Tag Archives: Artificial Intelligence

Detect to roll out T-Pulse AI-based safety software across Vedanta ops

Detect Technologies has announced a global agreement with Vedanta for deployment of T-Pulse, its artificial intelligence (AI)-based workplace safety software.

Vedanta is among the top producers of commodities including zinc, lead, silver, iron ore, steel, copper, aluminium, and oil and gas. The group engages more than 65,000 employees and contractors, primarily in India, Africa, Ireland and Australia.

Managing health, safety and environment (HSE) for such a diverse and spread-out organisation is a massive challenge, Detect says. Driven by its commitment to GOAL ZERO, Vedanta started exploring AI-based solutions to infuse efficiency into this process. T-Pulse was piloted across various industries of Vedanta and was finally awarded the mandate to implement its solution across all Vedanta sites.

Since its deployment, T-Pulse has significantly increased the visibility of workplace risks, leading to early identification of more than 4,000 critical HSE non-compliances, it says.

Daniel Raj David, CEO and Co-founder, Detect Technologies, said: “We appreciate the continued conviction Vedanta has shown in Detect and are excited to enable them in their journey towards improvements in ESG and safety compliance. This is another testament to our mission of driving change through AI and advanced technologies to create a better world.”

T-Pulse, Detect says, offers a centralised and scalable technology stack designed for plug and play deployment. Engineered for risk minimisation and mitigation through actionable insights, T-Pulse has witnessed growing deployments across major caution-intensive workplaces such as construction, petrochemicals, logistics, power, metals, mining, pharmaceuticals and fabrication yards.

Vedanta Group CEO, Sunil Duggal, said: “This partnership will further augment Vedanta’s capabilities on technology-led safety enablement. Detect Technologies’ AI and computer vision solutions will help us enhance our digital safety monitoring across all business units.”

Strayos, Squadrone combine AI and drone mapping nous to optimise Indian mining sector

US-based Strayos and India-based Squadrone have announced a new partnership that will combine mine-to-mill artificial intelligence-based solutions with drone surveying to “bring futuristic mines to more sites in India”, Strayos CEO, Ravi Sahu, says.

Squadrone bills itself as being one of the most progressive companies in the application of aerial intelligence in the mining industry in India, providing tailor-made UAV solutions for various applications from mining to drilling & blasting to disaster management. It provides drone mapping, surveying and site digitalisation services to its clients to efficiently manage their site’s day-to-day operations in mining, it says.

Strayos is an AI-based company that uses data from a diverse range of smart tools, edge devices and sensors, including drones, to create 3D digital models of sites. Site digitalisation is further enhanced by Strayos’ end-to-end site AI tools that analyse data from various sources to shape safe and immediately usable key insights, automation and accurate predictions, it says.

This collaboration will pave the way for novel holistic site-level insights, according to the companies. Along with the digital 3D site model created from drone data, users can now leverage Strayos’ Geology Detection AI, Drill & Blast AI and Site Analytics AI, with inventory management. With the addition of these tools, mining stakeholders across numerous site operations will be able to pool and access data from the entire operation, according to the companies.

For instance, blasting engineers will have access to geological data when designing blasts, drillers will be able to accurately predict how their drilling affects the mill’s performance and mine engineers will be able to plan site design with precision based on up-to-date geology and optimised drilling & blasting to reduce load and haul costs.

Brad Gyngell, COO, Strayos, said: “Mining in India is going through a major transformation presently, with drones and AI being the perfect tools to accelerate these advancements. We couldn’t be more excited to collaborate with Squadrone and deliver superior solutions to our customers in India.”

Cyriac Joseph, CEO, Squadrone, Bangalore, India, said: “We pride ourselves on being able to provide the mining industry with the best services and the best products in open-pit mining, drilling and blasting, rock mechanics, mine safety and underground mining. Our boots on the ground and Strayos’ cloud-based Al tools will greatly benefit the Indian mining industry with these specialised applications to facilitate amazing analytics with visual intelligence through drone technology.”

Metso Outotec consolidates, adds to minerals and hydromet digital tools with Sense series

Metso Outotec has reorganised its portfolio of intelligent instruments under the Sense series; tools that are designed to solve specific process challenges and enable optimisation for minerals and hydrometallurgical processes.

The market’s most comprehensive portfolio of intelligent instruments is part of Metso Outotec’s Planet Positive offering, the company said. Covering the entire flowsheet, Sense series instruments are suited for both new and existing operations.

“Metso Outotec Sense series includes specialised instruments that provide data for analytics and a better understanding of processes,” Veli-Matti Järvinen, Vice President, Automation product group at Metso Outotec, said. “They utilise the latest technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and neural networks for extra insight. These additional tools for process problem solving and data mining can significantly help improve production within customer operations.”

