The Autonomous Mining Working Group is focused on assisting the industry with its ongoing digital transformation and helping operations achieve the benefits that autonomous systems can offer. The group is built by subject-matter experts, leaders from inside and outside the industry, suppliers, operators, and those interested in implementing autonomous systems in mining.
The mining industry is increasingly embracing automation as a safety and productivity enabler and as a critical factor in creating a sustainable future of mining. For these reasons, automation is a key part of many mining companies’ digital transformation roadmaps alongside advances in artificial intelligence, system integration, remote operations, and the Internet of Things.
While autonomous mining is innovating the mining industry, it also introduces new challenges, such as:
The project aims to provide a common resource or playbook for mining companies negotiating the rapidly changing landscape around autonomous technologies. Version 2 is under development and will update the content to reflect the rapidly changing landscape around autonomous technologies. Learn more
Small equipment automation can be an option for different types of operations(e.g., quarries, small-scale mining operations) that do not use large mining-scale haul trucks. It can also be an entry point for operations that are not ready for large-scale automation. There is also a growing diversity in vendors for smaller scale vehicles, which presents both opportunities and challenges. Learn more
A system safety approach provides an overview of the overall effectiveness of the safety controls that extends beyond the machines and can be a useful qualitative tool for operations when assessing the overall safety of their systems. As the industry is becoming more advanced in this space, this new guideline project aims to provide more complete guidance on applying system safety to autonomous systems in mining. Learn more
Zero-entry mining refers to mining operations in which personnel aren’t physically present in the mining area where autonomous equipment is operating, or where limited personnel are required to enter the mine. Improvements in safety and productivity while achieving cost efficiencies have been identified from the deployment of autonomous equipment; however, this process remains hindered by challenges. This white paper project will discuss some of these challenges along with benefits, opportunities, and other considerations associated with zero entry mining. Learn more
The Autonomous Mining Working Group is collecting case studies on skills migration and upskilling from organizations that have implemented autonomous systems that mining companies can use to help make their existing and new autonomous mining implementations successful.
A key challenge to overcome when introducing autonomous systems in mining is the perception that this introduction will reduce jobs. The industry, however, has clear examples of autonomous system implementations that result in skills migration rather than job loss. To achieve the desired operating efficiency and productivity benefits of an autonomous operation, companies require resources with a different skillset from what is required from the typical mining equipment operator.
The published case studies from Vale, Rio Tinto, and two anonymous contributors are available in the publications section. Read the press release here
Do you have a case study you would like to share? Contact us
Bibhrajit Halder, Founder & CEO of SafeAI talks in this video about “Accelerating the Pace of Autonomy to Transform Mining” at Autonomous Mining: What’s Next? – interactive online event organized by GMG on March 25, 2020. Click here to watch.
Liv Carroll, Senior Principal, Applied Intelligence, Mining Transformation at Accenture talks in this video about Making “Mining Better: Human + Machine for Safe & Sustainable Operations” during the Autonomous Mining: What’s Next? – interactive online event organized by the Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG) on March 25, 2020. Click here to watch.
Mikael Nyström, CEO at Mobilaris Group, talks in this video about “Situational Awareness of Workforce and Equipment at the Mine Site” during the Autonomous Mining: What’s Next? – interactive online event organized by the Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG) on March 25, 2020. Click here to watch.