Machine learning and artificial intelligence are becoming key components of mineral exploration programs as companies set exploration targets. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) have the ability to solve two of the mining industry's biggest challenges: rising exploration costs and a lack of new discoveries. After a heavy downturn in the past few years, the mining and mineral exploration sector is finally starting to recover, but deep challenges remain. In an industry that thrives on new discoveries, today's resource companies are finding it harder and more expensive to locate new deposits. Gold provides one of the greatest examples of this dearth of new discoveries in the face of rising exploration costs.
Brazil's mining major Vale is set to start applying machine learning to identify new drilling targets at its Coleman nickel mine. Coleman Mine, which is the flagship asset of Vale in Ontario, Canada, is part of the company's base metals operations. Vale has selected technology company GoldSpot Discoveries to examine and analyse the vast amount of data acquired by it over decades of mining at Coleman. GoldSpot Discoveries' team of geologists and data scientists will also discover previously unrecognised data trends, which may point to unknown areas of in-depth mineralisation. By using its geoscience and machine science expertise, GoldSpot Discoveries' team will clean, unify and analyse exploration data from Vale's Coleman Mine.
As the thirst for technology increases and the demand for smartphones, electric cars and other complex technological devices grows, the amount of resources, minerals and metals we need will only increase, but can we meet this demand? There are few sectors and industries that have not been impacted by technological advancement. Whether it's improving efficiency, enhancing transparency or transforming the supply chain, big data, machine learning and AI are poised to reshape the mining sector as we know it; and the timing couldn't be any better. At the recent Big Data and AI conference held in Toronto, the topic of mining disruption through technology was front and center. Speaker Denis Laviolette, president and CEO of GoldSpot Discovery, highlighted the need for the mining sector to not only embrace the recent advancements, but to also quickly look for ways to integrate these innovations into its business model.
A couple of weeks ago, I introduced you to an exciting new company called GoldSpot Discoveries, conceived and headed by mining visionary Denis Laviolette. GoldSpot is the world's first exploration company to use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in the discovery process for precious metals and other natural resources. Not yet three years old, it's already had a number of successes locating optimal target zones. I'm pleased to inform you now that GoldSpot began trading last week on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker SPOT. This is a giant leap forward not just for the company and its team but also AI in general.
Artificial intelligence is no longer the stuff of science fiction. The technology is already disrupting multiple industries, many of which impact you on a daily basis. Own an iPhone X? Its facial recognition system is powered by AI. Ever been redirected by Google Maps because of an accident or construction ahead? And those are just a couple of small examples.