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- Technology adoption is continuing at a pace in the mining sector, with the COVID-19 pandemic also serving to accelerate investment in certain areas such as communications systems for remote working.
- Compared with the 2018 study we have seen an increase in the progress of investment in areas such as drones in particular, as well as safety-related technologies such as collision avoidance and fatigue detection, and also in autonomous vehicles.
- In terms of the degree to which the respondents’ mines had invested in new technologies, the most widely adopted of those investigated were mine planning software, mine management software, mine communication systems and predictive maintenance. This is similar to previous surveys, and there were no significant changes in terms of the rankings of the technologies when it came to the levels of investment.
- Expectations of investment over the next two years were highest for predictive maintenance for both equipment and plant, mine communication systems and remote control vehicles, as miners increasingly look to manage operations remotely.
- Contrasting the majors, such as AngloGold Ashanti, Rio Tinto and Newcrest, versus the non-majors, the former were more likely to have invested in these technologies compared to the smaller miners. However, the gap has been narrowing over time and, whilst the majors are still marginally ahead in terms of the degree of investment in most areas, a more significant share of non-majors are planning investments, which will see the gap closed further.
- Australasian mines had, on average, the highest penetration of technologies, especially drones and mine planning software. Together with the Americas they had the highest expectations overall in terms of investment across all technologies.
- Surface mines had greater levels of investment in drones, communication systems and software, while underground mines had invested more in remote control vehicles and battery-powered vehicles, which are seeing rising investment as a means to reduce ventilation costs, amongst other benefits, in underground mining.
- The survey was conducted in November and December 2020, and included only operating mine sites.
- Respondents included mine managers, general managers and mine-site IT managers, and interviews were conducted via the telephone or via surveys emailed to qualified individuals.
- A total of 158 responses were received from separate mine sites, giving a confidence interval (margin of error) of 7.7% with a 95% confidence level.
- Some 47% of responses were from surface-only mines; 27% from underground-only, and 26% from individuals where the mines had both surface and underground operations. Only one response was accepted per mine.
- The split between majors and mid-tier miners or producing juniors was 62% to 38%, respectively.
Reasons to Buy
- Assess the current adoption rates for each of 13 key technologies
- Compare adoption by mine type, region and company type
- Assess the potential for future investment by technology, both new investment and future investment.
- Analyse potential investment rates by region, mine type and company type
Table of Contents
- Survey Scope & Methodology
- Executive Summary
- Global Overview
- Regional Summaries
- Technology Summaries