Presenting on an African Review-hosted webinar, Martin Provencher, global industry principal for mining, metals and materials at AVEVA, explored the digital transformation of mining operations and its impact on sustainability
“Sustainability is becoming a key aspect for mining operations,” remarked Provencher. “If we look at the latest EY research on the top ten business risks and opportunities for mining and metals globally in 2023, ESG remains at the top. Of course, most companies have environmental goals or are expected to reach a net zero emission by 2050, which is a pretty aggressive target. Many of them are targeting 30% reduction by 2030; seven years from now. So there is a lot of action that needs to take place quickly to get there. It is possible to get there, but we need to make sure we are doing this correctly.”
Fast becoming a huge part of ESG initiatives is fleet electrification where particular progress is being made in underground mines. While some countries are certainly more advanced than others here, Provencher noted that 40% of total emissions from the mining industry come from diesel trucks, making EVs a very attractive low-hanging fruit for companies to pursue.
There are, however, a number of challenges associated with bringing in electric vehicles which remains a barrier for introduction. One of the predominant reasons, is the limited range of EVs against diesel counterparts. To mitigate this, Provencher continued, data management is key and ensuring a strong grasp of real-time information coming in will show operators when machinery needs to be charged, allowing them to plan effectively for maximum efficiency on site.
Indeed, this is but a small advantage that digitalisation can bring to the mining industry as it grapples to meet ESG goals while achieving production targets. By getting a better grip of their data and using it to empower tools such as artificial intelligence, advanced analytics and machine learning, companies can achieve tangible benefits such as reduce downtime, enhance worker safety, cut operating costs and, of course, ensure compliance with environmental regulations and targets.
Through the course of the webinar, Provencher outlined this in more detail and explored AVEVA’s suite of cutting-edge software solutions, specifically designed to help mining companies make progress on their digitalisation journey and empower their operations.
Watch the full webinar, completed with detailed case studies and an insightful Q&A session, below: