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Plotlogic has become involved in two multi-million-dollar projects as the Australian mining industry recognises the technology’s value for more efficient and sustainable operations.

The first sees the tech start-up contracted by Thiess to Austral Resources’ Anthill copper project to deploy its proprietary OreSense technology for high-precision digital assaying and mine face scanning.

It’s hoped this will increase the mined copper grade and reduce waste while improving safety and sustainability.

Thiess Group executive for growth and strategy Abdul Jarrah said the company would trial the technology before expansion was considered.

“We’re excited by the potential that the implementation of this technology holds for Thiess and our clients, with benefits including increased productivity and mining efficiencies, and improving sustainability outcomes for our clients” Jarrah said.

“If the trial is successful, we will seek to expand the application of this technology across our metals projects to safely and sustainably maximise resource recovery for our clients.”

First ore was mined at Anthill in late March and Plotlogic founder and chief executive officer Andrew Job said it was a good opportunity to build a case study from the ground up.

“Mining should be able to generate the resources society needs without harming the environment. Plotlogic’s goal is to work with our customers to use AI and automation to deliver the future of natural resources – one that benefits both society and the industry,” he said.

Plotlogic has also been named an industry partner for a four-year project under the federal government’s $242.7 million Trailblazer Universities initiative.

The project will combine the expertise of universities such as University of Queensland (UQ), James Cook University and Curtin University with a range of industry bodies.

The project will receive $50 million from the Trailblazer initiative and $90 from Plotlogic and 32 other industry partners including Glencore, BHP, Rio Tinto and Newcrest.

Job said it was important for companies from all sides of mining to be able to collaborate on solutions that will benefit all.

“We are looking forward to building on our close collaborative relationship with UQ through the Trailblazer program,” he said.

“It aligns closely with our company’s vision to make the mining industry more sustainable.”

Professor Anna Littleboy from UQ’s Sustainable Minerals Institute said such collaboration would “change the game” in new technology minerals.

“This project will allow researchers from across the University to collaborate with business partners, scale up innovation and work with entrepreneurs to develop and commercialise Australia’s new resources and minerals industries,’” she said.

“The best university and industry minds will work together to secure a reliable supply of critical minerals for Australia, making sure we use our innovation, knowledge and talent in the move towards net-zero emissions.”

Plotlogic’s work with UQ will see the technology used for hyperspectral imaging at the point of excavation; real-time algorithms to determine ore grade distribution; and precision machine control to maximise the quality of rock mass sent for processing while minimising the loss of high-grade material.