Artificial intelligence (AI) and data science have been disrupting a number of business sectors of late, but what about more traditional ones like mining?

Well this is what Accenture aims to explore following a recent announcement to launch an Applied Intelligence Studio in Johannesburg for the mining industry.

The Studio is specifically designed to help mining companies solve their toughest analytical problems, by putting data science to use in processing new data sources in real-time. The data science capabilities of the Studio will be merged with industry expertise already a part of Accenture’s team, the firm explained.

“Volatile commodity prices, rising input costs and changing global demand for commodities require mining companies to rethink their strategies and business models to remain competitive,” notes Rachael Bartels, a senior managing director for Accenture’s mining business globally.

“They are increasingly looking to apply advanced analytics to reimagine processes, unlock trapped value, and drive operational excellence in their businesses today and position themselves for growth tomorrow,” she adds.

The Studio is expected to open later this month, but no precise date has been mentioned by the firm. The work done by this team will also be used in some of the key areas across the globe where Accenture also operates, such as Australia, Brazil, and the United States.

“We are currently recruiting data scientists with engineering and mining experience to rapidly scale the studio’s capabilities,” explains Dr. Caroline Belrose, Accenture Applied Intelligence and data science lead for Africa.

“They will join Accenture Applied Intelligence’s global team of more than 3 000 data scientists and work collaboratively with our global digital and local Accenture teams to deliver digital solutions to address the mining sector’s unique challenges as well as priorities. This work will help ensure operational efficiencies, worker safety and reduce environmental harm,” she continues.

The end goal for Accenture, looks to be a global network mining experts which it call upon to tackle any issues the industry in any one particular country may be facing.

With the local mining industry facing a few dire issues, hopefully the Studio will reap benefits.