Bringing Watson to the mines

March 03, 2017
Written by Staff
Goldcorp will start using IBM Watson for exploration targeting efforts at their Red Lake, Ontario mine. (CNW Group/IBM Canada Ltd.)
Goldcorp will start using IBM Watson for exploration targeting efforts at their Red Lake, Ontario mine. (CNW Group/IBM Canada Ltd.)
Calgary – IBM announced they are working with Goldcorp Inc. to bring IBM Watson technology to the Canadian mining industry for the first time. The Vancouver-based gold producer – one of the largest gold mining companies in the world – will initially use IBM's cognitive technology for its exploration targeting efforts in its Red Lake, Ont. mine.

A number of Watson services will be used to analyze vast amounts of data – from drilling reports to geological survey information – to help geologists determine specific areas to explore next, reach high-value exploration targets faster, calculate geological models with more certainty, and interpret the growing volume of data as geologists drive new discoveries. This will improve the ability of geologists to surface new information from existing data and deliver regionalized insights that will assist in the exploration process.

"The ability of IBM Watson to understand, learn, reason, and interact will have a considerable impact on the Canadian mining industry by enabling geologists to make more data-driven decisions, faster," said Mark Fawcett, a partner with IBM Global Business Services. "In industries such as natural resources where knowledge professionals are working with a rapidly growing volume of data, Watson is helping to evolve how professionals operate, make decisions, drive value, and gain competitive advantage."

"Goldcorp has always been focused on responsible mining practices," said Paul Harbidge, senior vice president of exploration at Goldcorp. "By coupling our exploration and mining expertise with IBM Watson's cognitive strength, we will be able to make the exploration targeting process more efficient, ultimately generating higher yields and creating less environmental impact. Geologists will be able to more accurately determine the next target, enabling our teams to locate undiscovered gold deposits that may have previously required multiple drills to find."

"This is a strategic initiative for both IBM and Goldcorp," said Dariusz Piotrowski, director, IBM Cognitive & Analytics Solutions Development. "We are taking the IBM's analytics platform tested and proven in the oil and gas industry and adapting it to the mining industry, demonstrating that cognitive subsurface analytics can lead to performance enhancement across the entire natural resources sector."  

IBM will be demonstrating how IBM Watson will support exploration targeting at #DisruptMining, a marquee event to be held on Sunday, March 5th during the annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada ("PDAC") conference at The Carlu in Toronto. The event, co-hosted by Goldcorp and Integra Gold, will showcase disruptive and exponential technologies with the potential to revolutionize the future of mineral exploration, mining, and more.

IBM Canada is committed to helping build a strong Canadian economy with cognitive systems such as Watson. The IBM Natural Resources Solution Centre in Calgary demonstrates this commitment by offering an environment where business leaders from the petroleum and mining industries can explore solutions to specific business problems by sharing ideas and developing proofs of concept and pilot projects.

For more information, visit

For more information on Goldcorp Inc., visit

Source: IBM Canada Ltd. 

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