Autonomous, intelligent mines can increase productivity and reframe the way we mine. ‘Smart’ is future of mining, and it means a more efficient, cost effective and sustainable industry.

As Mukani Moyo, McKinsey Senior Expert, points out, “Any mining operation today will have in the thousands or hundreds of thousands of sensors capturing in real time a vast swath of data.” They need a way to sort, monitor and present this data.

That’s why smart mining on a company-wide basis is a necessity. It takes the burden off the workers and executives to keep the company moving.

How smart mining works

Smart mining means a constant stage of digital transformation – always adopting new technologies and practices that make our business easier and our data processes streamlined. This can involve anything from automation to artificial intelligence to blockchain technology.

Mining companies could use AI for forecasting or driverless mining vehicles to ensure increased productivity and safety. While this might result in an initial decrease in mining jobs, in the long term these jobs will be repurposed and reskilled into different positions. While intelligent, machines still need supervision and guidance from humans.

We are still at the stage of Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI), so robots can only perform a task based on human capabilities. In the future, Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) and Artificial Superintelligence (ASI) might change the way our workforce functions altogether – however, AGI and ASI are years, if not decades, away.

Why do we need smart mines?

Smart mines mean accuracy and efficiency. They also ensure that leaders and executives can spend time on more important things, such as implementing innovative technology, managing company initiatives and dealing with other issues.

Infographic: Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan, Natural Resources Canada. Visual Capitalist.

Smart mining is also, despite requiring more technology (which requires, of course, more mining), generally more sustainable. Smart mines are renewable, functioning purely on solar and wind power. They are responsible, using specific technology to have the smallest possible impact on the environment and leaving the land as they found it.

Smart mines also encourage environmental and community-based initiatives to ensure that miners have a positive impact on the area, instead of a negative one.

The era of smart mining has massive potential for the future. Businesses must take steps towards digital transformation before the sector outgrows them. Blockhead is bringing blockchain-enabled technology into the mining sector to secure company data and identify anomalies.

You can find out more about our platform STAMP here.