IBM announced in early March it was working with Goldcorp Inc. to bring IBM Watson technology to the Canadian mining industry for the first time. The Vancouver-based gold producer will initially use IBM’s cognitive technology for its exploration targeting efforts at its Red Lake, Ontario, mine. 

A number of Watson services will be used to analyze vast amounts of data to help geologists determine specific areas to explore next, reach high-value exploration targets faster, calculate geological models with more certainty, and interpret the growing volume of data as geologists drive new discoveries, IBM said.

“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.

“Goldcorp has always been focused on responsible mining practices,” said Paul Harbidge, senior vice president of exploration at Goldcorp. “By coupling our exploration and mining expertise with IBM Watson’s cognitive strength, we will be able to make the exploration targeting process more efficient, ultimately generating higher yields and creating less environmental impact. Geologists will be able to more accurately determine the next target, enabling our teams to locate undiscovered gold deposits that may have previously required multiple drills to find.”

“This is a strategic initiative for both IBM and Goldcorp,” said Dariusz Piotrowski, director, IBM Cognitive & Analytics Solutions Development. “We are taking the IBM’s analytics platform tested and proven in the oil and gas industry and adapting it to the mining industry, demonstrating that cognitive subsurface analytics can lead to performance enhancement across the entire natural resources sector.”

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