• 17 hours Can Toyota's Hydrogen Car Take On Tesla?
  • 2 days Why Universal Basic Income Won't Work
  • 2 days Is This The Real Golden State?
  • 3 days Blockchain Firm Pushes For Ethical Mining
  • 3 days America’s Working Class Are Footing All The Bills
  • 4 days Market Volatility Sends Investors Scrambling Into This Asset Class
  • 4 days How Much Energy Would It Take To Power The Death Star?
  • 4 days A Tweet About Hong Kong Could Cost The NBA $4 Billion
  • 5 days World's Largest Miner Doubles Down On Renewables
  • 5 days Nasdaq Cracks Down On Small Chinese IPOs
  • 5 days Is There Any Reason To Be Bullish About Netflix?
  • 6 days Precious Metals See Record Inflows As Investors Hedge Against Teetering Economy
  • 6 days NYU Professor: Tesla Could Lose 80% Of Its Value
  • 6 days Uber To Offer On Demand Employment
  • 7 days SoftBank Reeling After Questionable WeWork Investment
  • 7 days Opportunity Arises In The Democratic Republic Of Congo
  • 9 days Peter Thiel’s Promised Land For Intellectual Troublemakers
  • 9 days Why Gold Stocks Are Drifting Lower
  • 10 days Copper Miners Feel The Squeeze As Prices Slip Once Again
  • 10 days Uncovering The Universe’s Biggest Secrets
Miners Face Looming Water Crisis

Miners Face Looming Water Crisis

Stricter environmental regulations and changing…

Battery Recycling Costs Could Stall The EV Boom

Battery Recycling Costs Could Stall The EV Boom

EV makers are facing several…

Mining.com

Mining.com

Mining.com

MINING.com is a web-based global mining publication focusing on news and commentary about mining and mineral exploration. The site is a one-stop-shop for mining industry…

Contact Author

  1. Home
  2. Commodities
  3. Other

How Far Away Are We From Fully Autonomous Mines?

Mine

Automation is a hot topic in the mining industry, as producers look at ways to increase both productivity and onsite safety.

A recent report, Accessing the Fast and Furious Pace of Autonomy to Transform Mining by Clareo and the World Innovation Network (TWIN) argues that closed and proprietary systems of the major OEMs are a barrier to implementation, and unless something changes, achieving a fully autonomous mine will remain a distant vision.

Lead authors Peter Bryant and Satish Rao say that the industry must shift to a solution that is based on an open and interoperable standard and provides seamless interoperability across OEMs and equipment types.

The paper explores the current state of autonomy in mining and finds more that it acts more as an impediment to a fully autonomous mine and limits ability to gain advantage from technology advances and economics occurring in the broader ecosystem.

“Although mining was an early adopter of autonomy, along with defense, today only about 3% of all mobile equipment is truly autonomous, most of which is haulage,” said Bryant, managing partner at Clareo.

Clareo works with clients on the company level to design and activate innovation strategy and approaches and then dives into specific challenges, Bryant said.

Its client roster includes majors like Anglo American, BHP and Goldcorp. All together, Clareo lives at the intersection of mining and other industries. Related: The True Cost Of Opportunity In America

“Autonomy is one of those challenges we’ve spent a reasonable amount of time over the past 18 months, examining what’s happening in the mining industry and the broader autonomy ecosystem,” Bryant told MINING.COM.

“I don’t think any of the major OEMs have the economic interest in moving from the current system, as many of them are really expensive and trying to recoup what have been high development costs, albeit on what are essentially closed and proprietary systems,” Bryant said. “Now they’re just protecting their legacy positions. As we describe in the paper we have seen this movie before in other sectors.”

For majors like BHP, Rio Tinto, Anglo American and others, fully autonomous mines unlock tremendous value, the paper maintains. 

Bryant said that once an entire mobile fleet is autonomous, the possibility exists to reimagine the design of the physical mine that would allow for higher recovery rates and open up resources that are currently not economical or technically not feasible to mine.

He cited the example of a container terminal at Long Beach, which is the largest container port in the US, that is fully autonomous (and electrified).

Bryant said Its automation has allowed for a heavier concentration of activity in a given space – and higher rates of productivity.

“In my opinion, it’s an urgent issue. If miners want to remain competitive, the industry must change the way it is approaching autonomy, given the rapid pace of innovation within this ecosystem,” Bryant added.

By Mining.com

More Top Reads From Safehaven.com:

Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment