Artificial Intelligence: World’s Largest Miner To Deploy KoBold’s AI Technology For Exploration

Mining giant BHP and KoBold Metals will use big data and AI to explore for minerals needed for batteries and clean energy.

KoBold Metals, a startup specializing in exploration for the minerals essential for EVs and green energy transition, has inked an agreement with BHP (ASX: BHP), the world’s largest mining company, to explore for metals such as cobalt, nickel and copper, starting in Western Australia. (


KoBold is an AI-powered mineral exploration startup backed by top-drawer investors including Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a climate technology fund overseen by Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and other global business leaders; Andreessen Horowitz, the Silicon Valley venture capital fund; and Equinor, the Norwegian state oil company.

The company’s AI models help make critical exploration decisions such as where to acquire land, what data to collect, and where to drill, and together with its databases, comprise “cutting edge knowledge” for battery mineral exploration. Data could include from old drilling results to satellite imagery.

KoBold’s algorithms make up its Machine Prospector AI suite, while its data platform, TerraShed, aggregates and structures vast collections of scientific data and makes it rapidly available for analysis. Used together, they “predict the composition of the subsurface in a statistically valid manner,” KoBold states on its website.

This technology is available only to projects in which KoBold owns an interest and is investing in their exploration. It is not available to license or as a “fee-for-service” basis.

Last month it signed a JV with BlueJay Mining (LON: JAY) to explore for minerals in Greenland.


BHP, as part of its climate goals, plans to focus on “future-facing” commodities, such as battery metals, and will make available to KoBold its massive repository of exploration data accumulated over many decades.

“Globally, shallow ore deposits have largely been discovered, and remaining resources are likely deeper underground and harder to see from the surface,” Keenan Jennings, vice president at BHP Metals Exploration, said in a statement. “This alliance will combine historical data, artificial intelligence, and geoscience expertise to uncover what has previously been hidden.”

Related Story: Goldspot’s AI Boosts Success in Mineral Exploration

Image Credit: Bluejay Mining

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