The Drivers of Innovation in the Mining Sector

At the height of the downturn in 2014 depressed commodity prices threatened corporate profits, impelled mine closures, put shareholder returns in peril and undermined capital budgets.

This combined with decreasing ore grades, deeper deposits and more remote locations has forced companies to consider how to drive ongoing productivity improvements. This improved competitiveness means more resistance to market fluctuations in a volatile price environment.

From automation and enhanced drilling systems to data analytics and mobile technologies, companies embracing innovation are improving mining intensity whilst reducing people, capital and energy intensity.

Barrick Gold signed a deal with Cisco Systems for a “digital reinvention” of its global operations. This started with the Cortez mine in Nevada, with an initial investment estimated at $100 million across 2016.

Dundee Precious Metals are using innovation for competitive advantage. They are leveraging marginal improvements on projects that others wouldn’t be able to deliver on because of their approach and experience, particularly at the Chelopech Copper-Gold Mine in Bulgaria.

These are not the only ones using innovation to their advantage. Rio Tinto are spending $442 million to automate trains in the Pilbara region of Western Australia for "a safe, more efficient and cost-effective approach" and as of September 2016, BHP Billiton's relationship value as a customer with General Electric totalled $43.5 million.

Against this backdrop, Mines and Technology Toronto will be addressing the most critical areas in the technology revolution. Mid-tier and major mining companies will share their innovation strategies and discuss how automation, drones, mobile applications, mine-planning software, 3D mapping, data analytics and alike are enhancing productivity.

 

For more information, visit toronto.minesandtechnology.com or call +44 (0) 208 004 3888

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