Latest Mining Technology Trends & Industry Challenges | Anglo American

The latest technologies adopted in the mining industry are highlighting a compelling shift towards sustainability. The digital technology is more effective in delivering a truly safe and more productive mine that meets the growing demand for minerals. Here are the latest tech innovations in the mining niche. 

Spatial Data Visualization by Iskander Makhmudov

Mining is experiencing an unprecedented shift, especially because of the availability of spatial data, which helps to offer insights into mine systems. Particularly, spatial data helps to cut the costs of mining and reduce the impacts on the environment. Here are some of the advanced spatial data visualization technologies in the mining niche. 

  • Three-dimensional modelling: This technology is used to create viewable perceptions that allow people relate to complex and interrelated issues. It is helping mining firms to reimagine their mines more effectively. 
  • Virtual reality: This is artificially-designed software created to use real-life data. Using the virtual environment, the technology immerses people into a 3-D type of environment so that they can experience what it is like to work in a mine. 

Geographic Information Systems 

Geographic information systems (GIS) is a crucial tool used to explore how geographic impact the world around us. Using GIS, miners are able to address real-life issues, especially where location and accessibility of mines are paramount. 

Geospatial data is used to represent objects’ precise location, shape and size. The technology also makes it easier to train mine managers about new ways of understanding mining. This implies that miners get more insight into the represented mine environment to get the following insights: 

  • Geochemical and hydrology data. 
  • Report generation. 
  • Mining exploration
  • Sustainability
  • Regulatory compliance. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is another common advanced technology used to inform decision making at insight-driven firms. These firms rely on machine learning to improve their efficiency, production workflow, and mine safety. Using AI technology helps to generate day-to-day data faster than other conventional methods used in the field before. Here is a demonstration of how artificial intelligence impacts working in mines: 

  • Mining processing and exploration: Using artificial intelligence, companies can easily find high-quality materials. 
  • Autonomous vehicles and drillers: More mining companies are adopting autonomous vehicles in their pit operations using AI. The process not only makes mining easier but also safer and environmentally friendly. 

Automated Drones 

Recently, unmanned aerial systems (UAS) have become very common in the mining industry. They are used to generate data that was previously only possible through the use of helicopters. Drones are not only cheaper but also less complicated to run compared to helicopters. Miners use UAS to do the following; 

  • Asset management. 
  • Time-lapse photography. 
  • Safety surveillance. 
  • Measuring stockpile inventory. 
  • Infrastructure inspection

Mining companies are investing more in technology as a method of increasing efficiency, cutting costs and promoting compliance. The technologies are also used for infrastructure inspection, promoting legal compliance and safety during exploration, mining, and post-mining activities. 

By Robert Smith

John Smith: John, a former software engineer, shares his insights on software development, programming languages, and coding best practices.