How is Digitization Revamping Mining Operations?

Enterprise Technology Review | Tuesday, October 06, 2020

The two most influential trends, automation, and digitization have emerged to change the way of life, play, and deliver.

Fremont, CA: The technologies that enable digitization and automation are implemented on large-scale throughout the industries in order to create new opportunities for companies of all sizes. They are being merged with IoT to allow Industry 4.0 and revolutionize each aspect of the industry. According to a study, most heavy industry sectors are in the middle stages of digital maturity. This means that they are allowed either by a digital control system or advanced process control. However, to completely modernize their operations, these sectors will have to get to the highest digital maturity stage, which is the AI-enabled Digital 4.0 revolution. Digitalization is one of the priorities for businesses throughout several industries. The mining industry is one of them. Most mines that are still using outdated technologies and experiencing the increasing need to push the operations deeper underground, it is becoming harder to attain easily achievable savings in costs and productivity. 

Creating Smart Mines to Minimize Operational Costs

One of the most significant advantages of digitizing the mining operations is creating ‘smart mines’ that reduce operational costs. Smart mines are mines where the significant assets are digitized through embedded sensors that transmit data to a centralized location via a wireless network. This enables the operators of mines to save money not just on labor—since human workers are no longer needed to perform data readings on-site manually but also on cable maintenance because the need for expensive cabling is eliminated.

Top 10 Mining Tech Companies in APAC - 2020Efficiently Monitoring Operational Assets

Predictive maintenance and wireless monitoring, facilitated by operational intelligence (OI) solutions, allows companies operating mines to track operating assets, like dams, remotely and continuously to ensure that they are not damaged. The use of technology that helps capture data digitally and in real-time is slowly but surely replacing the costly operational data readings that take place manually. 

Effective Water Management in Mining

The primary use of water in mining is to transport slurry, suppress dust, process minerals, and meet on-site workers’ needs. This need for water is met in mining operations through commercial water service providers, groundwater, lakes, streams, lakes, and rivers.

However, mine sites are often situated in locations where water is already limited and where local people and officials, unsurprisingly, try to stop mines using water from these sources. In addition to the procurement of water, extracting water sustainably is also a problem for mines.

See also: Top IoT Companies