The future of mining: eight bold industry predictions – by Talal Husseini (Mining Technology – September 26, 2018)

Technological advances in the areas of artificial intelligence, automation and blockchain are beginning to permeate the age-old profession. Mining Technology asks industry experts to give their insight into how such developments will shape the future of mining.

The clever implementation of digital technologies like the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and automation could transform mining, making it safer, more productive, efficient, sustainable, and profitable, and therefore better able to take on the challenges it faces.

When we consider that over the last 15 years, the average cost of producing copper has risen by more than 300%, while the grade has dropped by 30%, these new efficiencies offer a cost-effective way to increase profitability.

One of the biggest areas of promise is in IIoT’s ability to transform expensive and inefficient manual and mechanical processes into digital ones. IIoT technology enables mining organisations to collect vast quantities of data about their operations remotely and in real time through internet-connected sensors.
This data can then be acted upon and used to improve efficiency on site, ensure a safe environment for miners and monitor the operational status of machinery.

Take transport and haulage. Sensors are currently used to collect data on how long trucks are kept waiting at different points within a mine, such as the time to be loaded.

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