Richard Verkley Explores the Role of AI in Reducing Mine Downtimes

July 28, 2018

HOUSTON, TX / ACCESSWIRE / July 28, 2018 / A recent McKinsey & Company report calculated that, as of 2015, worldwide mining operations had become as much as 28% less productive than in the previous decade. In the wake of the news, experts have come to agree that productivity must be a major priority, with the McKinsey report concluding the industry-wide benefits of moving materials more efficiently could amount to $370 billion by 2025. Richard Verkley, CEO of Eco Metals Recovery UK, has fully embraced the advantages artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are bringing to his business.

″We’ve entered an era of data abundance, low computing costs and open access to the equipment and literature that allow mining operations to take advantage of ML, often in tandem with some forms of applied AI,″ said Richard Verkley. ″Advances in computing technology are enabling engineers to solve problems in ways that weren’t possible before.″ Verkley further noted that since mining companies produce commodities in large volumes, small improvements in efficiency can have a substantial impact on a company’s bottom line, and increasingly accurate ML models are what allows companies to make beneficial changes.

In 2016, PETRA Data Science first used ML algorithms to predict and subsequently avoid overload events in semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) mills, the end goal being reduction in mill downtime. To create their model, the data scientists started by looking at one year’s worth of data (with variables like power, speed, energy consumption and control parameters) in order to find indicators of an overload event. They proceeded to create a machine-learned model -- a set of algorithms trained to describe the indicators of an overload in a mathematical formula. The model was able to predict the probability of an overload event an hour in advance and send a warning to operators so that they could take action to prevent it. Dr. Penny Stewart, managing director and principal at PETRA Data Science, explained that merely ″preventing one or two downtimes paid off the cost of the entire project.″

Another notable case comes from IBM Watson, which is teaming up with mining companies to review large quantities of geological information to find better targets as the intelligent software learns to understand millions of core samples, 3D models, seismic surveys, and geological data. Their first test predicted 86% of the existing gold deposits in the Abitibi gold belt region of Canada by using geological, topographic, and mineralogical data. As the industry continues to discover and adopt new ways to implement advanced AI technology and ML models, Verkley is confident that productivity and efficiency numbers will continue to rise exponentially.

Richard Verkley is the CEO of environmentally-friendly enterprises Eco Metals Recovery UK and Farpoint Metals & Mining. Both companies play a leading roles in Environmental commitments to sustainable, ecologically-minded business practices that give back to the community. Verkley’s Hearts of Gold Foundation supports local philanthropies and gives Ecuadorians unique opportunities to improve their life skills through workshops, mentorship, and community dialogue.

Richard Verkley - Eco Metal Recovery UK - Farpoint Metals & Mining: http://richardverkleynews.com

Eco Metals Recovery - Changing The Way The World Mines: https://ecometalsrecovery.com

Hearts of Gold Foundation: Empowering Communties From Within: http://heartsofgoldfoundation.org

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SOURCE: Richard Verkley

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