A Mining We Will Go

It’s not an exaggeration by any stretch of the imagination to say that ores excavation and mining are among the oldest professions in the world. Even nations in ancient times used to look for gold, silver, and other materials that were used in the making of everyday objects, coins, and jewellery. However, the face of the mining industry is drastically different today.

To begin with, there are much more advanced technologies at our disposal, and we are looking for other natural materials, such as coal and oil. When you mention state-of-the-art technology, you can’t leave behind machine learning and artificial intelligence. These two technologies have changed the game for several industries, and mining isn’t an exception.

If you were to summarize the entire topic into one sentence, you can say that thanks to the emergence of artificial intelligence in mining, it’s now possible to extract raw materials and ores more efficiently. That’s not all because artificial intelligence has also helped in automating numerous aspects of work related to mining and extraction.

However, that’s only scratching the surface and to be more specific, we will have to dissect how artificial intelligence has enhanced and transformed the mining industry. Let’s get leaching!

Revolution in the Mining Industry

The mining industry has seen a huge transformation in recent years, and AI is playing a major role. Artificial Intelligence technologies like machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), and computer vision are helping make the process of extracting resources more efficient and accurate than ever before.

AI gives miners access to real-time data about their operations, allowing them to make informed decisions faster than ever before. This helps ensure that resources are being mined efficiently and safely and that operations are running smoothly. Furthermore, AI can help with predictive analysis and forecasting of resource reserves in order to maximize profits for the mining company.

In addition, AI is also used to identify areas for further exploration or as a tool for evaluating the safety of mines prior to excavation. By using advanced imagery system capabilities such as object detection algorithms, miners can detect hazards before they become a problem.

Conversely, you can also say that AI has opened up new opportunities for automation within the industry. Automation makes it possible for machines to do much of the heavy lifting involved in extracting resources from underground mines or quarries. This can greatly reduce the cost of labor, as well as make operations much safer and more efficient.

In general, AI has helped revolutionize the mining industry by providing access to real-time data, predictive analysis, improved safety measures, and automation capabilities. This is allowing miners to extract resources more efficiently than ever before while also ensuring that operations are running smoothly and safely. With AI continuing to evolve and become more advanced, it’s likely that the future of mining will be even brighter.

AI In the Mining Industry

AI has become a popular and powerful tool across many industries, including mining. AI can be used in the mining industry to improve safety, increase efficiency and productivity, reduce costs, automate processes, and monitor miners’ health.

AI can also be used for predictive analytics to make more informed decisions about current and future projects. By using data from previous projects combined with new data gathered from sensors or other sources, AI algorithms can provide analysis that can help miners anticipate potential risks or identify new opportunities. Additionally, AI systems can be used to create models that assist planners in creating extraction strategies based on geological data.

The use of autonomous vehicles powered by AI is becoming increasingly common in the mining industry as well. Autonomous robots equipped with sensors and AI can explore dangerous or difficult-to-reach areas, as well as work in hazardous environments. These robots have the capability to detect obstacles and navigate safely, making them an invaluable asset for miners.

Artificial Intelligence can also be used for quality control purposes during the extraction process. By using sensors and cameras coupled with AI technology, miners can monitor their operations in real-time and make sure that they are following safety protocols while also identifying anomalies quickly. This helps to ensure a higher quality end product while reducing costly mistakes.

AI is revolutionizing the mining industry by increasing efficiency, improving safety standards, and providing valuable insights into operations. As more companies embrace this technology, we will continue to see it become an increasingly integral part of the mining industry.

Prospecting and Exploration

AI-driven exploration and prospecting can greatly accelerate the mining industry’s growth. By incorporating advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms into the exploration process, companies can quickly identify potential mineral deposits in remote areas that would otherwise require costly manual surveys.

Additionally, AI technology can also be used to analyze large datasets for patterns and correlations, allowing for more accurate and timely predictions of where valuable minerals may be found. This not only reduces the amount of time spent in traditional exploration activities, but it could also lead to new discoveries that were previously impossible without AI capabilities.

With its ability to drastically shrink exploration costs while increasing accuracy and efficiency, AI is an invaluable tool for miners in today’s competitive market.

Exploratory and Production Drilling

Exploratory and production drilling are two main types of mining operations that use AI to help mine resources. In exploratory drilling, AI is used to assess new areas for potential mineral deposits or other valuable resources.

By using data mining algorithms, engineers can quickly scan large amounts of data and identify trends in the environment that may lead to a successful exploration effort. On the other hand, production drilling uses AI to optimize the process of extracting materials from an already-discovered resource deposit. This type of drilling relies on advanced image recognition technology to accurately analyze rock samples and identify ore-bearing zones within the safety boundaries set by regulations.

By utilizing machine learning techniques, AI can accurately predict where best to begin extraction activities for maximum efficiency and yield. The increased accuracy of AI-guided drilling operations has allowed for a more efficient, cost-effective mining process with less risk and greater profits. Thus, AI has become an integral part of the mining industry and revolutionizing the way we mine resources today.

