Perth-based Strategic Elements (ASX: SOR) has signed a joint venture agreement with local business optimisation specialist Global Integrated Operations to apply its artificial intelligence technology to fixed plant processes in mining operations worldwide.
Under the terms of the joint venture scheduled to kick-off in January, Strategic’s robotics company Stealth Technologies will work with GIO to complete a proof of concept applying AI to fixed plant operations and deliver a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution.
The parties will facilitate the implementation of a working prototype system with an end user in the resources industry to demonstrate the functionality and feasibility of applying AI to fixed plant processing in mining.
They aim to develop an AI solution which makes the identification and implementation of control room variability reduction opportunities more cost-effective and sustainable, enabling greater value to be unlocked from mining operations worldwide.
With more than US$680 billion per year currently generated by the world’s top 40 mining companies, even a moderate reduction in variability of the fixed plant component in minerals processing could have dramatic upside in value delivered through increased reliability, throughput and ultimately revenues realised by the client.
Strategic managing director Charles Murphy said the application of AI and advanced data analytics is consistent with some of the top trends that mining company companies are pursuing worldwide.
“Data analytics, automation and robotics technologies continue to transform the resources sector,” he said.
“We look forward to working with an end user to develop the proof of concept and demonstrate the functionality and feasibility of applying artificial intelligence to fixed plant processing in mining.”
Mr Murphy said Stealth Technologies has the capability to custom build AI and robotic systems for its own proprietary technologies and in collaboration with commercial and government partners for their own specific business cases.
“Most artificial intelligence companies only focus on software development,” he said.
“Stealth’s point of difference is the multi-disciplinary capability to physically custom-build automated robotic machines, integrate computer vision capabilities enabling a computer to see (through cameras and sensors) and create AI through machine learning and software development.”
Software access model
SaaS – also known as hosted or on-demand software – is a model for the distribution of software where customers gain access in return for a recurring service fee.
It is hosted by a service provider and includes updates and improvements to software as part of the fee package.
SaaS can be lucrative for software developers, allowing a single set of infrastructure to be leveraged to host the software for multiple customers, reducing the costs of providing the service and giving rise to high profit margins.
Strategic Elements has been nationally-registered as a pooled development fund with a mandate to back Australian innovation.
The company operates as a ‘venture builder’, generating projects by building teams of leading scientists or innovators in the technology or resources sectors.
Due to the pooled development fund program that the company operates under, most shareholders pay no tax on capital gains or dividends.
Mr Murphy said the company has a particular interest in projects which explore brand new fields of innovation such as artificial intelligence and mine automation.
Industry research suggests the global mine automation market is expected to grow to around US$6.2 billion dollars by 2025, which will lead to an increase in the amount of data generated for optimisation purposes.
At midday, shares in Strategic Elements were up 8.96% to $0.073.