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Traceability in mining is boosted by technology

Traceability in mining is boosted by technology

Technology is revolutionizing the way traceability is carried out in mining. With the incorporation of technologies such as artificial intelligence, the cloud and the internet of things, traceability has become more accurate and efficient.

For mining, traceability makes it possible to know the use, location and history of an asset throughout the entire process, from extraction until the finished mining product is finally commercialized. For this reason, traceability is an essential requirement to guarantee quality, safety, regulations, social responsibility, compliance with trade agreements, among many other benefits for the industry.

There are different ways in which technology is enhancing traceability. One example is the use of online platforms, which allow mining companies to keep a detailed record of the history of mining assets and make it accessible from anywhere through the cloud. This means that companies can fulfill regulations, customer agreements and social responsibility requirements more efficiently and transparently. In addition, the platforms facilitate better and more timely decision making, since by mapping the entire process in one place, they can identify bottlenecks, detect problems and attack them precisely at the part of the chain where they are occurring.

If we consider that one of the many roles of the platforms is to capture data from the source, a critical asset for all organizations, these give way to the development of other technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) that can deliver predictions and recommendations, allowing to obtain a competitive advantage, increase revenue, reduce costs, and automate business processes.

In the case of mining, AI and ML is being used in the following ways:

  • Smart sensors and real-time analytics engines to visualize the operation's assets.
  • Predicting the size of the mineral resource and probability of it being in a location. Learn more about how Antara DGS helps to map drilling and geological sampling processes.
  • Process analytics: determining the availability, location and quality of the mineral prior to extraction.
  • Prediction of failures that can stop a mining process and production.
  • Condition-based maintenance. Learn more about Sherpath, a platform that optimizes maintenance and repair management in real time.
  • Management and availability of critical inputs. Learn more about Antara TL and how it helps to increase reliability and compliance with programs that ensure the availability of critical inputs such as sulfuric acid, lime, grinding media, fuels, lubricants, among others.

Another technology that is simple to use and implement, and therefore has a high adoption rate in the mining industry for traceability, is the use of QR codes and RFID tags (Radio Frequency Identification). These systems allow assets to be tracked in an automated way through the use of QR code readers and RFID tags. This means that there is no need to manually type in data, which reduces the margin of error and increases efficiency.

An additional example is the use of drones, which allow tracking and detailed monitoring, from different points, performing: inspection in places that are difficult for a person to access, evaluation of the places where the ore is moved, analysis of the blasting process, are just some of the multiple uses. Currently, the use of drones has boosted the use of aerial photogrammetry, a technique that among its benefits allows measurements for stock and inventory control in a fast, safe and very low cost way compared to other alternatives such as satellites, helicopters and airplanes.

"The main benefit of drones for mining traceability is the capacity for continuous inspection".  Revista IMG

In summary, technology is transforming the way traceability is conducted in mining. With the use of cloud-based tracking platforms, data for artificial intelligence and machine learning modeling, the use of QR codes and RFID tags, the use of drones to track and trace in hard-to-reach places, among other technologies. They have allowed traceability to become more accurate and efficient. This is beneficial for mining companies as well as for the environment and society, as it guarantees the quality and safety of extracted materials and allows for greater accountability and transparency.

💻 Do you want to be part of this technological revolution? Our platforms will help you to visibilize and trace your mining assets, allowing you to have greater control of the operation, improve processes, identify bottlenecks, reduce error margins, ensure quality, comply with regulations, certifications and customer agreements. Learn more about our Antara Suite.

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"The use of RFID in the mining industry" by K. J. R. Rasmussen, J. K. Bødker and A. K. C. Bødker. Published in the journal Resources Policy in 2011.

"Tracking the trackers: A critical examination of the role of RFID in supply chain management" by E. K. O. Boakye and B. D. Li. Published in the Journal of Business Logistics in 2014.

"A review of the use of RFID technology in the mining industry" by J. M. Allwood and M. E. T. Holmberg. Published in the International Journal of Mining, Reclamation and Environment in 2017.

"The role of RFID technology in mining operations" by S. R. L. Naidoo and D. P. Naidoo. Published in the journal Resources Policy in 2018.

"The use of drones in the mining industry: A review" by M. E. T. Holmberg and J. M. Allwood. Published in the journal Resources Policy in 2019.

Autor: Antara

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