How data analytics in mining will boost yields and operations

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Data analytics in mining has emerged as a game-changing technology at the heart of the industry’s quest for greater efficiency and sustainability. Global technology intelligence firm ABI Research reported this week that mining companies worldwide are making substantial investments in data analytics, projecting that their spending will soar to a staggering $1.4 billion by 2030, a substantial increase from the $780 million allocated this year. 

This surge in investment is not just a random occurrence; it’s part of a deliberate strategy to leverage data analytics to enhance yields, optimise operations, and ultimately bolster the bottom line. ABI Research scrutinised the digital transformation initiatives of six of the world’s largest mining companies – Anglo American, ArcelorMittal, BHP Billiton, Glencore, Rio Tinto, and Vale – to ascertain the impact of their digital investments on their financial performance. 

“The results revealed that investments made by ArcelorMittal, Glencore, and Vale have not yet significantly grown the bottom line. While correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation, BHP Billiton is deploying digital technologies across its operations and achieving some impressive financial metrics,”

 says Michael Larner, Industrial and Manufacturing Research Director at ABI Research. 

Transforming mining operations with data analytics

Mining giants like Rio Tinto and Anglo American have harnessed data analytics to transform their operations in innovative ways: 

  1. Rio Tinto’s Automation: Rio Tinto has embraced automation to a remarkable extent, automating significant portions of its mining operations. This shift has not only improved efficiency but also enhanced safety, as it reduces workers’ exposure to hazardous environments.
  2. Anglo American’s Digital Twins: Anglo American has taken a different approach, developing digital twins of their mining equipment and control systems. This technology allows them to monitor and simulate the performance of their equipment in real time, identifying issues before they lead to costly downtime. 

The application of data analytics in mining in these different ways demonstrates the versatility of this technology and how it can be tailored to address the unique challenges and opportunities within each mining operation. 

However, it’s crucial to note that digital transformation isn’t the sole factor impacting the bottom line of mining companies. Numerous other factors contribute to their financial performance. Still, data analytics plays a pivotal role in enhancing efficiency, safety, and operational capacity, making it a critical component of the equation. 

Data Analytics in Mining : Control Room in a Power station

Support from technology suppliers

It’s not just mining companies driving this transformation; technology suppliers like ABBGE DigitalHoneywell, and Rockwell Automation are instrumental in supporting mining firms in their digital journey. These suppliers offer a wide range of applications that enhance individual workflows, such as sequencing blasts and creating 3D models of mines. By providing advanced technology solutions, they help mining companies optimise asset performance and achieve their operational goals. 

In conclusion, the mining industry is experiencing a digital revolution driven by data analytics. With substantial investments in technology and innovative strategies, mining firms are redefining their operations, achieving higher efficiency, and ensuring the safety of their workforce. As these technologies mature, we can expect even more impressive results in the mining sector, with data analytics playing a central role in shaping the industry’s future. 

Source

The findings above are from the research released this week by ABI Research titled Digital Transformation in the Mining Industry Update. This report is part of the company’s Industrial and Manufacturing Markets research service, which includes research, data, and ABI Insights.  

ABI Research is a global technology intelligence firm delivering actionable research and strategic guidance to technology leaders, innovators, and decision-makers worldwide. Their research focuses on the transformative technologies dramatically reshaping industries, economies, and workforces today. 

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