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SURVEY: Mining Industry Needs to Invest More in Automation

The mining industry needs to invest more inautomationand integrate newer technologies to remain competitive, according to a recent survey of mining exec...

Admin
|Oct 15|magazine5 min read

The mining industry needs to invest more in automation and integrate newer technologies to remain competitive, according to a recent survey of mining executives.

The survey, which was conducted by Hall & Partners Open Mind, took opinions from 105 senior managers in the industry and found that more than half of them support the need for further automation in the mining sector, despite the associated impact on employment.

In addition, almost 47 percent felt that mining companies were not investing enough in new technologies.

Companies like Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, which have been on the forefront of automation, have grown its driverless truck fleet significantly over the years. Rio Tinto continues to invest in automation, spending $520 million on the introduction of autonomous trains as it continues building its Mine of the Future.

BHP Billiton on the other hand is taking a more cautious approach. The company, which has previously stated complete automation is unlikely, continues to run a dozen driverless trucks at its newest Pilbara operation, Jimblebar.

The Hall & Partners survey also found that 43 percent of respondents believed that taking advantage of data analytics (big data) could play a crucial role in improving asset capability.

The survey pointed out that utilization of big data in mining operations has potential to assist in monitoring “every major piece of machinery through the mining process, from extraction through to development through to smelting, leaching, through to refining”.

In addition, the survey found that 71 percent of respondents believed that Australian government was not investing enough in resources for the renewable energy sector.