US Critical Materials Taps AI to Detect Rare Earths More Effectively

by | 22. May 2024 - 10:15 | Economy

Artificial intelligence will be used to explore the Sheep Creek deposit in Montana, which also contains gallium.

The mining company US Critical Materials wants to use artificial intelligence (AI) to search for raw materials and has signed an agreement with VerAI Discoveries, the developer of such technology. Mining.com first reported this on Monday. The platform is set to be used in the exploration of Sheep Creek in the U.S. state of Montana, a rare earth deposit that also contains gallium.

The two companies explain that VerAI’s AI-driven exploration technology could more accurately identify potential drilling targets in densely vegetated areas, increasing the probability of success and minimizing environmental impact. The overarching goal is to strengthen the security of the supply of critical raw materials in the United States.

Both rare earths and gallium are important for green and digital technologies, but China largely dominates production. Last year, the People’s Republic imposed export restrictions for gallium and germanium, resulting in a decline in exports, partly because permits had to be applied. The U.S. had previously introduced similar export controls for semiconductor technology, which met with resistance from China.

Promising future—more on AI and raw materials: Artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly important in the exploration of raw materials. For example, U.S. mining company KoBold Metals relies on this technology as success rates in the search for deposits are declining, and new methods of mining exploration are needed. Raw material giant China also plans to use AI in exploration efforts. The U.S. Department of Defense is even planning to make the raw materials markets more transparent with the help of corresponding technologies.

Photo: iStock/Just_Super

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