Covering EDI, AI and IP, from the Deep Sea to Space, and everything in between, the MICA Annual Conference & Innovation Showcase was a microcosm of how much innovation is happening in the mining industry. Over two very full days, delegates saw and heard how these new technologies and solutions will shape how mining will be done in the next decade and beyond.
Day one was started by Jim Keravala, founder and Chief Architect of OffWorld AI, demonstrating how using a coordinated swarm of robots can lead to a more productive way to mine. After this, representatives of Coeur Mining, Vale and BHP discussed ongoing efforts for decarbonization and sustainability efforts at their respective operations. The afternoon was filled with talks on the potential role of artificial intelligence in mining operations, how mining deep-sea polymetallic nodules might works and how genomics research is being applied in mining.
Launching Day two, Peter Bryant, Chair of Clareo, spoke to the conference about ‘The Innovation Imperative’ currently seizing mining, and how greater investments in innovation are necessary to meet future demands for critical minerals. Delegates then heard from a panel of experts, from Nutrien, Centerra Gold, and Wamboin Partners, about their experiences with AI, automation and robotic technologies. Closing out the day was an in-depth session on intellectual property, was delivered by Noel Courage from Bereskin and Par LLP followed by Agnico Eagle taking the stage to share what they’ve learned as they move forward with the autonomisation of their fleet.
Both days included lunchtime speakers, focused on social issues. On Day One we heard from Peggy Bell, Executive Director of Resource Becoming, on how to craft strategies for data-informed growth. On Day Two, Lana Eagle, Senior Advisor & Consultant at Lana Eagle Consulting spoke about how different approaches to exploration and mining can yield stronger partnerships with First Nations groups, help asset holders secure social license faster, and realize economic benefits of this activity sooner.
It was a stimulating two days, but still only scratched the surface of the innovation taking place in the mining industry. It is an exciting time to be in Mining!
The MICA team would like to thank our Session Chairs, Valerie Maltais of Coeur Mining and Anthony Downs of Wamboin Partners, and everyone that participated and spoke at the event. Two inspiring days would not have been possible without your contributions and presentations. Last, but not least – a special thanks also goes out to our Sponsor NGen who helped make this event a success.