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Augment Technologies unveils AI mining tech in partnership with Hexagon
Thu, 8th Feb 2024

A promising partnership in mining technology has just been revealed, promising access to custom-developed artificial intelligence (AI) designed expressly to increase ore recovery following the use of open pit blasting in mining. Perth-based Augment Technologies shared the news at the recent INDABA 2024 African Mining conference.

It appears that customers of the globally respected technology provider Hexagon are now privy to a pioneering AI-driven solution developed by Augment Technologies. Referred to as the Muckpile Block Model, this innovation could ramp up ore recovery by an impressive 5%. This result equates to the potential of additional tens of millions of dollars in yearly revenue for each mine utilising this technology.

The Muckpile Block Model is considered revolutionary in its field. Tracking and managing open pit blast movement with precision allows miners to significantly increase their ore yield, enhancing operational efficiencies in the process.

Speaking at the INDABA conference in South Africa, the Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer of Augment Technologies, Greg Hardwich, expressed his excitement at partnering with Hexagon. He believes the collaboration will establish a new industry standard for minimising ore loss and dilution due to blast movement across all commodities. "Our team is thrilled to be working with this global autonomous technology leader to deliver our cutting-edge application," said Hardwich.

The AI technology at the heart of the Muckpile Block Model enhances decision-making in open pit mining through ongoing machine learning. Besides saving costs associated with ore loss, remote-operated drones can measure it, improving workforce safety by significantly reducing risk exposure.

Hardwich added that the accuracy and resolution delivered are extraordinarily high. Now, along with Hexagon's Block Model Manager and the optional Blast Movement Monitor data, customers can arm themselves with a superior geological modelling solution from reserves to production.

According to Greg Hardwich, the impact on the mining industry could be "game changing". Their AI-driven solution offers mining companies unprecedented insights and methodologies for resolving high-value and intricate issues, empowering them to mine more safely and efficiently than ever before.

Hexagon's Vice President of Resource Optimisation, James Dampney, affirmed that integrating Augment's Muckpile Block Model into Hexagon's existing solutions could have profound industry implications. With ore loss, dilution, and misclassification costing mines millions of squandered dollars annually, such a partnership could significantly transform and optimise operations.

Dampney added, "Our partnership with Augment Technologies will help mines to optimise processes upstream and downstream handling of ore, leading to processing efficiency and reductions in energy consumption." He anticipates that customers can save on training and operation time by using their existing MinePlan Block Model Manager software to model their ore, thus allowing them a deeper understanding of their blast movement.

Hexagon, a trusted name in mining operations planning, design and optimisation for over 50 years, is renowned globally for its leadership in digital reality and autonomous solutions. This partnership with Augment Technologies promises to reinforce that reputation further.