4 Strategies To Improve Mining Productivity
The mining business has long faced several challenges. However, recent years have been among the most difficult, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mining companies have had to adapt to remain competitive. Even though mining is relatively lucrative, maintaining high productivity levels hasn’t been easy, even for established firms.
Variable commodity prices and inflation are some of the major variables affecting mining viability. These are factors beyond any mining company’s control. Even so, cost-cutting may not be the best way to improve productivity. Thankfully, several technological advances in mining are helping to improve mining productivity.
Digital transformation in mining entails using technology in most, if not all, mining processes to improve efficiency and productivity. There are several technologies available that are designed to make mining processes more efficient. You only need to choose the right one for you. That said, here are strategies to improve mining productivity.
Embrace Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is the best way to unlock high productivity levels in a mining company. Because mines may have different process workflows, each use case will be unique. So, mines must invest in solutions that meet their requirements. That way, they get the best return on their investment in the long run.
Technology often leads to improved operational efficiency. You can use smart technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) to identify trends, map forecasts accurately, and set schedules.
Furthermore, since most advanced systems are integrated, you may gather data from many systems simultaneously. You may then evaluate all of this data to get a view of your operations and devise ways to make them more efficient.
Another reason why digital transformation is key to increasing productivity is that it improves communication. Technology may improve workflow visibility, allowing employees, mine managers, supervisors, and machine operators to communicate more efficiently. Remember that an integrated mining system will give you real-time access to all aspects of the system. It makes it easier for managers to coordinate and distribute resources to improve the efficiency of operations.
Furthermore, digital transformation boosts productivity by reducing waste. One of the main things affecting mining companies is the increase in production costs. However, technological advances make mining operations more efficient. The fact is machines make fewer mistakes than humans and so result in less wastage. Less waste leads to cost savings, which helps mining companies improve their profitability.
Use Drone Software
Mining companies may use drones to map out and prepare designs for constructing pit mines. Drones may be extremely useful in identifying geological risks, which they can factor into final plans.
It is easier to create site plans when all of the parameters are known. Aerial surveys can help you generate an accurate image of the location where you wish to drill or mine considerably faster than any traditional method. Also, drone technology allows geologists to establish a historical record of temporary environmental changes.
The mining industry is no stranger to automation. There are many machines used by miners that have helped to increase productivity. Even now, more sophisticated machines are being developed. These machines offer more automation features and capabilities. Nevertheless, most mining equipment is semi, not fully automated. As a result, most of them still require human supervision. Still, automation helps streamline mining processes.
Take, for example, the autonomous driving vehicles used in most big mines. You can operate these machines remotely. They’re perfect for underground mining operations, especially the riskier ones. Another significant benefit is that it reduces downtime. Unlike humans, machines can work over time and remain efficient. As a result, this solution significantly improves worker safety while increasing productivity.
If you want to increase mine efficiency, you must be able to track your equipment and staff performance efficiently. Wearable technology has made it much easier to keep track of your workers’ activity both above and below ground. You may then examine the data collected by these wearables to create a complete picture of productivity levels. You may then make data- driven decisions about how to boost productivity.
It’s also critical to monitor how well your equipment is being used. You could equip all your mining machines with radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. It allows you to monitor how each machine is used. RFID technology also makes monitoring maintenance schedules easier.
Process optimization is a catalyst of mining productivity. Every mine will likely have the different process flows. However, to attain high productivity levels, you must optimize all processes. It might entail investing in enterprise resource planning (ERP) software or something similar. Furthermore, to get the most out of your workers, you must create a system that promotes productivity. Please provide them with the right resources and technology to work efficiently. Also, ensure you have security protocols in place.
The mining sector has its fair share of challenges. But technological advancements in the industry make it possible for mining companies to maintain higher productivity levels. While there is utility in adopting traditional mining strategies, most simply aren’t dynamic enough to adapt to fast-changing environments. Therefore, it’s become increasingly essential for mining businesses to embrace digital transformation to remain competitive.