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Asian miners transition towards digital mining

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World Coal,

In a recently conducted survey of over 100 key decision-makers at operating mines in seven Asian countries, - including: India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Vietnam, Mongolia and Thailand, - respondents nominated four categories of technology as their top priorities for investment. These four technologies support the movement towards digital mining and are namely mine survey equipment, mine design software, mine management (scheduling/optimisation) software and equipment diagnostics.

These four were the most likely to see new or continued investment over the next two years out of a total of 12 different technologies investigated in the survey. The 12 areas included a range of other mine management and vehicle-related technologies used at an operational level, such as environmental monitoring and emissions management, communication products/systems, fleet management/vehicle monitoring and collision avoidance technologies.

The higher propensity to invest in the top four categories shows a focus on utilising technology to improve data and design accuracy, as well as productivity, and optimising equipment use. It also enables an organisation to provide a safer working environment.

In contrast to these four technologies, investment intentions in other areas were more limited. For example, approximately three-quarters of Asian mines are not expecting to invest in autonomous vehicles within the next 10 years. Remote control/machine automation had the lowest rate of implementation across Asian mining operations. The capital investments required, coupled with a very inexpensive labour force, means few incentives exist for Asia-based companies to make the switch to autonomous fleets.

“The push towards advanced technologies on site is evident from the results in the survey. The focus is on improving planning and productivity, and follows a sequence starting with investing in mine surveying to improve the accuracy of the data flowing into mine design software. Accurate mine designs then help improve the management and scheduling of mining operations, while equipment diagnostics help to improve utilisation and supports mine scheduling by minimising down time,” says Nez Guevara, Senior Mining Analyst at Timetric’s MIC.

Adapted from press release by Joseph Green

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