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Hi all - what's the biggest thing that will change over the next 15 years in mining? I'm doing some research with the largest survey into innovation in mining, would love to hear your thoughts on what's going to change in your operating environment: stateofplay.org/survey-2018

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Researcher with State of Play, the mining industry's leading source of knowledge on strategy and innovation.

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  • I am a little biased here but I think that the biggest change will be the increased penetration of robotics, specifically within the maintenance domain.  We have passed the digitization era (yes I know many operations are lagging - we have a large spectrum of implementation) of being able to collect data in real time to directly impact decision making; we already see autonomous vehicles (including tele-remote in this) trucks, drills, etc.; we have sites being remotely managed from thousands of kilometers away.  All this is happening today.  

    In the very near term we will be seeing significant changes within the maintenance world and if I think about what lies ahead (what these changes could enable).  Potentially, the redesign of equipment to, simplify the changeout of components that would enable robotic bays to complete repetitive work i.e. operating hour based PMs.  The potential impact for reducing downtime, improving compliance and eliminating safety risks are all goals worth striving for and reason I believe these changes are inevitable.

    These are just my thoughts.  What I do know is that regardless of which of these ideas, if any, come about; we are in for an exciting time ahead.

  • In my line of work, I see a lot of automation going on, as well as IoT implementation for self driving vehicles and unmanned mining equipment operation.  Not only does this mean there will be more computing and communications equipment being deployed across the site and down in the mine, this also means there is going to be the need to protect that equipment from the elements, and provide a stable, environmentally controlled solution that will maximize the life expectancy of that equipment, regardless of where it is needed.


  • The mining indristry"s will take the technology in high level and leading source of knowledge on exhobition and innovation

  • With digital transformation and the Internet of Mines, I predict the largest change and adjustment will be with roles and responsibilities including WHO manages the mine. Mine Managers will need to be technology experts who can run advanced digital operations. All roles will shift and require different training and education paths.  I see significant role gaps already through my digital transformation consultancy.  Lack of technical leadership is largely the reason why mines arent further in their digital evolution. Technology leaders will pull out the right ROI. Would love to hear thoughts on this. 

  • the use of drones to leverage aerial intelligence

  • Autonomous mining will be the norm across all facets of surface mining. This will eliminate the human factor and increase profits for all who embrace this technology. I also believe that there will be big changes in fuel sources which may move away from fossil fuels to electric powered equipment that recharges from non traditional methods. 

    Its coming and we best embrace it. 

  • Xavier,

    Selective filtration will replace selective leaching and eliminate the need to use cyanide and carbon. The largest mining companies in the world will be in attandance to see for themselves the extraction and refinement of multiple metals from chlorinated leached ore on November 29th, 2018. Here is a link to sign up and attend the demonstration in Orlando, FL. https://precisionperiodic.com/demonstration

    Mining Filtration System
    Extracts Multiple Metals Refines The Metals 60 Minutes + 15 Min/Metal Process Time Eliminates Cyanide & Carbon Use
  • Hi Xavier,

    Just my thoughts:

    It will then be the time of the "new generation" managers running and being in charge of the mining operations. Folks who have been brought up with internet and all the gadgets / tools that came with it.  Data collection and using it practically.  Mines will be run as surface 6Sigma/JIT etc. operated process plants. Preventive maintenance instead of reactive.  Sophisticated programms and KPI tracking systems that use the real time data to come to minimim costs per ton and maximum output.

    People will have been removed from hazardous areas and/or expusore will be limited. Tele / Automated / Autominous operation of machinery.

    CO2 reduction.  Electrical / Fuel Cell / Hydrogen as main source of power supply for overall operation and machines. 

    • This is a good point - it also takes away a lot of the change management required surrounding current efforts to introduce all these components within current operations. So much easier if this feels natural, rather than forced change.

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