The innovative company is merging AI and machine learning in the mining sector to help miners and explorers pinpoint deposits before shovels hit the ground.
As new resources are found in more remote locations and farther in the ground than ever before, it will take technological innovation paired with mining expertise to access these deposits.
That’s where GoldSpot Discoveries (TSXV:SPOT) comes in. The innovative company is merging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in the mining sector to help miners and explorers pinpoint deposits before shovels hit the ground.
At the fifth annual Collision Conference, which took place in Toronto in late May, the Investing News Network (INN) sat down with GoldSpot COO and Director Vincent Dubé-Bourgeois to discuss the company’s rapid growth and how it is reshaping how miners approach new discoveries.
INN: How has the conference been for you so far?
VDB: So far, Collision has been really good for us. We’ve talked to lots of new people and potential investors, (and) we’re just trying to get the brand out there in the technology space. Really, for us, it has been great.
INN: GoldSpot Discoveries is the first public AI company in the mining sector, and was born out of the #DisruptMining challenge. Can you tell new investors a little about the company?
VDB: Definitely. As you said, we came from the #DisruptMining challenge, and what we did there was we developed a new technology to help mining companies reduce the cost and risk of exploration. How we do that is we take all the data they have accumulated and use different machine learning techniques to find better deposits for a lesser cost.
But that is only one part of GoldSpot. The other part, where the big upside is, is the investment arm. We are about to accumulate databases from the TSXV, TSX, S&P, Bloomberg and all the other sources, and accumulate that in a database where each of the layers speaks to each other.
The goal of that is to create an algorithm to find the best company in the junior stock market to invest in. That way we will be able to pick the best company pound for pound in the market and invest in them before anyone else sees those guys.
After that, we can bring our own team of geologists to work those projects. As any great portfolio manager will say, you need 10 percent of your portfolio in the resource space, so instead of trying to find the best small company to invest in, you should invest in GoldSpot because we will be able to pick the best company to invest in before anyone. So you can reduce the risk and get better upside there.
VDB: Totally. GoldSpot is only the name, but we have worked on a lot of different projects, such as copper projects, silver projects, gold projects — the technology is always the same. Minerals form for a reason, so by working with geologists that already know the project, as well as data scientists, we are able to find that reason in the database so we can work on any type of project.
INN: The mining sector often gets a bad rap when it comes to technological innovation, which isn’t at all deserved sometimes. How has the sector responded to GoldSpot?
VDB: We have seen a switch in the last few years, where mining companies were having a lot of troubles finding new discoveries. They were spending lots of money to get there, so they realized they needed a change. This is how GoldSpot was founded, it’s because that change really needed to happen.
INN: And there are a lot of deposits now that are farther down and harder to find?
VDB: Exactly. They are farther down and harder to find, and there has also been much more data collected in the last 10 years than ever before. With all this data, geologists can’t understand all of it together. But machine learning is able to find the (connections) for mineral exploration and find better targets.
INN: There is rarely a resource that is pure — a lot of time there are multiple resources in one deposit. Is your technology able to delineate between the different minerals?
VDB: Definitely. This is why we have a team of geologists that work the projects. We’re not just a data science team, we are a team of geos that work together with data science to delineate a project. It’s on a project by project basis — if a deposit has multiple types of mineralization, we can focus our efforts on one at a time, and maybe all of them together to help delineate better resources.
INN: Speaking of technology in the mining sector, unfortunately there aren’t a lot of companies at Collision focused on the mining sector. Why do you think that is?
VDB: Well, like you mentioned before, the mining industry is an old industry, it’s probably the oldest industry in the world, and it taking time to change. But we have seen that change in various aspects of the mining industry, either from exploration with GoldSpot or other companies that do more maintenance or mine optimization. It is changing at a slow pace and it’s getting there eventually.
INN: And demand is there — revenue for GoldSpot was up 175 percent in 2018. Where is the company going in the future? Where do you see technology in the mining sector going?
VDB: Really, GoldSpot has been growing quite fast over the last three years. We started with a team of three people and now we are over 25, from geologists to data scientists. So GoldSpot will keep moving forward in the industry, and we will do more investment and help smaller companies work projects with a team they can afford.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Georgia Williams, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: GoldSpot Discoveries is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.
The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.