Exeter KTP project implements ground-breaking data science into the mining industry
A recent Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between expert Data Scientists from the University of Exeter and SRK Exploration Services Ltd (SRK) has created a new and innovative solution to a historically unreliable process, using mathematical models.
SRK is a consultancy firm in the mineral exploration industry. Mineral exploration is a sector dedicated to identifying potential mining sites. Traditionally, mineral exploration has primarily relied on human judgement and serendipity – with approximately only 1 in 1,000 identified potential mineral occurrences translating into profitable mines. The combined worldwide demand for mined goods and the sheer improbability of an initiated exploration being worthwhile has left the industry to juggle with high costs and laborious workloads since its inception.
Led by Dr Daniel Williamson, a world-leading Bayesian statistician from University of Exeter, the KTP with SRK aimed to enhance the efficiency of exploration using mathematical models. Along with associate Dr Ehsanollah Baninajar, the partnership established a methodical and automated way of estimating the probability an area may yield a profitable mine, and what magnitude it may be. As a result, the technology not only presented a novel and innovative opportunity for SRK to make mineral exploration more effective, but also to more accurately and objectively predict potential costs.
SRK anticipates that their partnership with the University of Exeter will now open up new opportunities to rival with major players in the exploration sector, as well as compete for government contracts.
As a result of his evident talent for innovation throughout the project, Ehsanollah was offered a full-time position at SRK on completion of the project.
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