecting; hauling; and processing materials..

  1. Ore sorting

AI-based sorting systems can identify valuable minerals from waste rock in real-time and ultimately reduce processing costs as a result. AI is also used to analyze ore samples and make decisions on the best sorting methods which led to the improvement of environmental, health and safety on site

  1. Creating Decision support systems

There are lots of benefits to AI being used to support a lot of decision making processes, including better worker safety, improvement of previously lengthy processes and cost reduction. AI tools allow mining companies to better understand the environment. As a result, they can make more informed decisions regarding where to begin excavation to be efficient and safe. 

  1. Autonomous vehicles

One of the most significant applications of AI in mining is the use of autonomous vehicles and equipment, which can operate without human intervention in hazardous and remote environments. AI algorithms are also able to analyze data from sensors and mining equipment to identify patterns and predict maintenance needs, reducing downtime and minimizing costs. Additionally, machine learning algorithms are used to optimize drilling locations, estimate resource reserves, and identify areas where ore processing can be improved.

The future of AI in mining is exciting and holds significant potential for further advancement. As technology evolves, AI-powered mining equipment and sensors are expected to become even more sophisticated, with increased accuracy and predictive capabilities. Additionally, AI-powered virtual reality technologies could be used to simulate mining scenarios and test new technologies before they are deployed on-site.

But, although the use of AI in mining offers many benefits, the industry must consider certain challenges, such as the potential job loss for human workers and the ethical concerns regarding data privacy and security.


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