Tag Archives: IntelliSense.io

Transform or be marginalised: industry experts explore the future of mining

What will the future of mining look like? Why does the industry need to change? How can mining embrace innovation? These were just some of the questions pondered when a panel of industry experts came together to discuss the need for change in the mining industry from an operator, solution, technology and investor perspective at IntelliSense.io’s recent ‘Inspirations20’ event.

In this keynote session, IntelliSense.io’s Founder and CEO, Sam G Bose, was joined by Damien Caby, Senior Vice President Oilfield & Mining Solutions, BASF; Ippei Akiyoshi, CVC Mineral Resources Group, Mitsubishi; and Cleve Lightfoot, Head of Innovation, BHP.

Central to this discussion was the notion that mining technology and processes have become outdated.

“We’re dealing with technology and processes that were developed about 100 years ago, that aren’t apt for what comes next,” BHP’s Lightfoot explained. “What we’ve done in between is we’ve made them bigger, better and more efficient and we’ve done a good job at that. What we haven’t focused on is how the context in which we operate has changed, and it’s changing more and more rapidly.”

When designing new technologies for the industry, IntelliSense.io’s Bose explained that demand for sustainability solutions has become a top priority.

“We’re seeing the next generation of miners who are entering the industry are becoming vocal components of this change to be able to mine in a more sustainable way,” he said. “They’re also looking for different systems which have access to information in real time, they can make decisions on data, and we’re also seeing this acting as a big driver for the industry to look at different ways to operate.”

Mitsubishi’s Akiyoshi supported this notion, adding investors are also increasingly interested in mining company’s environmental consciousness.

“Creating good economic value is not enough; to be in good shape, mining companies need to show that they are responsible and care about the environment,” he said.

Akiyoshi added: “I think mining has not been a consumer-oriented business in the past, but now the big, influential companies like Tesla and Apple are talking about the importance to think about where the materials in their products come from, and in what kind of operation that material is produced. In this case, we’re indirectly exposed to consumer’s consciousness and awareness of environmental value, so this has forced us to think more seriously about how to change.”

BASF’s Caby added that from an operational perspective, the demand for ethically-sourced and environmentally-conscious material is also heavily influencing the direction of the mining industry.

“We see that, both as a supplier to the mining sector and a supplier to the battery industry, there are tremendous changes in the nature, the quality of metals that are going to be required for the world, which in itself is a major driver for change,” he explained.

“I just don’t think we’re going to provide the nickel, the coper and cobalt for e-mobility the same way that 20 years ago the industry was able to react to the surge in demand for rare earths, and I think overall that’s the biggest driver of change.”

With the pressure to innovate or perish, panellists conceded it may appear difficult for mining companies to know where to start, but prioritising opportunities was key.

“We’re great at building big infrastructure projects, but we need to learn how to figure out how we take little bits and transform through little bits. So, accept the ambiguity, and the risk associated with these things through bites we can actually manage,” Lightfoot said.

Caby suggested that for mining operators unsure of how to start their innovation journey, the most pragmatic option may be to start with unlocking the value in their operational data.

“How do we start our journey of innovation? In our experience, it really starts with understanding of the situation of the mine and really diving into the situation of what’s the challenge, and that’s all really data based,” he said.

“That’s the reason behind our [Intelligent Mine] partnership with IntelliSense.io, that we can really accelerate that initiation and make it more effective by leveraging the power of digital. You can have much easier access to information, you can measure the impact of the improvements you make and correct the results for changes in feed and operating conditions, you can make simulations which really help address risk concerns.

“If you can run scenarios, if you can put boundaries, if you can try and see what can happen worse case on the computer compared to trying in real life, you really have a very powerful tool to enable innovation.”

IntelliSense.io joins OTCSA to help tackle cyber security issues in mining

IntelliSense.io has joined the Operational Technology Cyber Security Alliance (OTCSA) to further its aim of providing miners with a safer future with secure optimisation technology that can leverage both operational technology (OT) and cloud environments.

IntelliSense.io has been securely deploying artificial intelligence-based based process optimisation applications on OT networks for its customers globally and, it says, has a future-proof platform.

The OTCSA aims to bridge any dangerous gaps in security for OT and information technology (IT) systems, critical infrastructure and industrial control systems to support and improve the daily lives of citizens and workers in a rapidly evolving world, IntelliSense.io says.

