As artificial intelligence continues to rise in popularity, companies are taking time-saving and resource-savvy technology and merging it with mining exploration to make the industry more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Some mining companies are starting to integrate advanced technologies to improve resource estimation processes and make operations involved in mining, agriculture and other industries more sustainable.
Cybertiks is a multinational firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom with primary operations in Mexico City that specializes in R&D and services using artificial intelligence, quantum spectrometric intelligence services (QSIS) and other digital tools to improve the processes of a company or government.
Its mining services use the thermodynamic information captured by electromagnetic sensors such as satellites, atmospheric balloons, drones, cameras, and radars among others to classify and quantify materials with quantum-enabled artificial intelligence for scale and speed.
Chief of Operations at Cybertiks Karen Hesselbach said in an interview with Mugglehead that Cybertiks can help the mining industry to become more sustainable and save resources by reducing time-consuming, repetitive tasks that would normally need more than one person and months to complete.
“The cost of finding resources is so expensive,” Hesselbach added.
“Geologists nowadays have to walk around the field and collect samples to take them to another location. Our technology allows us to build a huge spectrometer so we can measure all the materials in 200 square kilometres on a single remote measurement.”
By using artificial intelligence, mining companies can save time, be less invasive to the ecosystem and save resources by drilling fewer holes in the area being explored.
Artificial intelligence is a tool and will not substitute experts
Cybertiks mining services are able to detect 95 per cent of specific natural and mineral resources in a particular area and with a precision of 10 square meters.
According to Ricardo Reyes, an artificial intelligence expert and adviser to the Chief Scientist Officer at Cybertiks, geospatial and satellite data indicates that there is an underlying belief that once the technologies are applied this means people will lose their jobs.
“So you reduce a lot of the human costs to do your initial exploration and this scares exploration experts a lot because they feel like they are going to be displaced or gonna lose their job, they’re not seeing this as a tool that can make their job easier, and help them reach higher levels faster,” Reyes explained.
He said that experts should take a look at the advantages of using artificial intelligence such as faster drilling, making fewer holes and overall reducing the first steps of the mining exploration pipeline.
“We haven’t even touched one per cent of what AI and quantum electrodynamics together can do for geology or agriculture or anything,” Reyes said.
“So we have at least 20 or 25 years more of research to achieve the full potential of the technologies but our main limitation right now is companies being open to innovation.”
He explained that artificial intelligence will become very useful when it comes to exploration efforts that require analysis or sampling areas with difficult environments such as deep sea exploration, space exploration and even mining asteroids nearby.
Artificial intelligence is a sustainable technology that can help mitigate ecosystem damage
Geologist Edith Fuentes Guzman works at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) running the laboratory of cathodoluminescence and fluid inclusions at the Geology Institute, and she has had the opportunity to use Cybertiks technology as a tool to complement her work.
“It is an environmentally-friendly technology, you don’t do any damage to ecosystems in the area, so that is a wonder. Because once people step on it, the ecosystem is altered,” said Fuentes Guzman.
Fuentes Guzman said that a geologist who goes into an area to do sampling has to also send the samples to a lab for analysis in order to know which mineral or metal is found in order to determine if there is potential in the area. Labs are usually not close to the sampling area either, which adds more time for travelling and expenses in transportation which can be avoided if remote technologies are used.
She explained that mining companies have large amounts of data but not the time or resources to go through them which is where artificial intelligence and other technologies come in handy.
“I don’t think experts [who are afraid of losing their jobs because of A.I.] understand that it is just one more tool and it won’t substitute them.”