Deakin collaboration to bring AI to the mining industry

Deakin University

Friday, 10 June, 2022

Deakin collaboration to bring AI to the mining industry

Deakin University’s Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute (A2I2) has announced the establishment of a collaboration with MineExcellence to support the mining sector in leveraging recent advances in artificial intelligence.

MineExcellence is a leading provider of digital technologies for mining, with a special focus on drill and blast operations, in the controlled use of explosives to break rock for excavation. The company has established a collaboration with A2I2 to enhance the efficiency and safety of drill and blast processes, using AI and machine learning (ML).

The mining industry is increasingly using AI and ML as tools to optimise processes, enhance decision-making, derive value from data, and improve safety.

A memorandum of understanding between the two organisations was recently signed by MineExcellence Managing Director Amit Bhandari and Deakin Research Innovations Senior Manager of Commercialisation Greg Pullen.

A2I2 Head of Translational Research Professor Rajesh Vasa highlighted the importance of this collaboration, and the core aim of the research project.

“The collaboration between Mine Excellence and A2I2 includes joint research, industry connections and PhD placements,” he said. “Our research in this area aims to pioneer new methods and approaches that deliver high impact results to drilling and blasting, making the process safer and more efficient.”

Initial work has already started through a co-funded PhD student based at A2I2 and working in collaboration with industry.

MineExcellence will provide its drill and blast domain knowledge as well as its digital platform. AI models will be developed in collaboration with A2I2, with support from drill and blast expert Professor Sushil Bhandari as external supervisor.

Professor Vasa said A2I2 has strong capacity to apply novel AI techniques to the mining sector.

“A2I2 has a proven track record of positively impacting society, spanning health, education and defence technologies. Now we are expanding to the mining industry,” he said. “Our institute possesses the expertise to enhance mining processes. We look forward to collaborating with MineExcellence on this project, and sharing outcomes in the near future.”

Image: A2I2 staff meet with MineExcellence (L-R): A2I2 Research Fellow Dr Srikanth Thudumu, A2I2 Co-Director Alfred Deakin Prof Kon Mouzakis, MineExcellence (ME) Managing Director Amit Bhandari, A2I2 Head of Translational Research Prof Raj Vasa, ME Co-Founder Dr Sushil Bhandari.

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