Fluctuations of commodity prices, maturing of existing mines, reductions in ore grades and longer haul distances from the mine face are increasing the importance of implementation of new developments and innovation in mining.
Digital and technology innovations can transform key aspects of mining from exploration activities to plants and mineral processing sections. Digital technologies have the potential to introduce new approaches to reach managing variability and enhancing productivity by means of digitalization and automation.
The effect of digitalization can be observed since the process of improving productivity is speeding up. Digital technologies, such as advanced analytics, provide a powerful set of tools to improve, optimise process control using high-tech sensors and instrumentation, artificial intelligence and big analysis, blockchain technologies and collective intelligence which will result in benefication and enhancement in mining sector especially mineral processing plants.
Automation also plays a critical role in this industry. Although, Terms like predictive and prescriptive maintenance are not new, they are just improving because we provide the equipment with more and better sensors that can be read and analyzed remotely.
Connecting the plants remotely to large cities with better access to skilled labour, asset optimization and predictive maintenance on a per equipment level are the main points that the Automation contains regarding the mining issues. Autonomous optimization of equipment, high asset availability and uptime, and safer and more predictable operations are the main residues of mining automation that could be considered in the next steps.
Finally, Implementation of new technologies and innovation by means of digitalization and automation will create additional value and visibility from mine to port and from plant to enterprise and also will make a big impact on final recovery of the plant and final financial outcome of the mining process. The other major driver is sustainability. We can use digital tools to improve water management and energy management and help mines not just comply with local legislation but work actively with sustainability.