Christopher Lawley

Geoscience Australia, Canberra, Australia

Lawley has been working as a gold metallogenist at the Geological Survey of Canada since 2012. His research experience blends analytical method development with field studies to investigate the sources and drivers of mineral systems. More recently, Lawley has become interested in the application of machine learning to sustainable development issues. His research results have been applied across Canada, the United States, and Australia as part of an international effort to strengthen the supply chains of critical raw materials.

Applications of artificial intelligence for balancing conservation and biodiversity values with critical mineral exploration

In his keynote talk, Lawley will present the results of a recent collaboration between geologists, ecologists, and climate scientists to combine national prospectivity models in Canada with conservation and biodiversity values. The results of this interdisciplinary research is used to predict prospective areas for battery minerals that are associated with lower ecological risk. Accurately predicting the potential for conflicting land-use priorities will be become more important in the next few decades as the search for new sources of critical raw materials increases pressure on natural ecosystems.