AI set to replace humans in mines

Artificial intelligence (AI) will shortly replace people in mining industry. The Kazakh JSC AK Altynalmas teamed up with British tech start-up, which software uses sensors built into the plant to form a model of the grinding process and flag problems before they appear.

It’s an increasingly valuable feature as the company’s mines produce ore with lower levels of gold, putting additional strain on its processing operations, Bloomberg reported.

While slow to adopt AI compared with other sectors, the challenges of declining ore grades for metals including copper and gold push more mining companies to trace that technology. Instead of spending more on exploration, start-ups such as Intellisense.io are helping producers to maximize the metal extracted from the mines.

The AI software can be adapted for other mining processes including drilling and water pumping. It can also test out alternative scenarios without the risk and cost of altering a mine.

Intellisense.io entered a partnership with BASF SE to create an AI-based model that can be applied across an entire mine. That aims to optimize efficiencies from a single platform in six mining processes, including stockpile monitoring and pipeline pumping.

AI can also help to monitor mining operations remotely, and shift workers away from potentially dangerous underground sites, Intellisense CEO Sam Bosesaid.

“A mine will become a place like an office, because you don’t need to be on site frequently,” CEO Konstantin Kiselev of another Cambridge-based AI start-up, Conundrum, said. “We will see it very soon, maybe in two to three years.”

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