Australasian mines have seen the highest penetration of technologies in 2019, a GlobalData survey on the adoption of technologies in mine sites shows. According to the report – which was conducted between October and November 2019 in 179 mining sites across the world – not only do Australasian mines use more technologies on-site but mining companies are more willing to invest.
The report shows that 63% of respondents wanted to invest in mine communications systems, compared with 37% and 44% found in Asia and Europe-Middle East, respectively. As for investments in drone technology, Australasia stands out with 56%, compared with Asia’s 34%.
In the last three years, Australian mines have doubled in their investment in drone technology, going from 40% of respondents in 2016 to more than 80% in 2019.
The technological advances in the Australasian mining industry are not a coincidence; according to the Reserve Bank of Australia, the country’s central bank, mining constitutes 10% of Australia’s industrial sector, making it one of the biggest contributors to the economy. According to Reuters, the industry’s revenue for the 2019/2020 financial year stands at around $282bn.
GlobalData director of mining and construction David Kurtz said that productivity and safety are at the core of Australian companies’ use and investment in technology.
“The scale of many operations, particularly iron ore, suit investments in areas such as autonomous vehicles. As commodity prices have fallen, miners have looked at autonomous mining and technologies such as drones to minimise costs,” Kurtz told Mining Technology.
“At the same time, with safety paramount, Australian miners are taking advantage of innovations in wearable technology, collision avoidance and fatigue detection to minimise accidents and fatalities on the mine site.