Rio Tinto, one of the biggest mining companies in the world, announced the opening of an innovation center at iGate Patni in Pune, which will work towards developing next-generation technologies for mining. Rio Tinto expects to invest about $80 million on this initiative over the next five years.
Just to be clear, we are talking about real mining, the kind where you dig up the earth and extract minerals – not data mining. Software technology is becoming an increasingly important part of mining, and is used in all aspects of mining, including use of sophisticated data analysis and modeling to locate mining sites, analysis to make mining processes more efficient, and also to to improve mineral recovery, and automation to allow remote mining, underground tunneling.
According to the press release, the mining innovation center in Pune will have about 300 engineers focusing on disciplines such as image processing, advanced data mining and analytics, automation and control systems, human factors design and logistics.
This is just one more development that cements Pune’s position as one of the top destinations for technology development at the intersection of software and the “harder” engineering disciplines like manufacturing, mining, automobiles, computer aided design, and computer aided engineering.