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How Technology Has Changed The Mining Industry

How Technology Has Changed The Mining Industry

With traditional thoughts about the mining industry being old-fashioned and labour intensive, recent advancements in technology have certainly changed the face of mining. It has opened the door for new job opportunities and has transformed operations, increasing demand for efficient production. From day-to-day management to worker safety, we will continue to see drastic change in the years to come.

The mining industry is currently underperforming when it comes to employee wellbeing and more inclusive workforces. With a keen eye leaning towards productivity, safety and sustainability, now is the time to invest in the latest technologies and equipment to maximise on these efforts. As the mining industry becomes more digital in its operations, the higher the demand for specific skillsets will be.

 

What’s new?

One of the most popular mining advancements that you can expect to see more of is the power of data on surrounding ecosystems and communities. With data-driven decisions helping companies to drive transformation faster, companies can expect efficiency through automation, reduced costs and improved responsiveness in all operations. Over time we'll see even more changes, but here are a few of the most significant changes that technology has done for the mining industry in recent years:

 

  • Growth of 3D printing

3D printing is a technology that is slowly making an appearance (it is already being used in the aerospace industry for a variety of different reasons). 3D printing allows miners to make custom parts on demand, which can reduce project delays and cut the need for unplanned maintenance. This kind of technology is originally known for its consumer content, however, it has certainly changed the way tasks get done in the engineering space. This is definitely something to look out for.

 

  • The availability of mobile access and technology

Communication in the mines is one of the most important elements to ensuring a safe and productive working environment. With technology advancement and the ability for everyone to have access to mobiles, companies are now able to relay information to workers faster and more effectively. This has also increased worker production, since the convenience and ease of communication makes everything smoother. Mobile phones do not only benefit workers because of the ability to contact each other, but these devices give off alerts to warn or notify decision makers above if there is danger around them.

 

  • More data-driven decisions

In order to be more sustainable in the mines, new developments in information technology and data have allowed management to change their approach and decrease unnecessary load. Mining companies are data hungry and will do anything to reduce risk on workers and streamline operations.

 

Smart data solutions help management to relay important data such as water pressure, temperature and other important information. With data like these, managers can take fast, decisive action to increase efficiency, improve safety and increase the operation's sustainability. By combining smart devices with algorithms that accurately determine electricity needs, mining operations will be able to save money.

 

  • Accessing information through the cloud

As seen, workers have access to mobile phones and technology which allows them to recall information, whenever and wherever they are. Cloud technology allows employees to quickly access and essential information, wherever they need it, which unfortunately welcomes the threat of cybersecurity. Mining companies will have to adopt a more rigorous approach towards cybersecurity. They will need to be more vigilant and resilient if they expect improved growth, better cost-efficiencies and more control.

 

  • Integrated approach to reporting

Reporting is becoming more automated. With increased scrutiny from government and regulatory bodies demanding greater levels of industry transparency, the need for readily available reports on financial disclosures and tax regulations is becoming more important. Companies are also starting to go beyond compliance for compliance sake and report on a much broader range of non-financial information. This means that reporting as an overall topic needs to become more standardised and instantly available.

 

  • Driverless vehicles are starting to make an entrance

If companies start rolling out more autonomous vehicles and machinery to make operations smoother, the negative impact of this means that it will significantly reduce the number of human employees that are needed on site. The benefits, however, boast better safety, greater efficiency and cheaper running costs. Robotics are the reality of modern day life, and in engineering industries which require hard labour intensive tasks, these machines will be able to take over and do things faster and more efficiently than humans ever could.

 

In conclusion

Mining is set to become more automated in years to come, increasing the need for mining equipment finance. With new innovations constantly transforming the way mine workers do their job, the need for up-to-date machinery and equipment that is safe and efficient is essential in this competitive industry.

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