Automation and Communication Technology

As mining technology continues to evolve, automated solutions are rapidly taking center stage. Remote-controlled machinery is giving way to fully-autonomous designs, which boost productivity and reduce the risk of human error. This comes at a price, though. Companies must strike a balance between adapting new technology to remain competitive and fulfilling their social responsibility to provide new jobs. However brilliant, new technology also brings its own challenges. Operators need to keep tabs on their new equipment to accurately assess performance levels and prevent downtime. Developers are constantly striving to improve communication technology for mining projects in a bid to enable wireless networks and other tracking systems to operate in remote locations. Mining companies are now lapping up the benefits of the Internet of Things and other Big Data technologies.

This chapter will bring to light the latest automated solutions and data-handling technology, and will consider how mining companies are adapting to the ever-changing environment.