AI is an evolution in the operation of a mine. The old PLCs, DCS and MES were designed to operate the mine to predefined setpoints determined by the operators. Through design but more so through experience, the plant operators learnt the best setpoints for the operation of the mine to optimise efficiency and to minimise maintenance. The challenges with this model of operation are that operators can’t respond that well to unforeseen conditions.
Artificial Intelligence makes use of the large volumes of data present in the mining environment to look for patterns in the data, thereby allowing the AI to forecast future events. In this way the AI is proactively defining the setpoints for the PLCs and DCS to improve and optimise operations.
To reduce costs structurally, mining companies need to look at technologies which can shift the dial in terms of operational cost reduction, process optimisation and predictive maintenance. IoT, Digital Twins and AI technologies have proven success in the Australian Mining Sector and are being increasingly adopted, with close to half the industrial organisations in Australia taking on some form. Mining companies that are not currently deploying these technologies need to consider these technologies seriously otherwise they risk becoming another high profile casualty of fluctuating ore prices or changing sourcing strategies.
Read Insight's report to learn more about how these technologies are helping miners driven operational efficiencies.