Tag Archives: aiSIRIS

IMDEX addresses mining value chain pain points with ioGAS and aiSIRIS integration

IMDEX says it has combined two “gold standard” data analysis products to produce a powerful workflow that delivers results applicable across the mining value chain, from exploration to production.

The combination of IMDEX ioGAS™, a leader in geoscience analysis, with IMDEX aiSIRIS™, a leader in spectral mineralogy interpretation, provides the user with a powerful solution to merge and analyse spectral mineralogy data with geochemical and other geological data sets, the company said. IMDEX has been working on the interoperability of the two products since it acquired AusSpec last year and with it, the aiSIRIS technology.

Following the acquisition, AusSpec Founder and Director, Dr Sasha Pontual, joined IMDEX as its Global Product Manager for Automated Mineralogy.

aiSIRIS (pictured) is the first commercially-operating artificial intelligence spectral mineralogy interpretation system in the world and is the leader in automated spectral mineralogy from handheld infrared spectrometers, according to IMDEX.

IMDEX Technical Product Support Specialist, Dr Luisa Ashworth, who is working with Dr Pontual on the integration of aiSIRIS with ioGAS, said that until aiSIRIS was developed, spectral mineralogy was confined to spectral experts using old style software, resulting in long turnaround times and often delivering incomplete and inaccurate results.

“aiSIRIS generates a standardised output which is the first of its kind in spectral mineralogy and has been trained on over 2 million real world spectra, each of which has been interpreted in detail by a world-class spectral expert, meaning it is robust across all common geological systems,” Dr Ashworth said.

“aiSIRIS is producing expert-level interpretations much faster than a person would be able to with more accuracy than most spectral experts. It’s already clearly at the technical forefront of the industry and we are developing it to go further.”

Tools have been built into ioGAS for the direct query of spectral mineralogy, further refining the data analysis, which has implications for areas including mine planning, beneficiation and production, IMDEX said.

“The interoperability brings together two products that are the ‘gold standard’ in their fields,” Dr Ashworth said.

ioGAS Product Manager, Putra Sadikin, said the integration created a powerful data analysis workflow that delivered detailed rock knowledge analysis addressing key “pain points”.

“The first pain point is resolved by the way aiSIRIS automates spectral data interpretation using a cloud-based solution,” Sadikin said. “Once you push the automated mineralogy data to ioGAS, it addresses the second pain point, which is how do we easily find patterns in that data and get better value out of the mineralogical information?

“ioGAS adds an additional dimension of interpretation allowing the integration of the automated mineralogical data from aiSIRIS with a range of other IMDEX tools, and the more you know about the rocks the better decisions you will be able to make.”

Near-infrared tech can help solve sampling problems, IMDEX’s Dr Pontual says

Mineralogical data can be used across the entire mining value chain, from exploration to production, to build a detailed picture of a project, according to one of the world’s leading spectral mineralogy experts.

Dr Sasha Pontual, who developed aiSIRIS – a cloud-based artificial intelligence spectral interpretation software for portable spectrometer data – told an IMDEX Xploration Tech Symposium that mineralogy was critical for avoiding potentially costly surprises.

aiSIRIS (Artificial Intelligence Spectral InfraRed Interpretation System) is a proven technology that has processed more than two million spectra from more than 1,000 mining projects across the globe, according to Dr Pontual.

Dr Pontual joined IMDEX as Global Product Manager, Automated Mineralogy, when her company, AusSpec, was acquired by IMDEX in 2020.

“Historically, mineralogy sampling has not been adequate, with exploration companies relying more on the assay data and the geochemistry rather than actually using the mineral information,” Dr Pontual said. “We really need to know our rocks. This allows for decisions to be made in an informed way.

“Previously it has been based on low-density sampling. There are big volumes of samples spread through a deposit, but a lot of the work is associated with extrapolating the results from those low-density samples and basing some very critical decisions on small amounts of sample material.”

Dr Pontual says this low-density sampling is often not sufficient to get a detailed view of what is happening within a deposit.

“(This leads to) unwanted surprises during the mine life,” she said. “Some of them can be quite serious and lead to millions of dollars of loss and have serious adverse effects on the economics of a deposit.”

