BHP expands nickel search with SensOre

Clean energy

BHP Nickel West. Image: BHP.

BHP has hired SensOre to target mineral deposits in support of its Nickel West operations in Western Australia.

SensOre will apply its data cube and discriminant predictive targeting (DPT) technology on commodity-specific deposits as part of resource exploration with the major miner.

BHP chief executive Mike Henry has often reiterated the company’s intention to develop its growth options, particularly in future-facing commodities such as copper and nickel.

“… In the case of nickel and copper we would like more resource, although another thing that (BHP chief financial officer Peter Beaven) often talks passionately about is the potential for us to unlock more options within the resource that we already have, though a focus on innovation,” he told investors during BHP’s financial year results release in August.

“One thing that makes nickel hard, but that also means it has a lot of potential, is that the new high quality nickel sulphides are hard to find … when we talk about technical innovation, that is most relevant to our nickel story.”

SensOre, which holds a 60 per cent interest in Yilgarn Exploration Ventures, identified its tenements using the multi-dimensional data cube.

The company deploys artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies to accurately predict known endowment and generate targets for further discovery.

SensOre chief executive and director Richard Taylor said the vast data challenge of cleaning and integrating massive geoscience datasets had in the past been an obstacle to applying big data and machine learning advances to mineral exploration.

“The (agreement with BHP) is a very positive development for SensOre that has come to fruition over many months of discussion,” he said.

“Through agreements like this, we believe SensOre’s DPT technology will be part of a new wave of discovery in mature markets.”

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