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21 July, 2020 - 10:32 By Tony Quested and BASF fast-track mining industry digital revolution

German chemical giant BASF and Cambridge UK business, have created an exclusive partnership which leverages their combined expertise in mineral processing, ore beneficiation chemistry and industrial AI technology. 

The joint offering is called the ‘BASF Intelligent Mine powered by’ and delivers AI solutions embedded with BASF’s mineral processing and chemical expertise. This solution will enable mine operations to become more efficient, sustainable and safe, say the partners.

BASF Intelligent Mine powered by is an open, real-time, decision-making platform that can be configured for individual sites, typically within three months. 

Each mining process, such as grinding, thickening, flotation and pumping, is supported by an Optimisation as a Service (OaaS) application which predicts and simulates future performance, generating process-specific recommendations for insights and optimisation. 

As multiple OaaS applications link together, customers can generate efficiency gains throughout the entire mine-to-market value chain.

Remote operations access allows for 24/7 visibility of mine operational and financial performance, with BASF process experts available to provide real-time support. 

The in-built simulation tool can also be used to test alternative operating conditions, train staff and run non-intrusive ‘what if’ scenarios.

The AI solutions are based on a hybrid cloud architecture, enabling both on site and cloud deployments, to help mining industry partners accelerate their digitalisation programs in their operations.

Early adopters of the Intelligent Mine, Image Resources, have experienced promising results from the Intelligent Mine deployment in the mineral sands industry. 

Image Resources MD Patrick Mutz said: “Image Resources is both excited and optimistic about the potential the BASF Intelligent Mine powered by can have to positively impact the accuracy and efficiency of our process control functions to meaningfully improve our bottom-line. 

“From our experience so far, we are confident it will achieve these results whilst simplifying and de-stressing operational decision making.” CEO Sam Bose said: "In a tough economic climate the need to focus on mining productivity within sustainable and remote operational constraints is driving pressure on operating and capex budgets and requires innovative solutions with accelerated value delivery. 

“The partnership between BASF and ensures mining organisations have a partner that understands both their operational risk as well as new technologies.” Industrial AI solutions are optimising mining industry processes across the sector’s value chain resulting in increased value delivery, reduced energy & water consumption, minimised waste & reduced process variability. Active deployments of technology span mining operations across Chile, Australia, Kazakhstan, Brazil and South Africa. 

BASF SE is a German chemical company and the largest chemical producer in the world. The group has subsidiaries and joint ventures in more than 80 countries and operates six integrated production sites and 390 other production sites in Europe, Asia, Australia, the Americas and Africa. It reported revenues of €59.32 billion in 2019.

• PHOTOGRAPH: Sam G. Bose, CEO, and Damien Caby, Senior Vice President BASF Oilfield Chemicals & Mining Solutions, announce the BASF Intelligent Mine powered by strategic partnership.

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