The project represents a significant step forward in the application of machine learning to mineral prospectivity mapping and holds great promise for the global mining industry.

The consortium has been awarded 5.6 million euros in co-innovation funding from Business Finland for the ambitious Artificial Intelligence in Mineral Exploration (AIMEX) project. The share financed by BF is approximately 3 178 700 euros, 44 per cent of which is allocated to companies. The total amount of co-financing available to research organisations is 1 767 260 euros. The project runs from July 1, 2023, to December 31, 2025.

At its core, AIMEX seeks to leverage advanced machine learning techniques, including unsupervised and supervised methods, to revolutionize mineral prospectivity mapping. The ultimate goal is to develop a sophisticated decision-making system for mineral exploration with a specific focus on sustainability. This system will incorporate a broad spectrum of essential factors, such as mineral resource assessments, economic considerations, natural conservation areas, and land use constraints, thereby facilitating more responsible and sustainable mineral exploration.

”This significant project funding from Business Finland enables collaboration with our important stakeholders and maintains opportunities enhancing exploration technologies to secure growth in critical raw materials sector within the EU.”, says the accountable project leader of AIMEX consortium, research professor Vesa Nykänen from GTK.

What sets AIMEX apart is its unwavering commitment to integrating environmental, social, and governance considerations into the mineral potential assessment process. By doing so, the project aims to set a new standard for responsible mineral exploration, aligning it with the principles of environmental sustainability, societal well-being, and ethical governance.

“The AIMEX project will have a broad and sustainable impact, it is implemented in close international cooperation, it is highly challenging and focuses on data use and sharing. This is exactly the kind of project that Business Finland's Data Economy program aims to accelerate. AIMEX is developing a completely new kind of solution and we expect the result to be a big leap in the international competitiveness of the Finnish mining industry”, says Kari Klossner, Program Director at Business Finland.

The collaborative endeavour unites the formidable expertise of the Geological Survey of Finland, the University of Turku, and the Finnish Environment Institute. This partnership brings together leading researchers in the fields of mineral prospectivity mapping, machine learning, and sustainable development, fostering a powerful synergy of knowledge and innovation.

In addition to its research consortium, AIMEX also collaborates with a remarkable group of industrial partners:
Sokli Oy; Geopool Oy; CRS Laboratories Oy; Mawson Oy; Muon Solutions Oy; Radai Oy; Rovjok Oy

These industrial partners will play a crucial role in the project, contributing their expertise and resources to further the goals of AIMEX. Additionally, the project enjoys collaboration with esteemed industrial collaborators, providing essential test targets and data:
Boliden Kevitsa Mining Oy; FinnAust Mining Finland Oy; Kenex Ltd, Sokli Oy and Mawson Oy

Furthermore, AIMEX extends its global reach through international collaborators, enriching its research and impact:
The University of Free State, South Africa; The University of Applied Sciences, Würzburg-Schweinfurt, Germany; The University of Queensland, Australia; Geological Survey of Canada, Canada; University of Parma, Italy; Swemin, Sweden; Network of the Heads of European Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA); The Barents Euro-Arctic Council

The AIMEX project, with its remarkable consortium, partners, and collaborators, marks a significant stride toward responsible and sustainable mineral exploration. As mineral resources become ever more crucial to the global economy, AIMEX stands ready to lead the way in ensuring that these resources are harnessed with the utmost care for the environment, society, and governance.

For more information

News: Finnish Research Consortium Pioneers AI Breakthrough in sustainable Mineral Exploration with €5.6 Million Project (16.10.2023)

Susanna Horn, Group Manager, Finnish Environment Institute, tel. +358 0295 252 124, susanna.horn@syke.fi