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IBM and Goldcorp's Partnership Brings New Technology to Canadian Mining
IBM Watson, a cognitive technology that can think like a human, will be implemented at Red Lake mine in Ontario.
IBM (NYSE:IBM) and Goldcorp (TSX:G, NYSE:GG) have launched a strategic partnership to implement the cognitive technology IBM Watson, used to analyze large amounts of data, at Red Lake, Ontario mine. This is the first time the Canadian mining industry will use this type of technology.
IBM Watson, a technology that can think like a human, will allow geologist to determine specific areas of exploration, reach high-value exploration targets faster, and interpret the growing volume of data as geologist drive new discoveries, as it analyzes vast amounts of data –from drilling reports to geological survey information.
“The ability of IBM Watson to understand, learn, reason, and interact will have a considerable impact on the Canadian mining industry by enabling geologists to make more data-driven decisions, faster,” said Mark Fawcett, a partner with IBM Global Business Services.
The cognitive technology has been successfully implemented in a variety of industries ranging from medicine to oil and gas.
However, Dariusz Piotrowski, director, IBM Cognitive & Analytics Solutions Development, said the most promising application of Watson in the mining sector is in mineral exploration.
“This is due to the system’s ability to learn about geology and successful exploration techniques in order to guide Geologists to more prospective areas,” he added.
IBM started working with Goldcorp’s exploration group last summer to determine how cognitive computing could improve the company’s mineral exploration program, starting with the Red Lake District.
During the first phase of the program, Vancouver-based Goldcorp, one of the largest gold mining companies in the world, provided Watson with structured data from a wide range of sources.
“Phase two is where we start to educate Watson to refine and build the exploration model the system will use to make predictions and provide recommendations on where Goldcorp should direct its exploration activities,” Piotrowski added.
That said, in an aim to provide a wider perspective on exploration techniques, Goldcorp plans to work with leading universities to access top talent in earth sciences in educating Watson.
“The ability to gain new insights from cognitive systems like Watson has the potential to transform every facet of the mining process. It’s a big part of the future of mining,” Goldcorp’s CEO Todd White said.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.