Included in the series are:

Metso Outotec FrothSense+™ – takes flotation optimisation to the next level with the latest technology and capabilities. It has completely new and redesigned software and hardware. It includes the best features from two legacy systems, FrothSense and VisioFroth™, and adds new capabilities such as froth height measurement, history analysis and AI with deep learning algorithms to detect flotation properties.

The new Metso Outotec RockSense™ product family will take comminution optimisation to the next level with better knowledge of particle size distribution (PSD) on the belt, the company says. RockSense consists of a renewed, two-level offering: RockSense 3D and RockSense 2D, formerly known as VisioRock™. They enable online, continuous on-belt coarse PSD. RockSense 3D also adds new capabilities with AI and deep learning algorithms to detect oversized lumps and foreign objects, for example.

Metso Outotec MillSense™ provides online volumetric charge analysis by direct measurement of charge position. It is now available, together with SmartEar™, as a bundle. SmartEar uses sound to give an additional measurement of charge impacts and liner wear. The bundle fuses acoustic, vibration and force sensor information for improved online analytics of mill operations. This enables new ways of optimising grinding performance, according to Metso Outotec.

In total, Metso Outotec intelligent instruments include more than 10 technologies to optimise the mining process:

  • RockSense 2D: An online particle size analyser system for rocks moving on a conveyor belt that uses 2D imaging technology;
  • RockSense 3D: Accurate, continuous on belt coarse particle size distribution and volume flow using 3D imaging;
  • MillSense: Analysis of toe and shoulder position and total volume of the charge. Enables load control and mill optimisation;
  • FrothSense+: New system with best features and capabilities for froth flotation analysis. It adds AI neural network, multiple regions of interest and froth height measurement;
  • CycloneSense™: An online measurement of hydrocyclone air core data enables measuring and visualisation of their performance.
  • LevelSense™: Using electrical impedance tomography, LevelSense improves the slurry level measurement of flotation cells;
  • CarbonSense™: An online measurement of carbon concentration in carbon-in-pulp and carbon-in-leach applications;
  • CellSense™: Tankhouse monitoring system that automatically measures electrolyte temperature and voltage in individual cells;
  • SmartEar: Online impact analyser uses sound to provide additional measurements of charge impacts and lifter/liner wear;
  • VisioTruck™: Advanced vision technology for estimating rock size distribution of mine truck loads;
  • SmartTag™: An innovative system for open-pit and underground mines to track ore from the mine to the processing plant, and beyond; and
  • VisioPellet™: A pellet size-control system that measures the size of green pellets using proven camera technology installed in a pelletising disc or drum.

Orica to further optimise blasting and mine-to-mill initiatives with FRAGTrack Crusher

Orica has announced the release of its latest fragmentation monitoring solution, FRAGTrack™ Crusher, an automated pre-crusher fragmentation measurement tool delivering, it says, operational continuity in a safe and reliable way.

Based on the success of the existing suite of automated post-blast fragmentation monitoring solutions, Orica has developed FRAGTrack Crusher to meet growing demand from customers for downstream monitoring and optimisation solutions at every stage of the mining value chain, the company said. The technology leverages the latest deep neural network artificial intelligence (AI) framework along with “industry-proven” hybrid 2D and 3D particle size distribution (PSD) processing methods to deliver a fully autonomous adaptive fragmentation monitoring solution at the crusher dump pocket, enabling customers to measure material on the truck during the tipping operations, according to the company.

The company said: “FRAGTrack Crusher provides truck-by-truck PSD analysis of rock fragments during the dumping operation with unmatched accuracy and without impacting operations or productivity.”

The technology delivers constant performance tracking for both the drill and blast operations and the downstream processing functions, driving continuous improvements end-to-end in the mining value chain. When bundled with Orica’s FRAGTrack Conveyor technology in a fragmentation monitoring solution, it enables further analysis of the crusher’s performance and the impact of blasting parameters in a production workflow in real time, according to Orica.

Orica Vice President – Digital Solutions, Raj Mathiravedu, said: “The full adoption of AI technology into our architecture, coupled with our strategic partnership with Microsoft, allows us to expedite the delivery of capabilities that were not previously possible, and FRAGTrack Crusher is an example of how we leverage AI to help deliver intelligence and value to our customers.”

PSD data is provided via a real-time application programming interface and industrial open platform communication unified architecture protocol to drill and blast software and crusher distributed control systems, allowing seamless integration into the existing site operation workflows, Orica says.

