Harris Gomez Group has been working with Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) businesses in Latin America for 16 years. During that time, the solutions offered by METS has evolved dramatically. In previous years, the focus was put on automation improvements with many of those technologies now being deployed into mines regularly. Today, we are seeing solutions related to emerging digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), and new biological technologies.
Automation in Chile:
From improvements in processes through software and advanced data processing technology to the application of robotics in autonomous vehicles, drones, and mining machinery, automation represents an attractive opportunity for the industry.
Some examples from Chile include:
Chile's state mining company Codelco - the world's largest copper exporter, has had 18 autonomous trucks in operation at its open-pit Gabriela Mistral mine in the Antofagasta Region since 2008. These vehicles are able to increase a mine's operational efficiency by reducing costs in the long term and operating for more hours whilst also having a lower rate of accidents that means greater safety and protection at the mine. Airobotics, an Israeli company that develops completely autonomous drones, which are able to draw maps and carry out volumetric measurements and topographic surveys that are connected to data processing software, announced an alliance with Chile's Rockblast. The first Chilean mine to implement this technology will be Minera Centinela, an Antofagasta Minerals operation in the Antofagasta Region. It will use the Airobotics Optimus drone, capable of carrying out multi-purpose functions without interfering with activities on the ground. ABB provides Minera Escondida with remote diagnostics covering the five GMD systems operating in the mine. These remote services help customer prevent and reduce failure times while maximizing availability and reliability of the grinding assets. Smartcap, an Australian company, first tested their driver fatigue technology in Chile with BHP and it proved to be successful. Smartcap provides a baseball cap with an electronic strip, about six inches wide, that sits on the driver's forehead and measures brainwaves looking for changes that show fatigue. The sensors in the cap communicate wirelessly with a small unit in the truck's cabin warning the driver and supervisors. There are many ways that...