QUT funding to develop mine rehabilitation using AI

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Queensland University of Technology researchers have secured $ 1.14 million to develop two major mining research projects thaThis will have a positive impact on Queensland.

The first project is to develop Australia’s first mining site rehabilitation system based on artificial intelligence (AI) and associated software, led by researcher Dr Kien Nguyen.

The other research project led by Dr John Outram will develop new, value-added materials from mining waste for use in plastics recycling, water purification and agriculture.

Nguyen said there were 220,000 hectares of disturbed mining land across Queensland with an estimated rehabilitation cost of $ 7.3 billion.

“Our proposed AI-enabled software platform will facilitate faster and more accurate assessment of each site, as well as theoretically proven remediation strategies, adapted to the site and progressively adaptive to conventional manual practices,” said he declared.

“The results will help minimize the impact of mining’s footprint on our state’s economy, society and environment by safely reintegrating mines back into the landscape.

“The research is applicable to all mine sites in need of rehabilitation, regardless of their location, so there is also an opportunity to export our technology and expertise internationally. “

Nguyen will lead a team of experts in AI and machine learning, ecological and environmental management to develop advanced computer vision and machine learning techniques in partnership with the ecological engineering company Verterra, in close collaboration with the office of the Queensland Mine Rehabilitation Commissioner.

Outram will focus on transforming mine waste into valuable products for industrial use, in partnership with Environmental Development Group, Synbio and a Queensland vertical farming company.

“Waste is considered to be of low value, so we seek to develop ‘recipes’ that convert it into improved materials as part of the training process, to produce customizable end products suitable for use in reactors, vessels and industrial columns, ”Outram said.

The project will use the waste stream from a Queensland exploration site to determine the value proposition of new advanced materials as salable products.

The two three-year projects will start in 2022 and are expected to create regional and rural jobs.

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