The Asia Miner

JUN 2018

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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Robots and mines the asia miner • volume 15 • issue 2 4 LEADING DEVELOPMENTS: Robots and mines According to a newly released report from BDO Australia, by 2020, robots will replace more than 50% of miners, reducing mining accidents by 75%. It is esƟmated that half of the miners will themselves be retrained to run the technology controlling the robots. The report, BDO's Energy 2020 Vision: The Near Future of Mining, consists of predicƟons made by BDO's natural resources experts from around the world. According to BDO's experts, "Mining is in the early stages of the Fourth Industrial RevoluƟon, or Industry 4.0, and further digiƟsaƟon is just around the corner." As part of this shiŌ, The InternaƟonal InsƟtute for Sustainable Development esƟmates that driverless technology will increases mining output by 15 to 20%, while decreasing fuel and maintenance costs by 10 to 15% and 8% respecƟvely. BDO experts predict that by 2020, global mining companies leveraging Internet-connected sensors and automated drillers in mines will decrease their per ton digging costs by more than 30%. ROBOTS BDO predicts that robots will be at the forefront of most mineral extracƟon by 2020, with most in the workforce requiring to be retrained to run the technology controlling the robots. Autonomous technology, however, is not a foreign concept to the global mining sector. Self-driving trucks and autonomous muckers and drillers are employed on site at almost all large mining operaƟons. Drones are also uƟlised more for topography mapping and capturing images of inaccessible areas of the mine. Remote vein miners (RVMs) are being developed to eliminate the need to drill and blast to excavate rock—potenƟally reducing rock stress that can lead to seismic events. With the shiŌ towards roboƟcs already taking place, albeit slowly, a full transiƟon does not mean the end of a human mining workforce. Rather, it indicates an inevitable move towards a demand for reskilling. TradiƟonal operaƟonal posiƟons such as drilling, blasƟng, and driving won't escape downsizing, but will be replaced by demand for remote operators and maintenance personnel to create the new version of the miner. What BDO sees emerging are digital mining jobs such as engineers, soŌware developers, and data processing and data analyƟcs specialists, which will aƩract "the technologically savvy millennial workforce". CYBERSECURITY Although advancements in technology had aided in more sustainable mining methods, the industry is sƟll perceived as being "dirty", raising many environmental concerns including water and soil contaminaƟon; carbon emissions; and impact on local flora and fauna. BDO predicts that by 2020, pressure from environmental acƟvists will increase. The modern-day acƟvist, however, will not disrupt operaƟons through physical protest, but through a keyboard. The hacktavists – acƟvƟst hackers – are anƟcipated to issue "at least five Permanent Denial of Service (PDos) cyberaƩacks on mines around the world", moƟvated by eliminaƟng the environmental and social threats they pose. PDoS aƩacks are the next generaƟon of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) aƩacks – which temporarily disable operaƟons – and aim for permanent destrucƟon. In a PDoS aƩack, hackers' goals include destroying physical equipment and structures, disabling services, and/or wiping out data. For global mining companies in the early stages of harnessing big data, losing seismic and reserves data would be damaging to their ongoing operaƟons. The key to miƟgaƟng the cyber threat will be informaƟon sharing. Companies like Goldcorp and a group of Canadian miners have moved to create a joint task force to increase knowledge sharing specific to the real and present cyber warfare dangers to mining assets. AŌer hackers penetrated Goldcorp's IT network, stealing troves of data including sensiƟve financial informaƟon, Luis Canepari, Vice President of IT at Goldcorp acknowledged that the event was a "real eyeopener". "We were quite frank about what had happened and what we needed to do beƩer", he said. "You can't wrap yourself in a cocoon. Secrecy does not help." Cybersecurity risk miƟgaƟon plans for mining organisaƟons should focus on: OperaƟonal technology; emerging technologies; M&A; third-party management. Other factors predicted to impact mining include the pursuit of renewables as an energy source – esƟmated to account for a quarter of global electricity generaƟon in the future; and the introducƟon of EU's Conflict Minerals RegulaƟon, effecƟve in 2021. The regulation is EU's effort to stem trade in minerals that finance armed conflicts and terror groups, with mining companies expected to establish by 2020, supply chain due diligence for imports of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold (3TG). The rule aims to ensure European industries use responsibly sourced minerals, stemming proceeds that finance armed conflict in high-risk areas. Robots and mines. Welcome to the future. Robots are predicted to replace more than 50% of miners by 2020

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