How will AI impact mineral drilling? ‘We asked AI’

Richard Roberts

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BHP WA Iron Ore Geoscience principal improvement, Lance Karlson
‘We’re really at an inflection point where that is going to change so much of what we do’

Radical thinking on the future design of mineral exploration drill rigs is coming, a principal in BHP’s Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) geoscience team said in Perth this week. But it’s unlikely to result in “a space-age drill rig by 2033”, the AusIMM Iron Ore Conference 2023 heard.

While suggesting significant technology shifts were creating opportunities for “more rapid change than we have now”, Lance Karlson said primary drivers of change in the industry – safety, productivity and ESG markers – were generating incremental gains that could be incorporated in more futuristic equipment designs down the track.

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