IBM and Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology have announced the launch of OptiMine Analytics, a platform to track the performance of mining equipment.

The OptiMine Analytics solution, jointly developed by IBM and Sandvik, uses predictive technology to make assessments about the future performance of equipment. The platform also takes advantage of IBM’s Watson to combine equipment and application data from disparate sources in real time.

Data recorded by Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled mining devices has already been introduced as part of the platform, which will be used to assess the safety compliance of mining operations.

Petra Diamonds and Barminco, the joint clients of Sandvik and IBM, are tapping IoT to help reduce miner exposure to hostile work environments and improve safety performance.

Barminco CEO Paul Muller said: “Leveraging data is become increasingly valuable across the mining sector. Through analytics, machine learning and AI, we are seeing new possibilities for increased operational efficiency.

“Our partnership with Sandvik’s OptiMine Analytics allows us to fast-track our efforts, leveraging Sandvik’s whole-of-fleet data and innate machine knowledge.”

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By GlobalData

Vedanta Zinc International will also use OptiMine Analytics at its Black Mountain Mining operations in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province.

Additionally, Hindustan Zinc has contacted Sandvik to provide new technology its Sindesar Khurd Mine in India.

“Through analytics, machine learning and AI, we are seeing new possibilities for increased operational efficiency.”

IBM Global Business Services Cognitive Process Transformation general manager Jay Bellissimo said: “Sensors and tracking systems for asset management is only the beginning when it comes to how artificial intelligence will disrupt the mining industry.

“IBM and Sandvik are now on course to help transform the mining value chain with the fusion of cognitive capabilities into miners business and operating processes.”

In January this year, IBM and tech firm MineHub Technologies partnered to use blockchain technology for tracking high-value minerals across the supply chain, from miner to buyer.