How Information Technology is transforming the Mining Industry


The disruption of business models through the advancement of digital technology has been a reality for other industries for many years. The digital transformation is now impacting the mining industry. From day-to-day data management to the prevention of bottlenecks and inefficiency, information technology is transforming the way the mining industry operates. Increasing demands for efficient production and worker safety are requiring traditional mining companies to embrace innovation and implement information technology to ensure advanced manufacturing and competitiveness throughout the industry.

One of the key issues that hinders data transformation in the mining industry is the fact that most companies have specific point solutions already in place to address the numerous different areas of operations, drilling plant management, safety, maintenance, milling, haulage etc. all with there own data and reporting functions. Most of these organisations have little appetite for totally replacing these systems to a complex and expensive all-encompassing system so they use error-prone manual spreadsheet processes to extract data and cobble together reports for decision making, managment and statutory reporting.

What is reaaly needed is an end to end process which automates the integration function, replacing these manual and repetitive reporting functins with a single source of the truth which provides decision makers with up to date and accurate information they can rely on.

 The following will list three of the main areas that will benefit from the implementation of information technology in the mining industry.

More Data-driven decisions

Mining companies are data-hungry. Information technology can help them locate mineral veins, determine operational risks and streamline operations. It’s no surprise that mining companies are revolutionising how they collect data in the field. With the help of the Internet of Things and advanced software, nearly every device in a modern mine should be “smart” and constantly relaying data such as water pressure, temperature, concentration of gases and other information. With this data, managers can take fast, decisive action to increase efficiency, improve safety and increase the operation’s sustainability.

Process Automation

Mining organisations are realising the benefits of automation in terms of improved productivity, enhanced efficiency and better safety. This translates into greater reliance on technology through remote-controlled equipment and management of mining operations across diverse locations from a central hub.

Mining organisations typically have various systems to manage different sets of data. For mine automation to be effective, it is crucial to ensure systems integration so that all systems work in a synchronous manner to enable seamless data exchange. Since human intervention is minimal, the system should provide automatic alerts and initiate corrective action.

Remote Operations

Connectivity is a challenge that is inherent with mining operations as most sites are located in far-flung areas. This makes it important to ensure remote-controlled operations of the various mining sites through an effective centralized management structure.

Remote operations also translate into lesser on-site team deployment, helping reduce costs and improve employee safety and productivity. At the core of the remote operation is an efficient and reliable communication system – one that ensures seamless channels for interaction between the control hub and various mining sites and enables collaboration between teams at each of these locations.

The Future of Mining

With time, information technology’s predictive and analytical capabilities will improve. Management won’t be pushed out of their decision-making role, but in situations where many variables are at play or time is of the essence, mining companies will likely move operations to algorithms. Data and specifically the ability to organise, manage, process and utilise that data will become a competitive differentiator.

We can also expect to see further developments to make mining more sustainable. Companies will put the power of data toward minimising mining’s negative effects on surrounding ecosystems and communities, moving toward resource extraction with minimal footprint.

Information technology is radically transforming mining, with an eye toward productivity, safety and sustainability. With time, we’ll see even more significant changes.

Contact Us

Get in touch with one of our business intelligence experts today.

Contact Now