Improving Productivity

From tracking the equipment reliability of on-site haulers to deploying smart sensors in pipelines, predictive intelligence tools could go a long way toward determining whether Canadian companies are able to exploit the vast opportunities that stand before them.

In the mining industry, any technology that reduces unplanned downtime and increases productivity is in high demand. 

A recent survey conducted by Ernst & Young found that only 24 percent of mining companies plan to become involved in mergers and acquisitions this year while the vast majority are instead seeking out ways to increase their individual productivity. Sixty-nine percent of respondents said there will be a greater focus on efficiency and cost control this year than last.

The mining industry is approaching a number of challenges that it will have to overcome in the years ahead. There will be environmental concerns, rising costs, increased regulation and higher taxes. Mining companies will need to focus on increasing efficiency, uptime and productivity.

Rio Tinto has been using automated trucks since 2008. The company is planning to expand its fleet by adding 40 additional autonomous trucks across three different sites by 2014.