(Photo) Augment Technologies’ Co-Founder and Chairman Greg Hardwich and Hexagon’s Vice President of Resource Optimisation James Dampney at the INDABA 2024 African Mining Conference.

A mining technology partnership has been announced, offering industry access to custom engineered artificial intelligence (AI), designed to increase ore recovery following open pit blasting.

Perth-headquartered Augment Technologies confirmed at the INDABA 2024 African Mining conference that customers of world-renowned technology provider Hexagon now have access to its leading AI-driven solution.

Known as the Muckpile Block Model™, this technology can improve ore recovery by as much as 5 per cent and create tens of millions of dollars in additional revenue per year and per mine for miners.

The revolutionary tool can enhance operational efficiencies by precisely tracking and managing open pit blast movement, enabling miners to increase their ore yield.

Speaking at INDABA in South Africa, Augment Technologies Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer Greg Hardwich said the partnership with Hexagon set a new industry standard for minimising ore loss and dilution due to blast movement, regardless of the commodity.

“Our team is thrilled to be working with this global autonomous technology leader to deliver our cutting-edge application,” Greg said.

“By leveraging a physics engine powered by AI, we have created the Muckpile Block Model™ which has ongoing machine learning abilities to inform decision-making that brings enormous benefits to open pit miners.

“Our Muckpile Block Model™ not only saves costs associated with ore loss, but it can also be measured using remotely operated drones, improving safety by minimising risk to the workforce.

“It delivers extremely high accuracy and resolution, and together with Hexagon’s Block Model Manager and the option of  Blast Movement Monitor (BMM) data, we can now arm customers with an enhanced geological modelling solution from reserves through to production.

“This is game changing for the mining industry, as the integration of our AI-driven solution equips mining companies with unprecedented insights and methods to solve high-value and complex problems, empowering them to mine more efficiently and safely.”

Hexagon’s Vice President of Resource Optimisation James Dampney said the implications of integrating Augment’s Muckpile Block Model™ into Hexagon’s solutions were profound for industry, with ore loss, dilution, and misclassification costing mines millions of wasted dollars a year.

“Our partnership with Augment Technologies will help mines optimise processes upstream and downstream handling of ore, resulting in valuable processing efficiency and reductions in energy consumption,” James said.

“Customers will save training and operation time by employing our existing MinePlan Block Model Manager software used to model their ore, which allows them to dig deeper into their blast movement.”

As a world-renowned leader in digital reality and autonomous solutions for more than 50 years, Hexagon is a trusted name in helping miners plan, design, and optimise operations.