Mining and construction equipment manufacturer Komatsu and General Electric (GE) will jointly leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) technology to provide big data analysis to mining customers.

The IoT refers to a growing network of physical objects embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity, which means that all devices can become ‘nodes’ on the internet.

According to the companies, efficiency in mining operations can be increased using the big data analysis methods.

Komatsu Australia managing director Sean Taylor said: "GE Mining has long supplied electric drive systems to Komatsu, which is the world’s market leader in electric-drive dump trucks."

"Efficiency in mining operations can be increased using the big data analysis methods."

Over the past year, both companies trialled the concept at a South American copper mine with reportedly successful results.

As part of the new partnership, the equipment company will collect operational data from sensors attached to its mining dump trucks and send that to a GE data centre in the US for further processing, using the latter’s big data analysis capabilities.

Applications for the end information include recommending optimal truck routes and positioning, in addition to speed and braking requirements.

The operation is expected to help miners cut fuel costs onsite, as well as between the mine and port.

In January 2014, Komatsu and GE Transportation’s division GE Mining collaborated to develop next-generation mining equipment to address meet the needs of customers and partners worldwide.