“The convergence of OT and IT networks is exposing industrial control, protection and automation systems to external threats, as seen in the recent past with malwares like Triton, that attacked an oil and gas plant, and in Ukraine, that had its power grid taken down by a cyberattack,” Dr Sandro Barros, CTO, IntelliSense.io, said. “IntelliSense.io has extensive experience on the deployment of AI applications within OT/IT networks and is eager to add its expertise to developing best practices for secure and reliable solutions for the mining industry.”

Elad Ben-Meir, Executive Board Member of the OTCSA and CEO of SCADAfence, said: “We welcome intelliSense.io as the newest member to the OTCSA. As we witness more and more attacks on critical infrastructure, and predictions by Gartner that 75% of CEOs will be personally liable for cyber-physical security incidents by 2024, there is no doubt that the collaboration like we have in OTCSA is the key to success.”

The OTCSA mission is five-fold:

  • Strengthen cyber-physical risk posture of OT environments and interfaces for OT/IT interconnectivity;
  • Guide OT operators on how to protect their OT infrastructure based on a risk management process and reference architectures/designs that are demonstrably compliant with regulations and international standards such as IEC 62443;
  • Guide OT suppliers on secure OT system architectures, relevant interfaces and security functionalities;
  • Support the procurement, development, installation, operation, maintenance, and implementation of a safer, more secure critical infrastructure; and
  • Shorten the time to adoption of safer, more secure critical infrastructures.

The robust security guidelines of the OTCSA which IntelliSense.io will contribute to, cover the entire mining life cycle – procurement, development, deployment, installation, operation, maintenance and decommission – and address aspects related to people, process, and technology.

OTCSA promotes collaboration among leading IT and OT companies, thought leaders in the cybersecurity community, and vendors and OT operators from a variety of industries. Membership is open to any company that operates critical infrastructure or general OT systems to run its business as well as companies providing IT and OT solutions.

IntelliSense.io creates AI algorithm to predict thickener performance

A UK-based startup says it has devised a machine learning-algorithm that can help mining companies predict how thickeners will operate an hour into the future.

IntelliSense.io, which has been helped along the way by Digital Catapult (an agency for the early adoption of advanced digital technologies) and the UK’s Department for International Trade, said it wanted to help the mining industry become more efficient and sustainable by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence.

“Traditional operations technology cannot handle dynamic conditions, so IntelliSense.io is focused on using advanced digital technologies to create a platform that can predict varying conditions and is, therefore, far more responsive to change,” it said.

This led the company to develop an application to control thickeners in mining operations, which, IntelliSense.io says, would provide three key benefits:

  • Less water would be needed to complete the thickening process;
  • More water could be recycled, resulting in less wastewater;
  • Reduced power would be consumed as less water would be pumped into the thickener.

To create an algorithm, IntelliSense.io needed to analyse three years’ worth of data from six thickeners, each measuring roughly 800 different metrics collected every minute.

“This represents a volume of data that would only be possible with a significant amount of computer power and specialist expertise,” the company said. This led to IntelliSense.io applying to join Machine Intelligence Garage, Digital Catapult’s AI programme that helps businesses access the computation power and expertise they need to develop and build machine learning and artificial intelligence solutions.

Thanks to this assistance, IntelliSense.io has devised an AI tool that ingests these 800 different metrics every minute and can, according to the company, “predict how thickeners will operate an hour in the future”.

“This invaluable knowledge will make mining more efficient and sustainable, and provides optimum operating condition recommendations to maximise output,” the company said.

The thickener algorithm has since been applied in an optimisation stability project at a gold-copper mine in Chile where the miner in question had seen low underflow percentage solids and water recovery, and high flocculant consumption.

The implementation of the IntelliSense.io Thickener Circuit Optimisation application at the mine, which integrated data from SCADA and other control systems with advanced statistical data modelling and machine learning algorithms and first principle models, came up with a solution.

This has seen, among other benefits, decreased variability in the thickener circuit operation, enhanced water recovery at the thickener circuit and reduced equipment downtime due to stricter torque constraints.

The payback period has been less than 12 months with projected direct savings calculated at $400,000 in the first year alone, according to IntelliSense.io.

The company has also signed a memorandum of cooperation with JSC AK Altynalmas, a gold producer in Kazakhstan. This involves the development of an AI system for predictive analysis and optimisation of the grinding process, according to IntelliSense.io.

This agreement is part of a wider pact around the implementation of industry 4.0, IntelliSense.io says.