AI for Mining — Part 1
Improved safety, efficiency, and a lower environmental impact
In mid-2020, OPT/NET B.V. — as part of a broader consortium of 16 European companies and research partners — was granted €8.4 Million by the European Commission to participate in a three-year H2020 project that develops an artificial intelligence platform for the monitoring and analysis of mine sites across Europe. The project, called Goldeneye, will develop solutions that improve safety, environmental impact and profitability of mines by creating a platform that combines earth observation technologies with on-site sensing.
This is the first of a regular multi-part series chronicling OPT/NET B.V.’s experience as part of this consortium. The goal of this series will be to shed light onto the scope, progress, and overall benefits of the project as it comes to fruition.
OPT/NET B.V. is a team that builds comprehensive AI products based on decades of hardcore critical industry experience. By publishing this series of posts, we hope to highlight not only the breadth of use-cases our AI approach can serve, but also to underscore the power of AI for good.
Geospatial data in the Mining industry
The business of natural resource exploration and extraction is an inherently spatial one. As such, Earth Observation Data (EOD) has long been considered a valuable source of actionable intelligence for all phases of the mining life cycle: from exploration — extraction — closure — post-closure.
And while EOD certainly is used to some extent, two key factors have persistently impeded the widespread adoption of geospatial data, namely:
- the prohibitively expensive costs related to the acquisition of high resolution geospatial data (which is necessary to unlock a new cadre of truly actionable insights for mining sites)
- the lack of trained human geospatial analysts at mining sites
The solution: fusion of AI + Geospatial data+ on-site sensing
Tackling these challenges requires the implementation of a unified monitoring platform that combines a variety of relevant data sources. From remote sensing and positioning technologies, to Earth observation and Earth GNSS data. Combining these technologies into a unified platform will not only create an opportunity to decrease the associated costs of the underlying data (since the data can be used/re-used by multiple users for various use cases), but the integration of AI processing and data-analytics technologies opens the door for intelligent automated analysis (thereby reducing the need for trained human analysts at any given mining site). Developing this unified intelligent platform is precisely the goal of the Goldeneye project. OPT/NET’s involvement in the Goldeneye project will include playing a technological leadership role and supplying AI expertise for the consortium partners, based on our extensive experience in delivering AI solutions for critical data-driven domains.
While there are many exciting applications that come to mind, the scope of the project hones in on several areas where we believe these innovations will enable the optimisation and potentially automation of processes across all phases of the mining lifecycle, namely:
- quasi-real-time recognition of minerals during extraction
- continuous monitoring of slopes, gradients, and terrain elevation changes to watch out for landslide risks (in open pit mining) & terrain elevation changes (in underground mining)
- tracking of mining equipment and utilisation
- tracking and precise measuring of waste disposal & environmental risks
- data fusion & processing to support early warning and smart decision making throughout the mining lifecycle
As the transition to a more sustainably conscious world continues to accelerate, albeit one that still relies on the extraction of natural resources to function, we at OPT/NET are especially excited about the opportunities this project uncovers to find more sustainable approaches to mining. Measuring and minimising environmental risks at mining sites, for example, is an important use case that aligns with our own company ethos. Having previously deployed an award-winning AI-driven disaster management platform — TSAR AI — for humanitarian use cases such as flood-detection and disaster mapping, we believe our drive & commitment to proliferating AI for good causes aligns perfectly with this project and its stated goals.
Stay tuned for the next few posts in this series, where we’ll provide updates on the progress of the project and dive deeper into some of the use cases mentioned above!
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About OPT/NET B.V.
OPT/NET B.V. is a team that builds comprehensive AI products based on decades of hardcore critical industry experience. Having served and protected the networks of clients all over the globe, the OPT/NET team was specially suited to develop a suite of advanced AI products capable of dealing with an ever-increasing volume of data and complexity. Initially serving as a tool for our own telecom consulting practice, OPT/NET’s AI engine has grown into a series of stand-alone platforms with unlimited potential across a variety of critical and data-intensive industries.
We believe in making humans superhuman, not replacing them. The OPT/NET AI Engine provides domain experts in both structured and unstructured data environments the ability to rapidly develop advanced real-time AI solutions that help them do their jobs more effectively, without requiring an advanced degree in data-science. Importantly, our solutions are human-driven, AI-assisted.