How Integrated Solutions Optimise The Mining Lifecycle

August 16, 2022
9 min read

In the past 50 years, metals have fluctuated in the global market by 500%. We have all seen the volatility of mining commodities and each of us in the resources sector eagerly wait for the commodities we’ve backed to increase in demand and gain greater traction. 

In 2021, strategic planning for every stage of a mine lifecycle was essential for operational success. Operations are required to run lean so that when the ebbs and flows of global demand fluctuate; your business is set up with efficient processes, data exchange and analyticaltrends showing which aspects of the business are surging up costs.

During these fluctuations, a mine's digital position will determine whether the operation can financially sustainprocedures during the downturn or whether the three other options are imminent;for example:

  • Acquisition
  • The impact of cutting costs on the asset maintenance
  • Sell off assets

With improvements in late 2022, Business wire reportedin their Global Metals and Minerals Global Market Report 2022 - "The global metal and mineral market is expected to grow from $6,877.41 billion in 2021 to $7,507.82 billion in 2022 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of9.2%. The market is expected to grow to $10,274.68 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 8.2%." - Business Wire. The report goes on to say that many metal and mineral manufacturing companies are using digital technologies to improve plant efficiency and productivity which are proving invaluable data for improving efficiencies and reducing potential breakdowns.

Subsequently, it has become a business imperativefor miners to advance their operations with the introduction of digital transformation. It's generally the miners who haven’t invested in technologies that will no longer have a practical operation. The Oil and Gas industry experience this shift decades ago with various deregulation and policy shifts resulting in oil companies losing market share if they were not on the frontfoot leveraging technology for optimised production operations while maintaining their compliance, risk and social licence to operate.

Navigating market shifts sustainably comes down to integrating various parts of the business to streamline data, communication and enhance decision making. Access to data to support critical decisions, provide leading indicators, are key to this process. Siloed business processes and system that do not communicate with each other limit transparency and critical decision making at senior levels in the organisation. Decisions are not taken at the right time (or at all), lead to a loss of production, loss of licence to operate, or in the worst case a loss of life.

For example, with digital technologies like Obzervr, increasing production to meet demand, require additional machines and people. This leads to additional complexity in the operation. Setting up a digital operating model from the start to implement and execute work, execute maintenance strategies and tactics, digital prestarts, all lead to better asset uptime, better production, and better compliance to the company goals.

Data for spend allocation, planning and decision making:

  1. How frequently are our assets breaking down? What is the cause of this?
  2. Is our mobile fleet at max capacity or can we push them harder?
  3. How many spare trucks do we need given our current breakdown rate?
  4. Can I see a red/amber/green status of my critical assets - for example in the Mill that has little redundancy built in?
  5. What spare parts should we keep on hand to keep the mill at max output?

Notknowing these answers, will lead to unwanted surprises. A risk exists in thegap between the operation as planned or imagined, and the operation in reality. Without daily data of work done, production output, failures, compliance risks, the operation and its people are at risk. Manual processes and paper-based systems are a barrier to bridging the risk gap. As noted in the Global Markets report, digital solutions are the future to control and mitigate this risk.

Taking your disparate essential processes and digitising that onto a single pane of glass to create standardisation of work across the operation, integrating work and operations seamlessly to your business systems providing operational insights and visibility of work done is key to long term sustainability, shifts if market and changes in legislation.

Obzervr and Scope Systems offer their customers a partnership enabling digital transformation and integrated solutions across the many stages of a mining lifecycle. While the answer varies for each customer, one thing that always remains intact is the focus of our technologies and commitment in delivering optimisation across every aspect of their operating modules.  

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Find out more about the Scope System and Obzervr partnership head to our website.

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