World’s largest copper producer brings AI to its mines

Chile’s Codelco, the world’s No. 1 copper producer, will incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) into its mines to monitor the health of mining equipment and ensure operations run efficiently, as part of a deal signed Tuesday with Chicago-based AI provider Uptake.

The move is part of an aggressive transformation of the state-miner, which is looking at adding fresh technologies to revitalizing some of its century-old mines.

Over the next ten years, Codelco plans to automate the operation of its mine fleets and processing plants, capture data and detect efficiencies as it continues to redefine its entire operational approach.

Over the next ten years, Codelco plans to automate the operation of its mine fleets and processing plants, capture data and detect efficiencies as it continues to redefine its entire operational approach.

"Deploying artificial intelligence will allow Codelco to make best use of our operational data and allow us to reach our goals of boosting mining productivity, reduce costs and maintain safe machine operations through the predictive capabilities of Uptake's Asset Performance Management software," Jaime Rivera, Codelco general manager of the Andina Division, said in a statement.

"We are excited to partner with Codelco given their forward thinking to accelerate not only their operations, but the industry,” Uptake's executive vice-president of Industry, Product and Partnerships noted.

The scope of the agreement includes mining and processing equipment at Codelco's Division Ministro Hales (DMH) mine in Calama. It covers grinding mills, roasters, crushers, pumps, haul trucks among other machines with a view to creating a comprehensive and enterprise-wide Asset Performance Management solution across all the company’s operating mines.

Today’s agreement is just one of the many steps Codelco has recently taken towards modernizing its operations.

Earlier this month, the copper giant created the Vice Presidency of Information Technologies to address the challenge of digital transformation.