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Digitization in the large mining industry is the key to energy transition
27.12.2022

Digitization in the large mining industry is the key to energy transition

Mining is undoubtedly one of the most important economic activities in Chile (51%) and Peru (58%), but not only for these countries but for the entire planet. Most of the things we use in society are created from it, we are talking about roads, buildings, technological equipment and more. 

And if we talk about responsible mining, the trend is very much towards the implementation of innovative solutions based on Industry 4.0 and IioT (Industrial Internet of the Things), tools that optimize processes and their results, making them more traceable, safe and sustainable.  A McKinsey & Company study revealed that approximately 50% of the value of Industry 4.0 in mining comes from advanced analytics, as this generally seeks to increase processing at bottlenecks, in addition to maximizing mineral recovery in different types of processing.

Industry 4.0 can unlock significant value in several areas of the business

Source: "Capturing the true value of Industry 4.0", McKinsey & Company

Although the extractive industry emits a large amount of gases, and since there are currently no substitutes for these raw materials, the path to achieving environmental objectives is aligned with decarbonization. In fact, a study published by the consulting firm PwC "Mine 2022: A critical transition" outlined the latest trends in the sector, where the success of large-scale mining lies in its ability to take a leading role in the energy transition process. 

Now, how is this achieved? In this case, mining companies have the challenge of using their financial position and influence in the market to face: development deadlines, fully apply digital technologies, face geopolitical instability, as well as price fluctuations.

In addition, Reporte Minero published in an article an analysis by Carlos Urenda, General Manager of Consejo Minero De Chile A G , who explains: "It does not only require mining companies, their suppliers and the mining ecosystem. It is also essential that states establish legislation that makes the large investments required feasible, as well as that citizens value the contribution of mining, not only through the traditional economic and social benefits for countries, but now also by making a significant contribution to the global fight against climate change".

Indeed, these are actions that have been evidenced in Chile. For example, today we are working on a public-private project that seeks to strengthen the industry's capacity to function, through investment in state-owned plants and the use of new technologies. This, without leaving aside the carbon neutrality goals, would stimulate local industry, especially those linked to the transition to clean energy.

However, all these advances require digitalization to optimize results. Today, to achieve SMART objectives, we not only need the productive part, it is essential to be able to work in synergy with digital in order to make better decisions and make real progress. 

By having a more technological mining, as well as a transformation in the energy area, we could obtain benefits such as increased productivity, lower operating costs, lower associated risks, optimize the execution times of tasks, thus achieving greater safety in the work. 

Sebastian Giraldo, director of Industrial Automation for the Andean Cluster at Schneider Electric, commented in an article for Tecnología Minera that "the development of the sector is evolving, every day it has a better perception and has an important representation for the economy. Different mining companies are already, for example, using sensors during the extraction phase to collect more information on each bucket or shovel bucket, which increases performance, helps conserve water use and reduce tailings waste".

As we can see, there is a lot of work to be done, but the pieces of the game are in place to achieve the goals. Even at Antara, our objectives have been, from the beginning, associated with the fulfillment of a more sustainable global agenda, so much so that we are Carboneutral® certified because we understand that climate action is fundamental.

It is and will continue to be our commitment to provide the mining industry in Latin America and the world with the necessary tools to make this energy transition a resounding success that will allow us to live in a greener, more conscious planet.

Autor: Antara

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