Artificial intelligence-based geological data analytics company, OreFox, has successfully secured funding via the Queensland METS Collaborative Projects Fund to further its geological mapping efforts at the Mount Chalmers mine site in Queensland, Australia.
The Queensland METS Collaborative Projects Fund is delivered by METS Ignited with funding support from the Queensland Government as part of its Queensland Mining Equipment, Technology and Services 10 Year Roadmap and Action Plan.
OreFox is working with QMines Ltd and Ironbark Marketing to further commercialise its technology that, it says, solves a pressing challenge facing the Queensland mining sector of how to accelerate critical mineral deposit discovery and mine more efficiently.
The consortium led by OreFox will use cutting-edge proprietary AI technology to gain further knowledge of the Mount Chalmers deposit, located near Rockhampton. As a historical producing mine, there is significant potential to increase the known mineral endowment and add new economy mineral opportunities.
QMines has commenced exploration activities across the Mount Chalmers project, including an aggressive drilling program and is planning an airborne EM survey. QMines has reported an initial JORC 2012 inferred resource equal to 73,000 t of contained copper. Historical drilling at the site shows the mineralisation is open in multiple directions.
The consortium will carry out a multi-element geochemical sampling program focused on critical minerals at the mine site and other notable prospective sites around the historic mine site.
Data collected from this program, including assays from the current drilling program, will be processed by OreFox, using its machine and deep learning systems to gain further insights. QMines believes the discovery of further economic minerals will enable the company to move to development faster, thus bringing economic benefits to the region and the state.
QMines has recently acquired Traprock Resources and Rocky Copper, which both held significant tenements in the Mount Chalmers region. QMines has extended their tenement and landholding within the area since these acquisitions.
OreFox Chief Executive Officer, Warwick Anderson, said: “This project has the potential to increase exploration activity in Queensland, particularly for new economy minerals and could be applied to numerous other historical mines and deposits.
“The partnership between OreFox, QMines and Ironbark Marketing is anticipated to bring more regional jobs to Queensland and aid Queensland exploration frontiers.
“If we can prove the value of this project, then that opens the door to a significant export market for the processes we are developing.”
The OreFox project is one of five recipients of the Queensland METS Collaborative Projects Fund receiving a share in A$1 million ($733,978) to accelerate the commercialisation of technology into industry.
METS Ignited CEO, Adrian Beer, said the growth centre is backing the collaborative projects to fast-track the commercialisation of innovative technologies and provide value to both the local and global resources sector.
“METS Ignited is driving collaborative projects to accelerate commercial outcomes for the Australian economy and promote collaboration opportunities as part of a long-term strategy for growth,” he said.
“We are backing projects using technologies such as sensors, data analytics, machine learning, optimised x-rays, and solar energy that result in improvements in productivity, efficiency, safety and sustainability.
“The OreFox project is a great example of how AI and data science technologies can be harnessed to improve exploration and unlock the economic benefits of a historical mine site.”