RFC Ambrian recently completed the publication of six reports on new technology and innovation in the mining industry, delivered over the course of 2019. The reports have attempted to look at what new technology is available, what is being developed and some of the aspirations for the ‘Mine of the Future’. The emphasis has been on the top initiatives which are making, or are about to make, a meaningful impact on mine economics and safety. This report is essentially an abridged version of these previous reports.
Progress towards digital mine: We continue to believe that the mining industry is only at the early stages of digital transformation and expect to see continued new developments towards the goal of a digital mine. In some areas these will be step changes that change the business model, such as we are seeing in vehicle autonomy, pre-concentration, assaying, and the use of drones, while in other areas they will more likely be incremental developments, such as we are seeing in mineral processing and exploration.
Fourth industrial revolution: Industry commentators now believe that the fourth industrial revolution (4.0) is here driven by three main technological megatrends: connectivity, intelligence and flexible automation, linked by the common thread of digitalisation. Mining executives are now starting to realise the productivity benefits through the visualisation of data across the entire value chain and the implementation of the new technology.
Artificial intelligence to the fore: It is also worth noting that in November 2019 Australia published a roadmap on artificial intelligence (AI), looking at how AI can boost the productivity of Australian industry, including the mining industry. It explains the importance of action for Australia to capture the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI), estimated to be worth A$22.2 trillion to the global economy by 2030..
AI technology in mining: The opportunity in mining is to reduce production costs via automation and AI technologies. The Australian report outlines how multiple technologies can be used to improve productivity and safety, while maintaining environmental and labour practices. The report notes that data science and predictive technologies will play an increasingly important role in Australian mining. AI technologies could also assist mine restoration activities once mining operations cease.
Dialogue welcome: We have explored all of these areas in detail in our earlier technology reports and if you would like copies of these reports or any further information please contact us. We welcome any feedback and are open to on-going dialogue from investors, mining companies, research organisations, and OEMs on all aspects of new technology and innovation..
RFC Ambrian has a track record of over 30 years of providing independent corporate advisory and investment services to the global mining industry, from both a technical and financial perspective.
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For the full 22page report please click here.