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How Is The Mining Industry Utilising Artificial Intelligence?

An industry whose reference reminds us of large spaces and difficult machining and manpower works, doesn't relate to being able to use AI and it feels it wouldn't make it to the list of the industries that hover the latest buzz word. But it's a different thing out there. Read ON!
How Is The Mining Industry Utilising Artificial In
The mining industry is all about quality and efficiency, so there is little wonder that artificial intelligence is starting to have a real influence on the way people operate within their specific roles. For example, the commonly used rock drill has undertaken some incredible changes over the last few years, and many more pieces of equipment are likely to follow suit.

Given the significant importance that comes with the mining industry, more materials are going to be acquired and distributed to a number of dependant sectors at much faster rates than before. The changes are in full swing and many people are starting to get excited about the period which is being dubbed the 4th industrial revolution.

Below, we have taken a close look at the different ways in which artificial intelligence is making a real difference already, and what you can expect to see changed as we head into the near future.

Exploring Minerals

One of the key benefits for the recent changes is for anyone that specifically works within mineral exploration. New technologies are starting to make a real impact when it comes to extracting a number of critical components that are fundamental in the running of proficient mining operations.

Companies are starting to roll out a brand new innovation called ‘machine learning’, which has been set up with the primary objective of making things like gold mining more of a scientific practice with meticulous calculations always at the forefront during any task.

There have also been changes in the way major global companies are identifying the most appropriate locations in which to start mining. This is going to encourage far more precision and significantly help smaller businesses achieve their profit goals for the year.

Vehicle and Equipment Enhancements

Although it’s fairly common knowledge that self-driving vehicles have been in operation for a number of years now, especially when it comes to the progress being made at Tesla and Google, not many people are aware of such concepts being used within the mining industry.

Although this has taken time and considerable planning to implement, there are actually a number of designs that have been in circulation for over a decade. Such inventions as autonomous haul trucks have the capacity to carry up to 350 tons and reach brand new depths. The signature benefits come from the improved fuel consumption and enhanced levels of safety due to the ability of these machines when compared to one that is manually operated.

Rumours are now circulating that by the end of 2019, there could be an independently operated train, which is going to further increase the number of materials being transported and significantly improve the time efficiency within mining operations.

Improving Organisation

One of the key issues that many mining companies find is when it comes to separating the materials they are looking for from anything that is not needed. This is often an expensive ordeal and can take away a lot of valuable time from certain employees.

This has created the need for sorting machines that use advanced artificial intelligence to decrease the amount of time being spent on this important yet timely job. Using this concept, you will be able to program the minerals you are looking for, and also reduce the amount of fuel and energy being exuded from your operation.

Digital Replication

Another problem faced by mining companies is the amount of time wasted on sites when they are attempting to rectify any problems they occur that are hindering them from completing their objectives. There are now digital platforms that allow you to create the site you are working on and help you test any potentially difficult manoeuvres to see if they would prove to be successful in a real-world scenario.

Having the opportunity to fully test out any decisions you think may become problematic when you are in a mining operation is all but certainly going to give you a much higher success rate and therefore increase your company’s savings.

Enhancing Safety and Maintenance

Unless you have a suitable level of safety within your mining operation and you have fully functional equipment, you are likely to experience upheaval somewhere down the line. Using technologically enhanced equipment that uses highly sophisticated sensors, you will be notified promptly when any equipment is starting to breakdown.

This will give you the opportunity to keep regularly updated on a number of important parameters, such as speed and temperature that any machine is currently working with. You will, therefore, be able to proactively assess your equipment and alleviate any safety concerns that come with faulty devices. Artificial intelligence is certainly growing within the mining industry and has helped a number of operations improve their safety and proficiency levels. As we head into 2019, companies that use innovative technology are likely to achieve far greater results, which will be highly beneficial for any industries that rely on a steady stream of particular minerals or substances.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 16th January 2019.

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