AGVs in the Mining Industry

In the mining industry, Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) have been increasingly used in recent years. AGVs are automated machines that follow a predefined path or course to transport materials throughout the facility. By using AGVs, miners can reduce costs and increase efficiency by eliminating manual labor and increasing throughput.

The use of AGVs also reduces human errors caused by fatigue or negligence since they are not subject to such deficiencies. Additionally, these vehicles can be programmed to move at different speeds for heavy cargo and lighter payloads without requiring any manual adjustment. This helps streamline tasks and improve safety as the operator does not need to manually monitor movements from one location to another.

AGVs in the mining industry allow for improved accuracy and safety when transporting materials within the facility. By using sensors, they can detect obstacles and navigate around them to avoid collisions. This decreases the risk of personal injury or damage to equipment. Additionally, these vehicles are equipped with a variety of features, such as temperature control systems and remote monitoring capabilities that allow operators to monitor their performance in real time.

When you look at the complete picture, the use of AGVs in the mining industry has numerous benefits. Not only do they help reduce costs associated with human labor but also improve efficiency, accuracy, and safety in transport operations. As technology continues to evolve, so too will AGV usage across many industries, including mining.

The integration of Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) into the mining industry is a logical move as it offers many advantages over traditional manual transport methods. AGVs can be programmed to follow specific routes and they are equipped with sensors that detect obstacles and help them navigate without collisions. This reduces both potential injury risks and damage to equipment, increasing efficiency and safety. Additionally, AGV technology allows for remote monitoring capabilities so operators can monitor their performance in real-time to ensure optimal performance.

AI Implementation Scorecard

AI implementation in the mining industry has seen remarkable growth over the past few years. Mining companies are expected to spend $218 million on AI platforms around the world by 2024. This is an increase from $76M in 2019, resulting in a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.4%. Furthermore, AI-driven applications such as automated drilling systems, fleet management, and optimization solutions are gaining traction among miners due to their potential to reduce costs and improve operational efficiency.

As of 2020, major players in the mining industry such as Goldcorp, BHP, Rio Tinto, Freeport-McMoRan, Fortescue, Newcrest, Barrick Gold and Dundee Precious Metals have adopted AI technologies on a large scale with encouraging results. Additionally, startups offering AI-based solutions have also been increasingly active in this field including companies such as Unearthed Solutions and Kaggle.

AI technologies are now being used to automate processes like data collection and analysis, predictive maintenance, and anomaly detection to maximize productivity and profitability in the mining industry. The potential of AI-based solutions is expected to continue increasing in the coming years as miners increasingly embrace technology-driven transformations.

The adoption of AI by the mining industry has already yielded positive results. In 2019, Rio Tinto reported a 3 percent improvement in its ore grade accuracy with their AI-powered autonomous trucking system.

This led the company’s CEO Sam Walsh to comment that “AI is becoming a core part of Rio Tinto’s operations and will be essential for our growth into the future.” BHP also achieved a substantial return on investments from its AI-based mining solutions, resulting in a reduction of up to 15 percent in operating costs. The potential of AI technologies is also being explored to automate the entire process of mineral exploration and extraction.

Overall, the implementation of AI in the mining industry has been gaining traction and promises to yield significant benefits in terms of cost efficiency, safety and productivity. With the continued advancement of AI technologies, miners are likely to be more open to embracing these digital solutions and leveraging their potential for optimal operations.

The growing importance of AI technology in the mining industry can be seen in various reports. According to McKinsey & Company’s “Data-Driven Mining: The Role Of AI And Machine Learning” report, AI can unlock up to USD 1 trillion in value for the mining sector through improved operational excellence and better capital efficiency.

Another 2019 survey conducted by Deloitte revealed that over 40 percent of miners plan to invest in AI technologies within the next three years. Furthermore, a 2020 study by KPMG noted that almost 70 percent of miners are now integrating machine learning into their operations and most believe that this technology will have a major impact on their industry.

From automated trucks and drilling systems to predictive maintenance applications and anomaly detection solutions, AI-driven advancements are becoming an increasingly critical part of the mining industry. This trend is likely to continue in the coming years as miners continue seeking ways to maximize efficiency and productivity while reducing costs.


As the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning continues to become more prevalent in the mining industry, the possibilities are limitless. With increased safety, improved energy efficiency, and better predictive analytics, the future of smart mining is sure to continue to advance. By capitalizing on new technologies and processes, smart miners can maximize their output while minimizing environmental impact.

In addition, advances in AI capabilities can greatly enhance decision-making capabilities in operations management as well as planning and scheduling tasks. Finally, with greater access to data and more powerful computing systems, miners will be able to analyze patterns faster than ever before—allowing for even more streamlined operations. As technology evolves, it is clear that the age of smart mining using AI is upon us; we now have the tools to make smart mining a reality.

Marc-Roger Gagné MAPP