Chris Stevens, WA Consulting Mining Lead, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and a speaker at the marcus evans Mining Technology and Operations Summit 2014, on using technology to improve mining operations.
LONDON, Oct 27, 2014 - (ACN Newswire) - "Mining companies have, to some extent, embraced data acquisition but they need to better apply the data that they are able to gain from their systems, with a view to bring about significant productivity improvements across the mining value chain," advises Chris Stevens, Consulting Mining Lead, PricewaterhouseCoopers. For real value, they should not operate in silos, but provide constant feedback of the data back to the business, he adds.
Stevens is a speaker at the marcus evans Mining Technology and Operations Summit 2014, in Perth, Australia, 17 - 18 November.
- What is your vision of the low-cost mine of the future? What role will technology play?
In the low-cost mine of the future, technology will be an enabler where it enhances the ability to mine efficiently, understand the ore body, reduce stripping ratios, and operate in more challenging environments as risk increases and grades continue to decline over time. Data will not only be something that is collected and analysed on an ad hoc basis, but will become central to decision-making and will be quickly gathered, analysed and applied holistically to fully optimise financial outcomes across the entire value chain from pit to customer.
In the low-cost mine of the future, data will give us a much deeper understanding of operations and this will change the way we understand discrete parts of the value chain and affect how we manage our mining operations thereby breaking down the traditional industry silos. Technology will also enhance safety, equipment reliability and significantly reduce sustaining capital and maintenance costs over time.
- What steps should mining leaders take to transform productivity?
The first step is to embrace and utilise data as a means to productivity. The use of data is a key feature of top performing mines in terms of equipment productivity and performance. Companies need to gather, analyse and use their available data, ideally on a daily basis, in order to achieve industry best equipment performance.
- How could analysis-driven technology reduce costs?
In order for analysis-driven technology to reduce costs companies need to fully embed the information received into their business processes through benchmarking, both internal and external and feedback of this data back into the parts of the business where it will have the most impact.
- What technologies should they look at?
An interesting area is the application of dynamic simulation modelling, which gives miners an understanding of the physical constraints within the value chain. Technologies such as enterprise optimisation serve to optimise financial outcomes and operational technologies such as equipment sensors can provide benchmarking data to assess how the fleet is actually working. By combining these technologies and having the will and the ability to apply the outputs will have the biggest impact on productivity.
- What trends should mining companies prepare for?
Future trends will be driven by the move away from an environment of rapid project development towards an emphasis on productivity and the reduction of sustaining capital. As such, we will see the development of improved optimisation technologies, predictive maintenance and the better use of data and data analytics to drive productivity. Technologies currently used by the major miners such as automation and remote operations centres will also become more common amongst the mid-tier miners, although, it will likely take some time for this to happen.
About the Mining Technology and Operations Summit 2014
The MTO Summit is the premium forum bringing elite buyers and sellers together. The Summit offers senior mining operations and technology executives and solution and service providers an intimate environment for a focused discussion of key new drivers shaping the mining industry. Taking place at the Rendezvous Grand Hotel Perth Scarborough, Perth, 17 - 18 November 2014, the Summit includes presentations on innovative technologies, improving business capabilities, optimising the mine-plan, lifecycle asset management and empowering the workforce.
For more information please send an email to [email protected] or visit the event website at http://miningsummit.marcusevans-summits.com/ChrisStevensInterview
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