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AT 2-1: Advances in the computer science and artificial intelligence fields as fundamental tools to discover the mineral resources for a sustainable future.

Responsible: Daniel Boyce, University of Cambridge, Judge Business School, UK.

Description: Copper and other minerals will be essential materials towards the energy transition plans to achieve the net-zero emissions by 2050. According to recent studies, the challenge that mining industry faces is huge: the potential supply-demand gap of copper is expected to be very large as transition proceeds in this decade. Substitution and recycling will not be enough to meet the demands of electric vehicles, power infrastructure and renewable generation. 

The urge for copper supply cannot stand for decades of exploration and development; a supply increase is needed soon. Other minerals, like titanium, zinc, silver, and lithium, and other elements, as the rare earth elements, are also going to be crucial for the energy transition.

In this context, artificial intelligence along with geosciences should play a critical role in accelerating the discovery of new economic resources either in brownfield or greenfield environments. 

Several advances have already been done in this field. Nevertheless, the magnitude of the challenge entails collaboration between companies and integration with academic institutions.