FRAGTrack Crusher has already been gaining traction globally in the mining and quarry markets, where it is being used as a critical enabler of blasting optimisation and mine-to-mill initiatives, according to the company. “This signals a significant transformation from the subjective nature of existing manual PSD analysis methods while eliminating the safety concerns of on-bench photography and the extensive time required to manually process and correlate to relevant data sets, including fleet management data to determine the material’s blast of origin.”

In the most recent application of FRAGTrack Crusher in a Tier One low-cost gold operation in Western Australia, it successfully delivered an automated blasting optimisation workflow on site leveraging PSD as a primary key performance indicator to throughput and overall mill performance. The project included installation of a FRAGTrack Conveyor system, post crusher, allowing pre- and post-crusher PSD to be monitored. When combined with a fragmentation improvement process, the FRAGTrack solution enabled a continuous feedback loop that enabled the operation to rapidly optimise blast designs that drive overall project profitability, according to Orica.

Newcrest and Microsoft partner on digital twin and sustainability modelling projects

Microsoft has announced a strategic partnership with Newcrest, which will see the mining company adopt Azure as its preferred cloud provider on a global basis, as well as work on digital twins and a sustainability data model.

The two companies are collaborating on programs of work including the use of digital twins to improve operational performance and a high-impact sustainability data model, Microsoft said.

As an industry-leading user of Microsoft technology, Newcrest has migrated all key workloads, including SAP, from private cloud to Azure. Microsoft 365 is deployed across the organisation, as is Teams and Power BI.

Two priority projects are underway, with the first being the creation of a full value chain digital twin at Newcrest’s Cadia operation in New South Wales, which captures operational data spanning the full breadth of the site. Developed in collaboration with Microsoft, Willow and site operational experts, the digital twin displays data from both information technology and operational technology through easy-to-digest 3D visualisations of the mining process, Microsoft explained. This allows operators and managers to make tactical and strategic decisions in real time to improve performance.

A scenario planning tool will eventually be integrated into the digital twin to enable testing of simulated actions against live data before making operational changes in the field. Together with data on other critical operational metrics, such as recovery and costs, this solution will evolve into a full productivity model for each mining site, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft and Versor are also working with Newcrest on a sustainability data model, with the first release due by June 2022. The model is designed to improve sustainability and streamline environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting. It will also reduce the time it takes to produce annual sustainability reports. Newcrest will eventually integrate a 3D visualisation tool into the data model to better view end-to-end sustainability performance across the value chain.

Gavin Wood, Chief Information Officer at Newcrest, said these platforms create a scaffold for new digital solutions that will provide predictive and prescriptive insights to help the company optimise operations.

“When you think about how big and complex a mine site is, particularly in regard to the processing done on site, how much energy and water it consumes, the ability to use the full power of AI to provide actionable insights across the value chain is going to unlock so much value for us,” Wood said.

“This is key to our broader ambition to use technology as an opportunity to build on our successes in safety, sustainability and efficient mining.”

He added that having Microsoft as a strategic partner delivered an important advantage for Newcrest.

“I’m a big believer that when it comes to technology – and I’m talking about all technology, not just the IT world – complexity is the thing that kills you,” Wood said.

“It’s better to have simpler architectures and technology portfolios with fewer partners, where you have deeper partnerships and you work closely together, and benefit from the integration that comes with this approach.”

Newcrest’s strategic partnership with Microsoft has been forged with that in mind, Microsoft said.

Microsoft’s global cloud, Azure, now supports the company’s operations around the world. Newcrest is also exploring how it can use Microsoft’s Cloud for Sustainability, which is designed to record, report and reduce carbon emissions through actionable insights.

Brett Shoemaker, Director of Sustainability, Microsoft ANZ, said: “We are proud to work with Newcrest to harness the power of technology to build a more sustainable future, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, conserving energy and water, and driving change.

“You can’t manage what you can’t measure, so data and AI are keys to success. If we can get insights to the right people at the right time, and use data and AI to automate responses where it makes sense, we can impact environmental sustainability. That’s at the heart of Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability.”

Working with Microsoft and Versor, and leveraging Azure and Power BI, Newcrest has already developed data models that are being used across production, safety, cost and people processes, and which will inform the sustainability data project.

IMDEX bolsters real-time rock knowledge with Datarock investment

IMDEX says it has boosted its rock knowledge capabilities with a deal to acquire an initial 30% stake in image analysis company Datarock for A$5.5 million ($4 million).

Datarock has, IMDEX says, extensive geoscience and data science expertise that has led to the development of a cloud-based platform which applies artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate the extraction of geological and geotechnical information from core imagery, videos, and point clouds. This automation creates high value datasets that drive efficiency within mining operations, IMDEX added.

