Plug in to underground digital innovation: PACE hosting inaugural conference aimed purely at digital future of mines – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – December 29, 2017)

Digital technology is part of so many aspects of life, yet there is little talk over the radical changes it is making in the mining industry. To help bring awareness to this phenomenon, and bring digital mining companies together in one place, Partners in Achieving Change Excellence (PACE) is hosting Beyond Digital Transformation, Feb. 1 at the United Steelworkers Hall in Sudbury to discuss how mining companies from around the world see the future of digital technology in their industry.

“The conference is really for anyone who wants to plug into where the mines are going from a digital transformation perspective,” said Neha Singh, the “change guru” and project manager at PACE.

And by digital transformation, she said they are looking at how companies and individual mines are using technology. She said the mining industry is a great example of a sector that hasn’t consistently embraced digital innovation underground for various reasons, including connectivity.

She explained PACE saw a need for such an event. At the same time PACE is hosting beyond Digital Transformation, there are about five other mining conferences happening in Canada and the United States.

“Now, because technology has advanced so far, getting access to things like Wi-Fi underground, and communication from underground to surface is getting easier,” she said. “Mines are now asking why don’t they know, and why can’t they get transparency, how much are we producing on a regular basis, how can we manage safety, when we clear out a mine, that we haven’t left anyone behind?”

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