The Gold Value of a “Connected Mine”
By Tony Shakib, Vice President of IoT Vertical Business, Cisco
I’ve been in IT for a long time and I often hear that data is worth its weight in gold. Well, I recently spoke with Canadian-based Dundee Mining Company about how the data generated from their mines is now “connected” and helping the mine produce more gold – more economically and more safely.
It is estimated that gold has been mined for about 7,000 years. Some would argue that the process has not changed greatly in all that time. However, when you have a Connected Mine you can “take the lid off the mine” and have greater visibility on where and when to drill, and also see how much gold is on the carts at any given moment. I spoke with Mark Gelsomini, the corporate director of IT for Dundee Precious Metals. Mark is a trend setter who uses technology in the mining industry. Along with having better visibility into drilling and production, he showed me how Dundee tracks miners and equipment while they move around the mine, which drives operational efficiency and increased safety.
During our discussion, Mark talked about how technology is helping the company meet business goals to increase mine productivity and the operational longevity of the mine equipment, and to enhance safety for miners. Cisco works with many mining companies to help them connect the remote areas of their mines. Sensors on equipment and on the miners themselves feed data into Wi-Fi access points. Cloud architectures enable experts to analyze that data from anywhere in the world. By “taking the lid off the mine,” Dundee is bringing more visibility to the process through increased communication.
Los Pelambres Mining (MLP), located in the Chilean region of Coquimbo, is another Cisco customer with Connected Mines. They were one of the first companies in the country to incorporate collaboration over smartphones as a productivity tool for their employees within the mining environment. The company is part of the wider Antofagasta Minerals Group and it’s one of the five largest mining companies in the world.
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