For some, it might sound like something from a Sci-Fi movie, but the technology required to control a mining truck in Canada from 16,000 kilometres away in Melbourne is now a reality and will be just one of the examples of the digital shift in mining on display at the 2018 International Mining and Resources Conference later this year.

“Murray EngineeringThe Digital Shift: automation & digitisation becoming the new norm, in partnership with Hard-Line, one of the world’s leading developers of tele-remote-control systems is undertaking a live demonstration of an autonomous machine guidance system. The cutting-edge automation technology, compatible with any machine brand or type, is being demonstrated on a load haul dumper (LHD), which visitors will be able to operate all the away at the NORCAT underground mine in Ontario, Canada,” said Craig Lindsay-Rae, Managing Director Murray Engineering.

The application of these technologies is just another example of the wider digital shift – which includes sensors, automation, emulation, simulation and optimisation along with analytics, machine learning and cognitive computing and more – that’s picking up pace within the mining industry.

“The shift that is happening is bigger than just a technology change, it is a completely new way of conceiving mining and thus will require alignment of people with the right skills and vision, business and organisational structures that encourage the change and time to bring all stakeholders along on the journey. We need to prepare people through education and by demonstrating what is possible, and openly discussing the benefits, risks and impacts,” said Gavin Yeates FAusIMM (CP), Principal, Gavin Yeates Consulting, who will be presenting on: Rethinking whole of value chain optimisation vs silo operations, processes and technologies.

This shift will be the primary topic of discussion in the Technology Innovation and Operational Excellence stream of the 2018 IMARC conference.

“This year we’ve gathered some of the most prominent industry leaders in the one theatre for three-days of thought-provoking presentations, vibrant debate and panel discussions on Digital Disruption, Operational Excellence and Future Technologies in the mining sector,” said Anita Richards IMARC Event Director.

“Before the conference, Industry Collaboration Partner, METS Ignited will also be hosting a half-day workshop specifically on the ‘Digital Shift’ offering METS companies insight into how they can develop strategies to seize the opportunity presented by digital disruption.

Like other industries, digital transformation and data science are making an impact on mining, particularly in offsetting the energy usage challenges, according to Professor Elizabeth Croft, Dean of Engineering at Monash University.

“Data science techniques are also giving new and improved insights into the ‘total deposit knowledge’ of a mine, with the aim of being able to analyse everything before it even hits the truck,” said Professor Croft who will join a panel discussion on collaborating for change at IMARC.

While loud voices within the mining community are suspicious of the digital transformation theorising that widespread adoption will result in mass job cuts, Croft believes that automation and other digital disruptions will play to Australia’s strengths, as it allows the industry to reduce the amount of dull, boring and dirty manual work roles.

“We can’t win the race on low skill and low pay globally, and we don’t want to.

“We need people to understand that the mining industry is transitioning to being more efficient and sustainable, while also becoming far more technically advanced.

“The more we innovate, the more economic benefit we generate for Australia,” said the Monash University Professor.

For more information visit https://imarcmelbourne.com/

About IMARC
The International Mining and Resources Conference is Australia’s largest mining event. Bringing together over 6,000 decision makers, mining leaders, policy makers, investors, commodity buyers, technical experts, innovators and educators from over 90 countries for four days of learning, deal-making and unparalleled networking. IMARC will run from 29 October to 1 November 2018 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

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