How AI is Changing the Mining Industry

Artificial Intelligence is known for its ability to process large amounts of data into actionable insights for decision making. Mining leaders are increasingly turning towards the use of AI to enhance their operations, improve sustainability, and foster safety. As the mining industry continues to battle with volatile commodity prices, maturity of existing mines and supply chain issues, AI can be an effective solution to overcome these challenges.

Equipment downtime is expensive, wasteful and unnecessary. The typical cost of downtime in the mining industry can be up to $130,000 per hour. An incident may result in loss of as much as 50 productive hours. AI is helping mining companies track and manage the performance of equipment by predicting potential failures and interruptions. Sensors can monitor temperature, pressure, volume, vibrations etc. on machines and deliver actionable insights for predictive maintenance. This inherently improves the maintenance systems and processes of these machines, resulting in lower downtime and maintenance costs.

Mineworkers face considerable risk in their daily work activities. Miners operate heavy-duty equipment which increases their exposure to unsafe situations. AI supports more accurate and efficient decision making to foster a safer environment for mine workers, especially in the area of risk assessment and alerting to prevent accidents and injuries. In addition, AI-powered driving behavior monitoring systems can spot risky driving habits for immediate feedback. This can potentially reduce the frequency of incidents, injuries and fatalities and subsequently improve both short-term and long-term safety outcomes.

The mining industry has an average annual carbon footprint of over 8,000 tonnes. Although it is not possible to entirely eradicate this negative impact on the environment, it is possible to achieve at least a 20% reduction. AI makes it possible to monitor, track, evaluate and document the entire extraction process including the spread of wasteful and harmful substances making it easier for mining firms to account and control.

When it comes to the fusion of mining practices with artificial intelligence, Symboticware is at the forefront of this wave. We have in-depth experience of partnering with leading mining companies to digitize equipment management, data collection and processing for operational efficiencies.

The good thing about artificial intelligence is its increasing marginal returns; as machines continue to capture data, the predictive ability increases. Artificial intelligence can continue to help both on-site and off-site mining workers make faster and more accurate decisions – with lower possibility for errors and accidents while reducing the need for manual and/or human intervention and adverse impact on the environment. Consequently, the mining industry will reap greater returns in the future.  

Would you like to learn more about artificial intelligence and its role in the mining industry? Symboticware is the leading IoT provider working with the natural resources industry. We would love to connect with you.