Gates’ Breakthrough backs Canadian mining tech firm

Tech can ‘significantly accelerate key mineral discovery and recovery’

Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures has backed a C$20 million (US$15 million) series A equity fund raising by Alberta-based GeologicAI, which the latter says will accelerate global scaling of its “fleet of AI-powered robot geologists”.

GeologicAI’s proprietary core scanning robot uses high-resolution imaging, XRF and hyperspectral data to analyse rock samples.

“By leveraging advanced machine vision and AI to analyse high-resolution, multi-sensor rock sample data, GeologicAI can offer faster and more accurate results than traditional core logging methods,” the Calgary-headquartered company says.

GeologicAI, which emerged about four years ago out of energy-focused software developer Enersoft with support from Alberta non-profit Tecterra, can help “significantly accelerate key mineral discovery and recovery”, according to Breakthrough’s Carmichael Roberts.

Washington-based Breakthrough was formed in 2015 and is said to have raised more than US$2 billion to invest in “cutting-edge companies that are leading the world to net-zero emissions”.

“Without sufficient quantities of key minerals like copper, nickel, cobalt and lithium the transition to a clean energy economy simply cannot happen,” Roberts said.

“GeologicAI’s multi-sensor core scanning robots and AI-assisted analysis are a powerful combination,” he said.

GeologicAI’s CEO Grant Sanden said the company was already working with “some of the world’s leading mining and exploration companies” and was looking to rapidly establish a global footprint.

The company’s digital rock viewing and analysis software gave geologists worldwide instant access to high-resolution, AI-enhanced digital rock twins. Its data-driven insights equipped geologists and energy scientists with “powerful tools for efficient, environmentally-conscious resource discovery and extraction”.

“Our customers recognize the value of our AI-enhanced geological data, which optimises both discovery and development,” Sanden said.

“We’re delighted to have BEV onboard as we globalise this revolutionary technology.”


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