Artificial intelligence to drive lithium exploration in NSW

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Mining sensor technology specialist SensOre has received a New South Wales funding grant to expand its AI and data targeting initiatives for lithium extraction on the east coast of Australia.

Lithium is a highly reactive metal used for electric batteries.

The grant worth $322,000 is part of the NSW government’s Critical  Minerals and High-Tech Metals Activation FundSteam.

The group said that its new remote sensor techniques, which were deployed recently in South Australia, will be trialled in areas that are not currently known for lithium deposits, opening the door to new exploration and mining. 

Following the grant win, SensOre’s technology will be tested over large areas of New South Wales and is based on AI and machine learning methods that identify lithium rich granites as sources of economic lithium, tin, tantalum and caesium.

"We are thrilled to have received support from the NSW government for our technology, allowing us to expand our data platform and  explore untapped areas for lithium," SensOre chief executive Richard Taylor said.

"With  the use of cutting-edge remote sensing and AI/machine learning methods, we are confident that we will  be able to identify new sources of this critical  mineral and open up new opportunities for exploration and growth in NSW," he added.

The project design leverages new research in remote sensing, combined with applications of large geochemical and radiometric datasets to explore for specific minerals.

Research will be undertaken in two parallel endeavours and the targeting exercise will use fused results from both geochemistry and geophysics, using AI and machine learning technology approaches.

The intended outcome  will  be to create litho-geochemical and mineral prospectivity maps over NSW for lithium-caesium-tantalum pegmatites which are rocks with interlocking crystals, and other critical  minerals. 

The NSW Government established the $130 million Critical Minerals and High-Tech Metals Activation Fund to drive investment and support the development the critical minerals and  high-tech metals sector across  the entire supply  chain  in  NSW.

The Fund aims to position regional NSW as a major global supplier and processor of critical minerals and high-tech metals in addition to job creation opportunities and competitive advantages for NSW to establish a viable, valuable and sustainable sector.

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