Automated mining refers to a technology that reduces direct human interaction and labor force in the mining process. Mining automation is an approach to make mining exploration more effective and sustainable. The use of technology in mining has slowly evolved with advancements such as plant automation systems, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), mine planning systems, and cloud computing.
There are two types of automated mining, software automation and robotic automation in mining vehicles and equipment. Automated equipment software and tools allow operators to successfully carry out difficult operations. Automated mining is advantageous compared to traditional mining. In the traditional methods of drilling and exploration, the safety of mine workers was highly compromised, resulting in increased hazards at mining sites.
Automated technology in mining has improved safety, fuel efficiency, vehicle utilization, and productivity; reduced unscheduled maintenance, driver fatigue, and attrition; and improved working conditions. Mining automation is widely adopted in mine development, mining process, and mine maintenance. These areas require advanced technologies for mineral extraction, such as IoT, robotics, big data and advanced analytics, mobility, CBM, remote center, AI, wearable technology, ore optimization and quality, and social media platforms.
The concept of mining automation is not recent. The mining industry has witnessed a massive technological revolution in the last few years, particularly with advancements in tools and techniques such as AI and machine learning. Modern equipment for heavy and monotonous tasks that reduces human intervention is equipped with sensors while other smart error detection devices are equipped with cloud technologies. Mining companies are largely employing automated equipment such as remote control LASER vehicles and fiber optics cable.
GPS systems are highly advantageous for miners that delve deep into mining sites and caves. They help miners gain accurate data of their location, calculate the depth of the site, and communicate with officials. Smooth and calibrated detection devices detect faults and disasters in mines and help alert managers in operating rooms to send timely rescue services.
With advancements in IT and communication systems, there is a strong demand for Radio Frequency Identification Systems (RFIDs), Real-Time Sensing Systems (RTSSs), and Real-Time Locating Systems (RTLSs). Today, the focus in mining innovation has turned towards the development of remotely operated and autonomous mining equipment and systems. Some of the examples of existing innovations include remote controlled and drilling equipment to minimize human presence in dangerous mining environments.
With the rapid digitalization of industrial automation and control systems, advanced mine-surveying technologies, and other machine guided systems, remotely-controlled automated equipment will remain the most important development in the next few years. In light of these factors, the mining automation market is pegged to be in the maturity phase of its life cycle at present, having witnessed rapid growth in the recent past.
Maturing mines, growing need for low-priced commodities to carry out exploration activities and miners’ focus on cost reduction and productivity growth are driving the growth of the mining automation market. On the other hand, the complex implementation of digital technologies in underground mines and the associated maintenance costs act as prominent obstacles in market growth.
Public-private partnerships and the regulatory scenario are expected to aid the growth of the global mining automation market. Global government bodies are providing support to the mining industry in the form of the Digital Transformation Initiative (DFT), which is also expected to significantly bolster market growth during the forecast period. The development and deployment of innovative technologies across the minerals exploration, mining, processing, and transportation chain will continue to drive market growth. These technologies have the potential to deliver significant advances in safety, improved process productivity, and better utilization of resources, labor and equipment; therefore, the trend toward automation will profoundly change how mines and associated facilities operate in the coming years.
Mining automation registers strong demand from mine developers, mining industrialists, and mine maintainers, as complex procedures such as blasting, drilling, and transportation can be easily carried out using automated equipment, making processes faster, accurate, and less time-consuming. Mining and metal laboratories are greatly demanding laboratory information management systems that automate labs by integrating enterprise systems such as Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Since processed materials from mining companies are delivered to end-users such as industrial and commercials sectors and other manufacturers, it is also expected to generate significant revenue from increasing the supply-demand chain.
The presence of a large number of mines and rapid uptake of advanced technologies drive market growth in North America. The region dominates the global market and is expected to remain the key shareholder throughout the forecast period. The U.S. and Canada are high potential markets in the region, backed by strong mineral exploration sectors.
Mining sites in Canada have already started incorporating automated trucks inside mines to transport goods and commodities from one point to another. Key players such as Intel have started adopting 5G Initiatives (5GI2) in the U.S. This will connect equipment manufacturers, technology companies, industry leaders, and universities and accelerate the adoption of 5G wireless in the whole of North American. Many key providers such as Honeywell, General Electric, and the University of California, Berkeley are participating in the changing trends of the mining industry.
Rapidly growing economies of India and China are anticipated to significantly contribute to the Asia-Pacific mining automation market due to their growing infrastructure of IT technology. Japan, South Korea, and Australia are also expected to contribute to market growth. Indonesia and Pakistan are also rich in mining sites and represent a significant opportunity for the adoption of automated tools in the near future. The Australian government is encouraging the use of robots and remote-controlled equipment in mineral extraction, which is accelerating market growth in the country.
Developments in Europe’s transport, automotive, manufacturing, and energy and utility sectors are expected to drive the automated mining market in coming years. Sweden is engaged in a research and development program related to the adoption of 5G technology in the mining industry with academic partners such as Volvo, Boliden, SICS, Scania, Saab, and SKF. The demand for automated control systems in the European mining industry is gaining traction and expected to flourish in the near future. Strategic partnerships among key manufacturers and technical universities, as well as close cooperation with governments, are expected to steer the growth of Europe’s mining industry in the years to come.
RoW to Register Promising Growth Due to Increasing Mining Exploration Activities
Growing demand for precious metals and increasing mineral exploration activities, along with growth in the metals and minerals industry, represent lucrative opportunities for countries rich is ming sites to add to the growth of the automated mining sector. Some of the countries in the RoW region that are lucrative investing sites include the Middle East and Africa (MEA). The Kibali gold mine is an underground mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that has started implementing automatic vehicles for goods transport.
|Market Size||USD in Billion By 2030|
|Forecast Units||Value (USD Million)|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
|Segments Covered||by Technique (Underground Mining Automation, Surface Mining Automation), Type|
|Geographies Covered||North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, LAME and Rest of the World|
|Key Companies Profiled/Vendors||Carroll Technologies group , Delta Electric , AAMCOR LLC, ABB AB, Abacus Engineering Solutions , Ace Centro Enterprises , D-P , Siemens , