Digitalization is quickly becoming a necessity for the mining sector.
Modern mining is becoming the future, with digital databases, comprehensive auditing and connected hardware. As the nature of industry changes, mining will need to adapt to ensure productivity, safety and environmental responsibility.
Here are just three major issues in the mining sector right now. Smart mining, in turn, rises to the challenge:
1. Unsafe conditions.
In Australia, between 2000 and 2012 alone, there were 52 fatalities in the mining sector. The majority of accidents are by workers in hard, dangerous environments, in tradesmen or driving-based occupations.
It’s no longer necessary for miners to enter mines themselves, or even operate trucks. Not only does automation reduce dangers in physical mines, it also decreases the chances of mistakes in data due to human error. Data calculations and predictions can be automated and analysed with artificial intelligence.
Autonomous trucks can also reduce human error and decrease the chances of dangerous situations caused by tiredness. They work, generally, 24/7 at optimal efficiency.
These digital changes allow companies to save money and optimise efficiency. In turn, they can spend their budgets on other areas, such as on innovative technology and in nascent sectors.
2. Lack of access to real-time mining updates.
We’ve discussed blockchain wearables before, and they could certainly be useful in the mining sector. However, wearables could change the way miners operate through a combination of smart technology, AI and blockchain.
This would allow ‘hands-free’ mining and ensure safety and productivity for miners.
Ways of utilising wearable technology include:
- Monitoring devices that provide up-to-date information
- Smart equipment such as helmets that have sensors, provide updates and notifications
- Devices that monitor a worker’s own personal health
3. The financial and environmental cost of energy.
Mining is a huge consumer of power. Power demands a large amount of energy and money from mining companies.
Renewable energy sources – wind, solar and bio-energy – reduce the burden on miners. These renewable sources can allow communities to become less reliant on fuel. This also reduces the impact of miners on the environment.
Renewables provide miners a source of financial relief, while also improving their impact on their environment.
The mining sector is changing every day. As it becomes more digitalized, it also becomes safer and more productive. This doesn’t have be at the expense of smaller mining companies or mining jobs.
At Blockhead Technologies, we’re using blockchain-enabled technology to improve mining transparency and data management. Interested? Click here to find out more.