Canadian subsurface intelligence company, Ideon Technologies, has been named an industrial affiliate of Stanford University’s Mineral-X program – an exclusive research community uniting the fields of geosciences, resource economics, data science and artificial intelligence (AI) to inform optimal decision making along the critical minerals supply chain.
As an affiliate, Ideon will engage with faculty and scientists at Stanford University in collaborative research on technological innovations needed to create a resilient mineral supply chain for the clean energy transition, it says. More specifically, research will focus on optimising exploration targeting and resource characterisation using advanced data analysis and stochastic modelling to maximise orebody knowledge and dramatically reduce the timeline from discovery of critical mineral and metal assets to production.
Ideon calls itself a world pioneer in muon tomography, using the energy from supernova explosions in space to provide X-ray-like visibility down to 1 km beneath the Earth’s surface. The company says it is addressing the worldwide shortage in critical mineral supply by helping major mining companies achieve greater certainty in their orebody knowledge to precisely target high-recovery, low-waste deposits of the critical minerals required to fuel the clean energy transition. The Ideon subsurface intelligence platform integrates proprietary detector hardware for downhole and in-mine deployment, imaging systems, multi-physics fusion and inversion technologies and artificial intelligence to provide high-resolution 3D visibility underground and generate geologic value, Ideon says.
“We are tackling the underlying problem of geological uncertainty in the mining industry,” Ideon CEO & co-Founder, Gary Agnew, said. “Mining companies in the critical minerals space rely on intensive drilling to understand the subsurface, using a hit-and-miss approach targeting poorly constrained geological anomalies. They make high-risk, high-cost decisions based on only fractional knowledge of what’s beneath the surface. This research collaboration with one of the world’s leading universities will yield better knowledge of orebody characteristics, better informed mine planning, extension of mine life, more compelling economic outcomes and greater efficiencies across the entire mining value chain.”
Dr Jef Caers, PhD, Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Stanford, will serve as liaison with the Ideon team, sharing his expertise on decision making under uncertainty in developing the critical mineral supply.
“Through Mineral-X, we aim to accelerate the transition to clean energy by increasing the volume and speed of critical mineral supply,” Caers said. “We are committed to achieving this by developing protocols that champion environmental stewardship and community representation.”
Dedicated post-doctoral scholars at Stanford will support the collaboration, developing advanced geophysical techniques to accelerate the exploration and discovery of energy transition minerals.
Ideon says it offers the only straight-line subsurface imaging technology available today, delivering the highest available resolution along with precise anomaly location information, at depths not supported by other subsurface geophysics methods.