Engineering & Mining Journal

DEC 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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Page 85 of 115

84 E&MJ • DECEMBER 2018 MINING IN ONTARIO On September 12th 2018, Barrick Gold an- nounced it will eliminate the executive role of Chief Innovation Officer as part of a broad decentralization push. Whilst adding that it will continue to work on innovation, this news is in line with the trend of major min- ing companies opting to rely on the service industry for the development and provision of new technology. In the face of stiff competition for funding from the cannabis industry, and with com- modity prices suffering, mining companies have had to look for innovative new methods to drive down costs and increase productiv- ity. The epicenter of this wave of innovation can be found in the small mining town of Sudbury, Northern Ontario. World-renowned as the service and supply hub of Ontario mining, Sudbury is also home to a plethora of SMEs and organizations spearheading a technological revolution that is changing the way we mine. A trip to the NORCAT Underground Cen- tre at the Fecunis mine in Onaping, Ontario, Maestro Digital Mine have installed products in over 100 mines globally. Acknowledging that it has taken time to educate the mining community, Gribbons has noticed an accel- eration in the uptake of digital connectivity solutions in the last twelve months: "Five or six years ago, companies did not put gas sen- sors in the mines, whereas today it is com- monplace," he stated, continuing: "This mo- mentum will continue to gain traction with the growing need for mining companies to reduce costs and become more productive." Centric Mining Systems provides enter- prise solutions software to mining compa- nies worldwide, with offices in Sudbury and Perth, Australia. Recognizing that automat- ed systems and technologies need to work in unison, Centric's technology unifies data streams into a single view and uses analyt- ics and predictive analytics to interpret data. Utilizing WipWare fragmentation data, inte- grated with power consumption and recovery data from the mill, Centic has created an AI system then generates workable scenarios Disrupting the Industry The innovations changing the way we mine allows visitors a snapshot of the future, nur- turing a robust innovation ecosystem that supports approximately 60 mining technol- ogy projects per year. "NORCAT is the only non-profit regional innovation center in the world that has an operating mine designed to enable start-ups, SMEs, and international companies to develop, test, and showcase new and innovative technologies in an op- erating mine environment," commented Don Duval, CEO of NORCAT. One of the mining tech companies to have tested its products at the NORCAT Under- ground Centre is Maestro Digital Mine, who provide a complete automation network back- bone and rugged IoT devices for underground mines. "Recognizing the industry's growing demand for data, and the challenges that many of our customers encountered with con- necting ventilation solutions to their networks, we identified a gap in the market," said Mi- chael Gribbons, co-founder of Maestro. Creators of the Plexus PowerNet, the world's first powered coaxial Gigabit network,

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