The future of the mining industry will be shaped by a range of disruptive topics, with artificial intelligence (AI) one of the topics that will have a significant impact on mining companies.
The mining industry is under greater pressure than ever to increase efficiency. This comes as lower ore grades, more nonsense and distant deposits create greater challenges in securing new resources, and higher mining costs drive the need to increase productivity at the mine site. At the same time, there is a strong focus on ensuring safety and sustainability within the mines. Artificial intelligence (AI) can address many of these challenges and shortcomings through several key technologies in the value chain, including computer vision, intelligent robotics, data science, and machine learning.
Exploration costs can be reduced by using artificial intelligence to identify the most likely locations of mineral deposits. Predictive maintenance can ensure equipment faults are resolved before they become too costly and ensure equipment downtime is minimized, resulting in increased productivity. Smart sensors and cameras assist automated equipment while monitoring the safety of workers in the mines.
However, not all companies are equal when it comes to their capabilities and investments in key issues that matter most to their industry. Understanding how companies rank and rank on top topics can be a key indicator of their future earnings potential and their relative competitive position.
According to GlobalData’s objective research report, Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Miningamong the major adopters: Goldcorp, BHP, Rio Tinto, Freeport-McMoRan, Fortescue Metals Group, Newcrest, Barrick Gold and Dundee Precious Metals
Insights from top-rated companies
BHP’s Maintenance Center of Excellence implements ML on massive data sets collected from its operational equipment. This provides actionable insights for predictive maintenance of items such as pickup trucks and optimizing supply chain management. The company is also using self-driving trucks to reduce accidents caused by driver fatigue and robotic training. BHP has strengthened its supply chain during the COVID-19 pandemic using analytics. At the 2019 SmartMine conference, the company demonstrated its use of machine learning to interpret geological data and generate targets.
The company also currently has the largest fleet of autonomous trucks operating with 300 trucks spread across ten mines. The company has even invested across Komatsu and Caterpillar with a recent investment in South Flank with 42 Komatsu 930E ATs. It has operated a fully autonomous truck fleet at the Jimblebar mine in Western Australia since 2017 and has cited benefits such as 20% increased productivity, 20% lower operating cost and over 90% reduced transportation accidents due to truck automation.
Rio Tinto has been incorporating automation into its operations for more than a decade to improve safety and efficiency and reduce the cost of operations. Trucks, drills, and motorized trains are used to eliminate driver errors, thus improving safety. Rio Tinto is closing the gap in BHP – the opening of the Gudai-Darri iron ore mine will add 23 CAT 793F autonomous transport trucks to its total to bring it to 210, taking it to second place ahead of Fortescue Metals Group.
The company’s Iron Ore subsidiary operates AutoHaul, the world’s first fully autonomous long-distance rail system. AutoHaul transports iron ore to port facilities in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. About 200 locomotives on more than 1,700 kilometers of track have traveled more than 7 million kilometers so far. Each 240-car transport truck is 2.4 kilometers long, and requires two to three locomotives to transport 28,000 tons of iron ore, an average of 800 kilometers over a 40-hour period. The use of this autonomous technology reduces risks at level crossings and automatically responds to speed restrictions and warnings, improving public safety. By eliminating the need to ferry transport drivers to and from trains mid-journey, approximately 1.5 million kilometers of road travel is saved annually. This also removes the need to change drivers two to three times during a trip, saving an hour out of each trip and increasing average speeds by between 5 and 6%. AutoHaul can transport about 1 million tons of iron ore per day. Loading and unloading the product from the trolleys is a fully automated process.
Fortescue group of minerals
Fortescue has undertaken one of the fleet’s largest conversions to autonomous transport projects, with approximately 200 autonomous trucks operating at the Solomon and Chichester hubs. The fleet includes Cat 793F, 789D and Komatsu 930E pickup trucks. Since 2013, the fleet has safely traveled more than 52 million kilometers and transported 1.5 billion tons of material. About 900 additional assets, such as excavators, wheel loaders and light vehicles, are integrated with the autonomous fleet using CAT Minestar Command for Hauling Technology. Fortescue’s autonomous transport fleet has achieved a 30% increase in productivity. Fortescue plans to use data collected from its autonomous transport fleet to better understand its operations and look for ways to improve, such as offload route design and maintenance scheduling.
- AngloGold Ashanti
- Arcelor Metal
- Barrick Gold
- first quantum metals
- Freeport McMorran
- gold fields
- Platinum Impala
- Jiangxi copper
- Kinross Gold
- Kirkland Lake
- Newcrest Mining
- Nippon Steel
- North Star
- Polymetal International
- Saudi Arabia Mining
- shandong gold mining
- South 32
- Sumitomo Metal Mining
- TATA Steel
- Zijin . Mining
globaldatathe leading provider of industry intelligence, is the parent company of mining technology The baseline data, research and analyzes used to produce this article were provided.
GlobalData’s objective scorecard ranks companies within a sector based on their overall leadership in the 10 most important topics for their industry, creating a leading indicator of their future earnings and their relative position in key strategic areas.
|1||vulnerable||The company’s capabilities and investments in this matter will be very detrimental to its future performance.|
|two||follower||The Company’s capabilities and investments in this matter will be detrimental to its future performance.|
|3||neutral||The Company’s capabilities and investments in this subject matter will have little effect on the Company’s future performance, or this subject is not currently suitable for this Company.|
|4||leader||The company is a market leader in this matter. The company’s activity in this matter will improve its performance in the future.|
|5||dominant||The company is the dominant player in this topic. The company’s activity in this matter will significantly improve its future performance.|