Red Lake Gold Mines (RLGM) is at the forefront of the mining industry’s exciting digital transformation.

Since 2017, Goldcorp has been working with IBM to determine how the IBM Watson cognitive computing platform could improve the company’s mineral exploration program. RLGM is now pioneering the world’s first Exploration with Watson platform.

The Watson initiative recently earned Goldcorp a prestigious Ingenious Award in the large private sector category from the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC). The ITAC award for Goldcorp’s Cognitive Journey recognizes excellence in the use of information and communications technology by organizations to solve problems, improve performance, introduce new services and grow business.

Red Lake is a world-class gold deposit located in Ontario’s historical mining region. It has over 80 years of data collected over the decades, however much of it was not easily accessible to our geologists. Traditionally, geologists could spend up to 80% of their analytical time searching for and preparing data, and only 20% interpreting and analyzing the data. Watson’s big advantage over conventional computer systems is its ability to ingest and process massive amounts of data faster and more accurately than conventional systems.

“The Exploration with Watson platform has been ground breaking for our company,” said Robin Fell, Goldcorp’s Director of Strategic Technology Solutions. “It is a powerful tool that geologists are now using to significantly speed up the time it takes to identify and analyze new targets at Red Lake. I believe that this innovative technology has the potential to fundamentally disrupt the mining industry.”

In addition to making geologists more efficient, Watson’s value lies in its predictive modeling capabilities for grassroots exploration. Watson is identifying new areas of mineralization at RLGM, with the goal of reducing exploration costs. We are currently drilling the first few targets that were first identified by Watson and then ranked and fully analyzed by our geologists. Once drill results are completed, Goldcorp plans to roll out Watson to other sites, heralding a new and exciting era for mineral exploration.

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