Engineering & Mining Journal

NOV 2017

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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DATA NETWORKS NOVEMBER 2017 • E&MJ 49 cally back to the head office, where the company said it is "close" to implement- ing dashboard reporting for key statistics. What's Ahead The latest market data shows a strong and growing interest in digital innovation among mineral producers. Four out of five mining and metals companies expect to increase their spending on digital tech- nologies over the next three years, with more than one-quarter (28%) planning significant investments and almost half (46%) citing digital as the biggest con- tributor to innovation, according to new research from Accenture. Based on a survey of about 200 min- ing and metals executives and functional leaders worldwide, the Digital Technology in Mining report showed the convergence of information and operational technolo- gies and adoption of cloud computing are advancing the digital agenda. Mining and metals executives said their companies have applied and will continue to apply digital technology over the next three to five years predominantly in mine operations, but also in exploration, mine development and other areas. Most of the investments in mining operations target robotics and automation, named by 54% as a top spending area, along with remote operating centers, drones and wearable technologies, each at 41%. Mining and metals companies are also continuing to adopt cloud comput- ing technologies broadly. Four in five re- spondents (81%) said their companies have implemented some form of public, private or hybrid cloud, and another 17% said their company is exploring the use of cloud technology. Accenture's research results under- score a trend for miners looking to so- phisticated analytics to help them im- prove operations and make data-driven decisions. For example, one-third or more of the respondents said the most widely used digital technologies in mine oper- ations involved some type of analytics. When looking at organization-wide digital technologies, 31% of respondents said they are making significant investments in real-time data visualization, and 58% are piloting or in the strategy stage with that technology. About one-third said they are conducting pilots with predictive/ma- chine learning analytics; artificial intel- ligence and cognitive computing; virtual simulation of physical environments; or video analytics. "As miners continue to face weak global demand, excess capacity and in- creasingly limited access to resources, the desire to innovate through digital technologies emerged as a key finding of our research," said Rachael Bartels, global managing director for Accenture's Chemicals and Natural Resources prac- tice. "Cost reduction is still on the agen- da for miners, but the focus is squarely on better performing operations. Digital technologies enable operations to adjust to changing geology and market condi- tions, while still delivering returns." Whether you are drilling thru a mountain or a mole hill, we've got a durable, dependable solution for you. If you need tools for construction, mining, or demolition-we're the only name you need to know. Call (800) 872-6899 or vs Brunner � Lay "Quality First" since 1882

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