IMDEX has an exclusive option to acquire the remaining interest in Datarock over the next four years in a two-tranche process, subject to Datarock achieving agreed strategic milestones.

The partnership will enable IMDEX and Datarock to work together to accelerate growth plans, including product development and market expansion, it said.

IMDEX Chief Executive Officer, Paul House, said Datarock’s existing and planned products complemented IMDEX’s existing software including ioGAS™, aiSIRIS, MinePortal, and its cloud-based platform IMDEXHUB-IQ™, and strengthened the company’s ability to deliver real-time rock knowledge answer products.

“The Datarock team and the products they have built are strongly aligned with our strategy, our existing product offering and our value proposition for clients,” House said. “Data collected by geologists and engineers inform operational and financial decisions throughout a mine’s life cycle. This data is commonly collected manually, which is slow, laborious and can be prone to human error. Datarock aims to eliminate this error and deliver high quality and auditable data that provides value for the entire life of the mine.

“We are looking forward to working with the Datarock team. Its members are experts in the field of geoscience, data science and AI, and like IMDEX, have a drive for developing technologies to solve the mining industry’s biggest challenges.”

Datarock is an Australia-based mining technology company servicing the global exploration and mining sector. It is owned by two private companies, Solve Geosolutions Pty Ltd and DiUS Computing Pty Ltd. Solve Geosolutions and Datarock recently combined to both operate under the Datarock name. Solve is one of Australia’s leading geoscience machine learning and data science consulting businesses. DiUS is an Australia-based consultancy that helps organisations build the future using its expertise in AI, machine learning, IoT, cloud computing and product development.

Datarock’s products are applicable across the mining value chain, from geotechnical analysis of drill core during drill out, through to the mining and extraction phase, according to IMDEX. It has an existing customer base with major mining companies globally.

Datarock Chief Executive Officer and Director, Liam Webb, said there were clear synergies between Datarock’s products and several of IMDEX’s offerings.

“By working together, we will add considerable value to both companies,” Webb said. “When we started seeking investment our primary goal was to align ourselves with a company who saw the future the same way we did and could help us achieve our goals. I feel by entering into this agreement with IMDEX, who we believe are one of the world’s leading mining technology companies, we have achieved this.”

Matrix Design Group leverages AI and machine learning in lastest collision avoidance platform

Matrix Design Group has introduced its new OmniPro® collision avoidance system for surface mines, which uses Visual Artificial Intelligence (Visual AI) and machine learning to enable line-of travel, crosswalk and blind-spot pedestrian and vehicle alerting for mobile equipment.

Consisting of up-to-three 120° field-of-view cameras, the OmniPro system works without personal wearable devices or tags. OmniPro not only “sees” and identifies people and hazards, alerting with visual and/or audible alerts, it also photographs and reports zone breaches, according to Matrix. OmniPro is an application of the Matrix technology that received the 2020 NIOSH Mine Safety and Health Technology Innovations Award, which was presented in September at MINExpo 2021.

“Operations recognise that prevention is the most effective strategy for combatting mining accidents,” Brian Jones, Vice President of Business Development, said. “Those with safety initiatives will see OmniPro’s Visual AI system as an indispensable tool in helping protect workers and equipment.”

Through its Visual AI object recognition technology, OmniPro has been taught to identify and report on a library of “objects” including people, vehicles, equipment, stop signs and pedestrian signs.

The user can select what objects will be included, whether to integrate with the machine or operate as alert-only, and whether the alert will be visual, audible or tactile. Additionally, depending on the mine’s needs, OmniPro’s wireless solution can trigger a stop sign, pedestrian light, voice alert or crossing arm. All incidents are recorded and reviewed to provide insights for additional safety training as needed.

OmniPro’s cost-effective and customisable solution can be adapted to match any operating environment through its programmable field-of-view zone grid configuration tool, which enables it to meet the safety requirements of different mines, it said.

“OmniPro is effective on many levels,” Jones said. “Our customers have told us it brings awareness to workers and helps them feel the operation is investing in their safety.”

Position Partners to bring Presien’s Blindsight collision avoidance tech to Australasia

Presien and Position Partners have announced a distribution agreement to expand access and implementation of Blindsight, an artificial intelligence-backed collision avoidance system for industries such as mining.

Unlike other alert systems and safety solutions, Blindsight’s integrated camera and AI software sees, understands and alerts operators to potential hazards, the companies say. The Blindsight system can be installed on mobile plant or fixed infrastructure, anywhere.

