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15 Sep 2016 - Business Management by Steve Mundell

The case for digital innovation in mining

Decreasing ore grades and complex ore bodies create need for digital innovation

With decreasing ore grades, more complex ore bodies and volatile commodity prices, the mining industry needs ways to work smarter and respond quickly to changing circumstances. The utilisation of new digital tools, and technologies, can help innovate current processes being used in mining or exploration projects.

Minimising uncertainty through the mining process, the reduction of costs, and the ability to adapt to change are some of the drivers leading companies to look at digital innovation. Better performance and productivity are, of course, paramount outcomes.

There are a lot of areas where productivity and performance can be increased and geoscience is one factor playing an extraordinarily influential role in defining productivity. Geoscience ensures we have the best knowledge of a site, and when that knowledge is transferred to those who need it, it is an extremely valuable resource.

In the past, mining and geoscience has been a longer-term activity. The time period between a sample being taken and mining was long and information management processes more manual.

Getting the right information into the right hands – faster

Now as the industry deals with more complex ore bodies, there is a need to deal better with variations – to accurately identify them and be able to react to these variations with efficacy. Geoscientific Information Management (GIM) is the great facilitator in this respect. The ability to stream data and optimise processes to support the data getting in the right hands, at the right time, is critical. The time period for this process can be reduced almost to a transactional level.

The leverage point for innovation will be the transformation of current processes to enable miners to deal with new digital tools and technologies, and it cannot be achieved by simply slotting in new technologies to facilitate the same old processes. Cross-functional, total-systems thinking will be the champion for digital innovation in mining.

If you’d like to get on the path to better productivity and performance using a digital solution from a leading natural resources software vendor, then get in touch with us. acQuire’s technology has been a market leader in geoscientific information management for 20 years and provides an efficient way to manage your geoscientific data, at scale, across an entire enterprise.

acQuire’s Director of Product, Steve Mundell, recently spoke on this topic at Austmine’s webinar about the digital mine. Follow this link to find out more.

About the Author
Steve Mundell

Steve is the Director of Product for acQuire Technology Solutions. Before he joined acQuire in 2002, Steve worked as an underground mine geologist. His research interest in information management for the natural resources industry guides the product development for acQuire’s next generation geoscientific information management software.

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