California-based OffWorld and Saudi Arabia’s largest mining company, Ma’aden, will explore options for replacing “legacy mining methods” with low-impact, AI-powered robotic machine swarms under an alliance agreement signed at the recent Future Minerals Forum in Riyadh.
The senior vice president, safety, sustainability & innovation at Ma’aden, Hamad Al-Rashidi, said miners needed to move faster to unlock benefits of emerging technologies.
“The world cannot afford for the mining industry to continue to operate legacy mining methods that put humans in harsh operational environments and unnecessarily move millions of tonnes of waste material,” he said.
“Ma’aden intends to lead the way by leveraging technological advancement in robotics and artificial intelligence to achieve fully autonomous mining.”
OffWorld, based in Pasadena, said this month it was “taking orders” for its industrial swarm robotic mining systems with a view to starting deployments next year.
The memorandum of understanding with Ma’aden is presumably a step in this direction.
CEO and co-founder of the six-year-old OffWorld, Jim Keravala, said the Saudi miner was “dedicated to building the mines of the future whilst leading the way with action”.
Ma’aden reportedly entered into more than 20 agreements and MoU’s with large and small international exploration, technology and mineral processing technology and engineering companies at the Future Minerals Forum.