From Paper to Tablet: The Digitalization of the Last Mile of Mining

The operation of the last mile in the production process in open pit mining/mining is a challenge for all stakeholders: mining staff, for operation & security managers, supervisors and last not least for the procurement & financial department. Looking at the status quo the communication path is still in most cases manually done via paper and clipboard. This makes any documentation of processes very difficult. And even more difficult is it to apply any BI or AI programs to analyze or optimize these processes.

Open pit mines or underground mines are vast working areas, where many solo workers are deployed using heavy machinery like drills, trucks, and loaders to extract minerals. To make processes transparent one extremely helpful means is to always know the position of every asset including personnel in these challenging environments. Of course, this aspect also helps a lot in terms of occupational and worker safety, but it is also an important factor when talking about insights into productivity and it’s improvement. Because, let’s be honest, there is always room for improvement.

Digitalisierung im Bergbau | Favendo Asset Tracking

To tackle this problem our partner IGO from Chile has developed the IGAT platform for the digitalization of the very last steps in the last mile of the production process. IGAT enables real-time measurement of productivity and displays it in a “Productivity Dashboard”. Combined with Favendo’s tracking solution the position of asset tagged equipment, vehicles and workers in defined zones can be checked at any time. Indoors and close to buildings the tracking is based on Bluetooth and WiFi, for wider open areas Favendo has integrated Actility/Abeeway Trackers that communicate via GPS/LoRaWAN. This integration enables a seamless indoor and outdoor tracking experience in real-time.

Digitalization in Chile’s leading mining group

Let’s look at a concrete example: Chile’s leading private mining group Antofagasta Minerals that operates four open-pit copper mines in the South American country and produces around 740.000 tons of copper per year records by 18 per cent reduced maintenance and repair times and a productivity increase of 14 per cent thanks to digitalization measures.

Together with IGO Favendo is currently implementing an asset tracking solution at one of the Antofagasta mines, Minera Antucoya. Minera Antucoya went productive in 2017 and a staff of 1.900 produces around 80.000 copper cathodes per year through open pit mining. Favendo`s Relay Compact tracks the position of asset tagged equipment, vehicles and workers in defined zones near buildings and passes this data to the IGAT Platform via the Commander Location Engine and People Locator. An extension of the tracking to the whole mine via GPS/LoRaWAN is in the planning stages.

Through Favendo`s Commander Platform the creating and managing Geofences & POIs is done, the IGAT platform contains worker ‘s profiles with time tracking and location display.

igat Dashboard for asset tracking in open pit mining | Favendo

Advantages of digitalization in underground and open pit mining

So, what are the benefits you get? By tracking, monitoring, and recovering mining assets, equipment, and personnel you can improve your internal mining operations. Thanks to automatized and standardized asset management processes the mine layout can be optimized. By switching from preventive to predictive maintenance schedules your assets` lifecycle is extended. You can also monitor environmental changes to reduce risks and ensure worker safety. And finally – addressing the important issue of climate change – you can significantly reduce your mine’s carbon footprint by optimizing the routes of vehicles and mobile machinery.

Would you like to learn more about the various use cases for asset tracking? Then feel free to contact us at any time:


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