AI, digitization and automation have enormous potential for the mining sector, and mines with smart systems that can talk to each other will make production more effective and create a more sustainable mining industry. On Wednesday, the strategic innovation program Swedish Mining Innovation held a webinar on AI as a necessary enabler for sustainable mining production. The event is a follow-up to the previously appreciated workshop AI – Hype or Hope which was held just over a year ago.
The event, which attracted more than 100 participants from several countries, was broadcast from ORU Innovation Arena. That Örebro University was the host is a result of the investment that Swedish Mining Innovation is now making in Bergslagen with the aim of supporting and developing mining innovation in the area.
Lotta Sartz, Swedish Mining Innovation hosted the day. – I am incredibly happy for the participants’ generous contribution with experience and interesting panel discussions. This felt like a nice start for the increased investment the program makes in Bergslagen, says Lotta.
During the event, it was clear that Sweden has increased its focus on research on AI and we see potential in becoming a leading player. Sweden’s equipment suppliers today have a large part of AI in their new mining machines and the mining companies that were involved showed fine examples of applications. It was clear that to take the next step towards fully automated processes requires more AI and machine learning.
Chilean mining giant Codelco was also included in the program and showed a high level of ambition and examples of how they use AI as decision support, but also emphasized that it is the combination of operator and AI decision support that is the way forward. They also said that work with AI and machine learning is ongoing in several of their mines and their next focus is to develop AI applications in maintenance.
– We are extra happy that our collaboration agreement with Chilean Codelco is in place, and that they participated in the event and presented interesting examples. It is clear that Codelco has come a long way in the application of AI and machine learning, and here there are opportunities for Swedish actors to be inspired, says Jenny Greberg, program director Swedish Mining Innovation.
Jenny also sees that the event contributed to important input for how Swedish Mining Innovation will support and accelerate the development and implementation of AI in the mining industry. – Should I sum up the day, it is with all actors agreeing that AI is a necessary enabler and the mining companies have high ambitions, but that we are far from using the full potential. To succeed, large investments, courage and collaboration are required, says Jenny Greberg.