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Vale turns to Big Data for exploration in Sudbury

Nickel miner signs on GoldSpot Discoveries to identify drill targets at Coleman Mine
Coleman mine remote loader

Vale Canada has engaged a Toronto-based artificial intelligence mine tech company to assist with exploration in the Sudbury Basin.

GoldSpot Discoveries announced Oct. 24 that the Sudbury miner has commissioned their team of geologists and data scientists to apply machine learning in identifying drill targets at Coleman Mine, a base metal operation.

In a news release, GoldSpot said Vale has accumulated a “tremendous amount of data” at Coleman over the decades. This entire database will be at their disposal to look for “previously unrecognized data trends” in finding new discoveries at depth.

GoldSpot’s pitch point is that deep mine exploration and drilling is a costly endeavour. 

By employing their machine science expertise and geoscience to “clean, unify and analyze” exploration data from Coleman, they can produce 3D targets for Vale’s exploration program.

“Vale is one of the world’s largest nickel producers and the Coleman Mine is a major operation in Ontario,” said GoldSpot president-CEO Denis Laviolette in a statement.

“To be part of the digital transformation of one of the world’s leading diversified miners is an incredible opportunity for our company. At GoldSpot, we are excited to put our technology and team into action on a copper, nickel and precious metals deposit.”

GoldSpot has gained notoriety in recent months in working with both operating mines and now junior miners for their approach in using their proprietary machine-learning algorithm that can process millions of data points to identify targets for exploration drilling.