The Digital transformation has arrived. We know that miners generate A LOT of data from their mining operations. However, they only use a fraction of the data to create actionable insights and drive true value to the business. It is estimated that the digital transformation will be key to unlocking US$38 billion in value over the next few years.
Currently, miners use digital technology in singular projects and have difficulty when trying to scale to other areas of the business.
Here are a few tips if you are looking to go down the digital transformation.
What’s your Business Case: The Business case requires leadership and sponsorship by internal stakeholders of the digital initiatives to ensure the broader adaptation of the digital transformation. This encourages companies to align their various proof-of-concept projects and other digital initiatives to create a roadmap for how the digital web will work. The importance of collaboration helps to solidify the foundational infrastructure and framework that can be used across digital projects, which will support their closer alignment going forward.
Friends in different Industries: Mining companies need to look further afield to identify insights and skills from providers and other industries. This will help identify additional focus areas and improving efficiency and safety. Other examples include education and reskilling the workforce about new computer technologies or improve operational efficiency.
Old Thinking = Old Results: The need for agile new ways of thinking is essential in the business. The importance of engaging the end users from the beginning of a project will deliver higher success rates. In doing so, this will allow the company to expand and grow organically. This process also helps to shift the mindset of the ‘traditional miner’ as now they are more accepting of innovation and new ideas to uncover the right solution for the job and to adopt a failing forward approach instead of a very risk averse approach.
The Introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI can lead to change in internal processes which can help improve processes across the entire supply chain. I.e. in exploration to identify new deposits, provide real-time visibility of operations, improve cost competitiveness and company wide capabilities, increase productivity and mitigate cybersecurity threats.
There are many technologies readily available to assist miners; from robots and drones, to virtual, augmented and mixed reality and artificial intelligence, to digital twins and 3D & 4D printing. The challenge is however for companies not to procure these technologies but integrate them into their operations in a way that supports the larger transition to the new digital era.