How digital technologies are helping to drive faster, more valuable outcomes for mine sites
In the lead up to our International Future Mining Conference 2021 in Perth and online this December, we sat down with keynote speaker, Peter Johnson, Chairman of Maptek. With over 20 years’ experience in the development and application of technology in the global mining industry, Peter discusses the innovations that are enabling shifts in the way mine sites operate, and the importance of technology in complementing the skills of resources professionals.
Recently, Maptek has undergone a huge expansion, growing its footprint beyond geological modelling and mine design into mine operations, scheduling, drill and blast and production management. Peter said advanced digital technologies have played a huge role in this growth. “The greater use and effectiveness of mobile computing and the deployment of edge computing into mining operations…enables technology solutions to become integrated into the daily workflows and tasks for a wider cross section of the activities happening at a mine.”
Cloud computing is another aspect of new technological processes that are helping improve outcomes on-site. “We have been able to create products that handle, share and process large quantities of data in significantly faster and more flexible ways than possible on a desktop PC or network server. Our DomainMCF product is an example of this – creating a huge amount of valuable geological modelling detail quickly and easily from any PC in blindingly fast time.”
Maptek has made it a priority to develop advanced technologies in keeping up with the ever-evolving sector. Peter believes skills shortages are among the most pressing challenge facing the mining industry today and believes technology is crucial in combating this issue. “Technology can help solve this problem by creating and enabling new ways to get the job done, and capturing and automating some of the decision processes and expertise that may otherwise reside in an individual's head.”
“Creating technology tools that either allow skilled people to be more efficient and productive, or allow less skilled people to be productive without the levels of experience that may otherwise be required, is a critical capability that will help the industry, and I struggle to see any other way the industry will overcome the challenges presented by the skills shortage.”
International Future Mining 2021 focuses on ‘Future Mining, Building Tomorrow’. For more information on Peter Johnson, click here.