Dr Pontual said near-infrared technology could be used to determine mineral types and associations, mineral chemistry and crystallinity, in exploration to vector to potential mineralisation, in life of mine studies and mine planning, and at brownfields sites to extend known mineralisation.

Hand-held near-infrared tools offered ease of use, speed of collecting project-wide data sets and provided data that can be easily integrated with geochemical data.

“Hand-held spectrometers are still the fastest and most cost-effective way of collecting project-wide mineralogy,” Dr Pontual said. “The combination of an infrared spectral survey with a geochemical survey is very powerful because you’re then integrating that mineral information with your geochemical data.

“The complementary data sets allow for a more comprehensive understanding of the alteration system and the deposit.”

Hand-held spectrometers deliver substantial amounts of data for analysis, but “it’s no use getting volumes of data that are difficult to apply and to visualise in a geological context”, according to Dr Pontual.

“Industry requires accuracy and comprehensive information with detailed mineralogy, but with outputs that are easy to use,” she said.

Information needs to be standardised across projects and within companies, according to Dr Pontual.

Machine learning is the best way of getting accuracy and to train a system to be able to interpret the spectra in the same way as a spectral expert, she said.

Dr Pontual added: “This is how we developed the aiSIRIS system. This is a training set of real-world spectra that has all the variables built into it. We have close to two million real-world spectra and each one has been interpreted to an expert level.

“The system is very robust across a whole range of different geologies and different spectrometers and geological settings. You don’t need to do any preparatory work you can just go straight to your project, measure the spectra and analyse the spectra using the tool because you don’t need to create a project-specific spectral library for your project.”

aiSIRIS complements IMDEX’s existing in-field GeoAnalysis solution and integrates with IMDEX ioGAS™ software to provide further interpretation and analysis, the company said.

IMDEX adds rock knowledge component to ‘answer products’ with AusSpec buy

IMDEX has acquired AusSpec, an industry leader in automated mineralogy to the mining sector, in an A$8.5 million ($5.9 million) cash and shares deal.

The deal closes a technology gap for IMDEX around rock knowledge, complements its existing tools that add value across the entire mining chain from exploration to production, and has the potential to expand its offering with major mining companies, according to IMDEX.

AusSpec Co-founder and Director, Dr Sasha Pontual, and the AusSpec team will join IMDEX, the Australia-based company said.

The deal for New Zealand-based company unlocks access to AusSpec’s unique, cloud-based Artificial Intelligence Spectral InfraRed Interpretation System (aiSIRIS) technology, IMDEX says.

aiSIRIS is proven technology that has processed more than two million spectra from more than 1,000 mining projects across the globe and has enabled AusSpec to build up an extensive spectral library, according to the company. It involves the acquisition of spectra from hand-held spectrometers, the QA/QC of spectra to ensure quality for processing in real-time and uploading the data for the cloud-based aiSIRIS AI compute engine to analyse the spectra, according to AusSpec.

“aiSIRIS complements IMDEX’s existing in-field GeoAnalysis solution and integrates with IMDEX ioGAS™ software to provide further interpretation and analysis,” IMDEX said.

IMDEX Chief Executive Officer, Paul House, said the acquisition reflects the company’s continued drive to provide more complete rock knowledge to clients through real-time technology.

“The aiSIRIS technology fundamentally changes the approach to mineralogy,” he said. “There is nothing else like this in the industry.

“Without it, the alternative workflows are costly and time consuming. This makes mineralogy routine and establishes the industry standard.”

House said the AusSpec team was a strong strategic fit for IMDEX, providing a “compelling opportunity to accelerate our rock knowledge offering for clients”.

He added: “Every mine in the world makes decisions on the four components of rock knowledge – location, texture, grade, and mineralogy. Our technology stack currently addresses three of these components and aiSIRIS satisfies the fourth – mineralogy.

“Creating answer products, such as mineralogy, from field data in near real-time, is a big part of our vision and this is just another step in our goal to be the global leaders in creating rock knowledge for resource companies.”

The acquisition price comprises A$3 million in cash, and A$5.5 million in IMDEX shares over two years.