Today’s mining sector has reason to be positive, with the worldwide appetite for increased mobility, connectivity, smart infrastructure, and low-emissions transportation driving demand for metal resources. Following the adage, “If it's not grown, it's mined,” the mining sector is playing a starring role in building this futuristic society of tomorrow by providing steel for driverless cars, copper for mobile devices, and nickel, lithium, vanadium, and cobalt for batteries.
Now quite ever, we’re seeing the arrival of the latest technologies which will deliver on the promise of safeguarding health and safety while maximizing efficiency, productivity, enhanced collaboration, and resilience. These tools will enable mining leaders to satisfy today’s demands while ensuring the long-term sustainability and profitability of their operations, transforming the way the industry operates and delivering value to surrounding communities and shareholders.
Advances in automation and robotics– from autonomous self-driving trucks to driverless trains, AI (AI) and machine learning – are increasingly reducing risk to human life. Big Data and therefore the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – a mixture of automation, Wi-Fi sensor technologies, cloud-based systems, and data analytics – are helping mines gain higher levels of real-time situational awareness, improving operational efficiency and decreasing costs. Meanwhile, electric vehicles (EVs) and developments in mobility hold promise for a lower-emission, more viable future.
Even as the talk rages over driverless vehicles on public roads, driverless trucks, trains, drills, and loaders are getting more common in mines of the longer term. Mine operators are recognizing the advantages of automation, which continues to enhance capability while coming down in cost. With haulage categorization together of the mine’s highest costs, and autonomous vehicles (AVs) offering productivity gains up to 30 percent, companies are taking heed major manufacturers like Caterpillar, Hitachi and Komatsu still introduce new options in autonomous haulage.