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Navigating digital transformation with Mining and Metal

As the mining industry grapples with the pressure to decarbonize and secure capital investments, will this be the compelling driver to ensure that mining is AI-ready? AI and IoT initiatives have been growing within the industry for years now. A significant investment is seen in the mining industry to migrate core platforms into the cloud and ensure data readiness. It is now time to put your data to work. 

Decarbonization has been one of the emerging new factors in driving AI and IoT initiatives in the mining industry. Several leading miners have begun taking steps to reduce their environmental footprint with AI technology platforms. Some have taken immediate action by investing in renewable energy and electrification while also improving governance to align with global climate risk reporting standards.

To successfully decarbonize, mining companies have begun to combine AI solutions as well as renewables, electrification, carbon offsetting, data management and ensuring data integrity of the environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting. 

The scale and leverage of these advanced technologies have yet to be fully realized. So, what are these opportunities? 

- Safety and Incident prevention

- End-to-end asset management to reduce waste and downtime

- Standardization to enable innovation

- Manage new project ventures

- Remain competitive

- Reduce operational and health and safety risks

- Environment and community (HSEC) risks

- Maintain a social license to operate (SLO)

- Increase worker engagement and productivity

- Facilitate compliance with critical regulatory requirements. 

- System interoperability

A significant issue that has been a constant from the beginning of mining activities to the present day is the impacts of health, safety and environmental risks. The dangers associated with mining are multiple, including the hazardous environment people are exposed to and often the use of large and dangerous equipment. 

Looking back at discussions during Accenture and the World Economic Forum (2017), it was argued that digital transformation initiatives embraced by the mining and metals industry over ten years could improve safety, where around 1,000 lives are saved, 44,000 injuries avoided. The economic, environmental, and productivity benefits digital transformation could generate for the mining industry over a decade (2015 to 2025) is more than $425 billion (USD).

This is where Hexagon's expertise can help your organization. Hexagon has true mining lifecycle capabilities that can aid with the need to digitalize and transform operational systems and processes or accelerate your continuous improvement initiatives and improve decision making. Hexagon helps mining companies prevent fatalities and injuries, drive compliance to processes, protect all asset investments, and implement cyber integrity solutions or build comprehensive digital twins.

An example of our value can be found with Rustenburg Platinum Mines Limited (Anglo American Platinum). Their journey towards digitalization began by connecting their process systems with their big data collectors and data generators; however, they quickly realized this did not cover everything. 

The lack of comprehensive data interoperability within Anglo American Platinum was rampant throughout operations of vital spreadsheets housing human and manually entered data. 

This spurred the company into implementing j5 Operations Management Solutions (j5 OMS) at five sites to gather the human and ad hoc data scattered throughout their operations and interface it with their PI System™ from OSIsoft™¹, SQL databases, custom websites, and other operational data sources.

Although early in their deployment, Anglo American Platinum has already seen benefits from their initial implementations and exponential growth in j5 OMS adoption. Operations have been simplified, and, in some cases, entire systems have been eliminated. And that was just one benefit.

Another mining company that is further in their digital transformation journey is BHP Minera Escondida. On their Spence Growth Option mining project, they built a modern copper and molybdenum concentration plant using Hexagon's Digital Twin technology (the Smart Plant suite) throughout the execution of the project.

The digital twin solution enables the management of engineering and operations information centrally and transparently by all personnel involved in the project. This helps to increase the safety, reliability and efficiency of the operational assets.

Traditionally in engineering, revisions are handmade, and contractors can make errors. Since BHP has adopted these software solutions, potential mistakes have reduced from the start to finish of projects and to cap it off; there has been a demonstrable increase in profit.

Take the step with Hexagon; it's time to put your data to use and transform unstructured information into a smart digital asset to visualize, build and manage structures and facilities of all complexities to ensure safe and efficient operation throughout the entire lifecycle.

For more information, check out Unearthing Operational Excellence: Maximizing Mining with Digital Transformation OR speak to an expert with over 30 years of experience, Kris Holmes

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