27 May 2019: Growing up in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, Edwin Koh always knew he wanted to be an engineer, but had no idea his journey would lead him to work in mining research in Brisbane, Australia.

Following the final year of his Chemical Engineering degree, Edwin participated in the 2018 Cooperative Research Centre for Optimising Resource Extraction (CRC ORE) Summer Vacation Program.Edwin_Koh_-_resize.jpgEdwin Koh

During the program he assessed the application of machine leaning techniques in process modelling. A neural network was trained to simulate a comminution circuit using open source neural network training environments such as TensorFlow. The objective of this project was to use these new methodologies to improve process simulations and predictions in CRC ORE’s Integrated Extraction Simulator (IES).

“As a student it was exciting to apply my learning to examine the feasibility of using machine learning to improve daily simulation predictions in minerals processing models,” Edwin said.

Soon after completing the Summer Vacation Program, the talented pianist and occasional basketball player was invited back to CRC ORE as an employee to continue this work in a part time capacity as a data analyst.

Edwin noted that predictor models were historically individually tailored for mine sites and not necessarily applicable to the wider industry.

“We assumed there had to be a better technique for prediction of daily process performance, and now we are able to explore how machine learning can be used in the mining industry” he said.

“Machine learning methods can be used to assist operators and mine and process planners to analyse a large amount of data and solve complex problems that involve numerous variables.”

At CRC ORE, Edwin is being mentored by Dr. Eiman Amini, Senior Metallurgical and Process Control Engineer. Together they are working to harness the power of machine learning for the benefit of the mining industry.

Eiman is pleased by the thought processes his young mentee brings to the role.

“Edwin is young and sharp and brings a host of ideas that aren’t traditionally used in the mining and metallurgy industry.  Edwin would like to assess and apply new methodologies that have been successfully implemented in other industries.” Eiman said.

Eiman commented that CRC ORE aims to deliver improved accuracy and precision of predictions for mining operations by enabling constant learning from the process data, meaning operators can rely on their software to adapt as it goes along.

“In simple terms, we are helping systems locate hidden patterns relevant to local conditions,” he said.

“Machine learning is a good solution, for now, but we also have our eye on what might be beneficial for the industry beyond this current technology,” Edwin said.

While at CRC ORE, Edwin is furthering his study, working towards a postgraduate doctoral degree in ‘Machine Learning in Minerals Processing’. His PhD will take approximately three years to complete, in which time he is looking to gain further hands on experience in the mining industry at CRC ORE and beyond.


Read about our 2018 Summer Vacation Students here.

 

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  • 24 January 2018: CRC ORE has been involved in a number of high profile events in recent months. Read more about CRC ORE’s Annual Assembly line up and a successful site-based innovation leadership talk with Sumitomo at IMARC2017. CRC ORE also cooperated with METS Ignited to organise an initial consultation session for the consideration of a new CRC for the mining industry at IMARC. A couple of short courses were held – one on Geometallurgy in Tasmania and the respected Gold Plant Operators Course which was run in Kalgoorlie late last year.

    We are in the process of putting together the schedule for the coming year. Stay tuned for a listing of upcoming events in the next edition.

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  • 5 April 2018: CRC ORE's Grade Engineering modelling programs have been strengthened over the summer thanks to the work of four motivated students who joined CRC ORE for our inaugural vacation intern program. Alex Perera, James Bamford, and Jacob Rogers joined us from The University of Queensland (UQ). Samantha Maslin joined us from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with the support of Austmine via its women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) initiative. Hear more about their work by clicking on the video below.

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  • 21 November 2017: The photos and presentations from this year's CRC ORE Annual Assembly have been added to our website.

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  • 30 June 2017: Two of CRC ORE’s Board Members have been recognised for excellence in their chosen fields in recent months. Dr Sue Keay has just been named one of Australia’s first Superstars of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). This follows news that Joe Pease has been recognised in two prestigious mining industry awards. Also in recent months, CRC ORE was awarded a high commendation for an “exceptional paper demonstrating excellence” in the CEEC Medal 2017 round.

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  • 30 November 2016: For presentations, photos and the wrap up of the 2016 Assembly, read on.

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  • 15 February 2016: Forward thinkers of the mining industry came together at the start of the year to celebrate the official launch of a second phase for the highly successful CRC ORE.

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  • 2 November 2015: The Directors of CRC ORE are very pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Ben Adair as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Australian mining innovation hub, CRC ORE Limited.

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  • 6 October 2015: The CRC ORE team has moved to CSIRO's Queensland Centre for Advanced Technologies (QCAT) in Pullenvale, Brisbane.

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  • 26 May 2015:  CRC ORE is set to be funded for a second six year term with the Australian Government flagging $34.45 million to support vital ongoing work in improving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the minerals extraction industry.

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