Mining operations must be rejuvenated with the correct innovation, in preparation for projected future demand, says enterprise asset performance and optimisation company AspenTech metals and mining VP and GM Jeannette McGill.
AspenTech notes that longer-term demand for metals will continue to accelerate, owing to growing demand for clean energy technologies.
Specific demand drivers, such as batteries, electric vehicles, infrastructure and connectivity in electronics, are well-positioned to underwrite this massive consumption of metals.
"Digital mines will need to keep up with market demand in a sustainable way. The dual challenge mandates the need to address increasing demand of resources for a growing population with increasing standards of living, while balancing the need to address and meet sustainability goals."
Asset-intensive digital mines will need to stay ahead of maintenance requirements to support overall business imperatives of lowering costs and increasing productivity, McGill notes.
With the ability to accurately predict when equipment will fail and through better real-time decision-making, digital mines can achieve greater sustainability in operations.
For example, Australian gold miner Evolution Mining has deployed Aspen Mtell software at its Mungari operations, in Western Australia, to help mitigate unplanned downtime and provide information to support productivity improvements.
Industrial artificial intelligence (AI) is, therefore, a strategic business weapon, as it combines the power of analytics and AI machine learning, with guardrails of domain expertise to accelerate return on investment from industrial data, says McGill.