“We developed Blindsight because we wanted to create a world where every worker is safe, and every employer is successful,” Mark Richards, CEO of Presien, said. “Using AI allows us to protect workers in the most complex of situations and quantify safety metrics, all at once.”

Blindsight’s pre-trained AI automatically detects people, vehicles, traffic cones and custom objects unique to each work site. With automatic, over the air updates, the system is constantly learning and improving. The system’s in-cab visual, auditory, and haptic alerts immediately notify operators to the presence and direction of dangers in real time.

Through the distribution agreement between Presien and Position Partners, these capabilities will be available in Australia and New Zealand for the first time.

Martin Nix, CEO of Position Partners, said: “Increasing safety around working heavy machinery is of paramount importance to our customers, so we are excited to announce our agreement with Presien and introduce Blindsight to the building, civil and mining sectors in Australasia.

“Feedback from early adopters has been extremely positive, particularly around Blindsight’s automated detection of people without the need of a wearable tag. It is an excellent example of how artificial intelligence can be used to benefit humankind.”

Plotlogic’s precision mining pursuit bolstered with new investor funds

Plotlogic’s mission to deliver precision mining across the world has been given a boost with A$7.5 million ($5.5 million) of funding from international investors.

Plotlogic’s primary focus is on providing accurate real-time orebody knowledge to enable greater operational efficiency and resource utilisation. Its OreSense® technology has demonstrated its ability to improve health and safety, enhance overall mining operations and deliver tangible productivity gains, according to the company.

Andrew Job, former mining manager and company Founder, recently completed his PhD in artificial intelligence-based sensing at University of Queensland, and has said “Plotlogic’s technology is an exciting development in resource knowledge and forms an important part of our growth as we digitally transform our mining businesses”.

Plotlogic’s most recent international deployment of its OreSense system was to an Anglo American project in South Africa. This comes on top of deployments at BHP and South32’s operations.

The company says it continues to increase its global footprint with imminent deployments to South America, North America, Asia and Russia.

Precision mining with the help of technologies like OreSense have the potential to increase worldwide industry value by $370 billion/y, according to Plotlogic, while reducing carbon emissions and improving the sustainability of mines over their life cycle.

To support commercial expansion, Plotlogic’s team has grown substantially, with the team currently sitting at 30 people, up from only six a year ago. It also has plans to double in size before the end of this year.

LKAB to trial AI-backed XRF drill core logging with help of Minalyze and Sentian

LKAB, Minalyze AB and Sentian say they have joined forces in a consortium to develop the latest technology for scanning drill core.

In March 2020, LKAB started a test with the Minalyzer CS drill core scanner where the goal was to improve the workflow for core logging – ie how the results of exploration drilling are analysed. The test led to a permanent installation in Kiruna (Sweden) and expansion to Malmberget where data from the Minalyzer CS is used to help geological logging of the drill core.

The consortium of LKAB, Minalyze and Sentian are now set to take the use of data to the next level when boreholes in LKAB’s deposits are to be investigated. The new artificial intelligence application being developed by the trio will make the analysis much faster, with the time to evaluate a drill core reduced from weeks to minutes, with increased accuracy.

This could see Minalyze’s X-ray Fluorescence-backed CS scanner analyse LKAB drill core while leveraging Sentain’s industrial artificial intelligence solutions to make real-time decisions relating to drilling and exploration activities.

The technology development driven by the consortium will be a world first, changing the entire industry, the companies say.

Jan-Anders Perdahl, Specialist at LKAB’s Exploration Department, said: “With the collaboration, the core logging takes a big step through machine learning and artificial intelligence. The geologist can, at an early stage, place greater focus on the parts of the core that show chemical or other changes. Opportunities are opened up to gain increased knowledge about ore formation processes and alterations in a completely different way than before. One can also get indications that you are close to mineralisation and where it may be located, and thereby streamline exploration.”

The technological leap will give LKAB’s staff increased competence, increased quality in and efficiency of the work, as well as reduced need for other analysis methods, according to the companies.

Annelie Lundström, CEO of Minalyze AB, said: “We are at an interesting time when the hardware to extract consistently high-resolution data from drill cores is available and we can now take the next step and generate value from data together with our customers. In this collaboration, we will develop algorithms that can map rock layers in so-called lithological logs with very high confidence. This can only be done by combining expertise from all three parties.

“The results from our collaboration will forever change how drill core logging takes place everywhere and will result in a more efficient, non-subjective and consistent process.”

Martin Rugfelt, Sentian CEO, added: “We see great power in the application of modern artificial intelligence to data from the mining industry and there is major potential in further combining our machine learning technology with Minalyze’s unique capabilities in data collection and analysis.”