Singapore-based technology start-up Atomionics has entered agreements with three mining companies for the adoption of its Gravio technology, which taps gravity variations to detect minerals, Reuters reported.

Atomionics CEO Sahil Tapiawala told the news agency that the companies will deploy its technology early next year. The names of the mining companies were not disclosed due to commercial confidentiality.

Gravio is based on highly sensitive ‘gravimeters’ developed by Atomionics. These sensors are used for detecting the unique gravitational variations caused by different minerals, stated Artrocker.

The sensors, coupled with AI algorithms, help pinpoint tiny variations in gravity and measure the potential mineral resources.

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Gravios’s new approach is said to have several advantages over traditional exploration methods such as drilling and seismic surveys, Artrocker further noted.

It is quick and low-cost while being environmentally less invasive, the website said.

The AI system is also said to better analyse complex data and help identify targets that were previously considered unviable.

There remain certain impediments for Gravio, such as scaling the technology up for large-scale exploration and ensuring that the AI analyses are accurate.

There are also challenges around integrating this technology with existing mining workflows and gaining industry-wide acceptance.

Atomionics chief geoscientist Anya Chandra was quoted by Artrocker as saying: “It is like listening to the whispers of the Earth. Our technology essentially allows us to see through the ground and map out mineral deposits with unprecedented accuracy.”

The company claims to have identified a hidden lithium deposit using its system, in partnership with an unnamed Australian mining company.

The technology was first deployed by New Hope NHC.AX’s subsidiary Bridgeport Energy to find oil in the Australian state of Queensland.

Bridgeport Energy exploration manager Cameron Fink was quoted by Reuters as saying: “The energy industry would traditionally defer to seismic data before undertaking any drilling project.

“With further development, Gravio can present as a low-cost alternative to traditional methods of exploration.”