For the mining industry to remain relevant in the future, there has to be a culture shift to embrace technology, AEL Technical and Compliance Executive Dirk van Soelen said at the AEL WEETR conference.
Speaking to Mining Weekly Online, he said it was important for the industry to use a trial and error approach to develop new technologies and products that create operational value.
“Operational efficiencies are not there, owing to the slow adoption rate of technology,” he said.
He explained that the industry was slow to implement new technologies and that a middle ground should be reached, where technologies are tried and tested without compromising safety.
“The mining fraternity has grasped the concept that digitsation is required to remain relevant . . . but it is not totally clear how to extract the value from it,” he said.
He pointed out that it was key, for example, to be able to track and trace actual blasted ore to show what value was being given to it, and how good blasting practices affected the downstream mining process.
He noted that, to adapt to a digitisation mindset, there needs to be an influx of new skills for the migration to the digital world.
“For personnel not to become redundant they need to be upskilled and trained in the digital industry,” he said.