On the Rise: This Year is Bright for Mining Technologies
Source: Laser Scanning Europe
The search is on for digitally based solutions for process automation and high efficiency.
Digital improvements are being implemented in the mining industry regularly with the focus of becoming consistently more efficient. Already a number of technologies have contributed to increased productivity in the past few decades, and mining surveying alone has received frequent advancements to reduce the costs related to data inaccuracies.
GPS topography and 3D mapping are a few examples. Before, teams of surveyors had to go out with and map by hand, which leads to innumerable miscalculations and incomplete data. Now, a handful of satellites can map out the site with almost no errors. Beyond the GPS, new equipment includes 3D laser scanning, which takes high-accuracy surveys from a distance, and gyrotheodites, which orients an underground survey base line to true North.
Source: West Coast Placer 3D Coal Mine
A rise in technology leads to a rise in data.
Already technologies being presented to the industry show that the future of digital improvements is limitless. Almost thirty percent of companies are looking into the use of robotics and unmanned drones, while 69% are moving towards remote operation and monitoring centers. Continual drive for higher efficiency with less cost has the mining industry looking for ways to reduce waste and automate processing. Currently the average company uses less than one percent of their operational data, but with automated processing most- if not all- data could be analyzed and put to use for more precise implementation.
The future is bright for mining.
Future mines will be predominantly to fully ditigized, with drones doing most data collection and safety monitoring. 3D printers can already be implemented to print spare parts on-site, and and with real-time equipment inspections through complex algorithms, operations will be able to run smoothly without sudden break-downs. The digital revolution is slowly coming to the mining industry, bringing with it a boom in production.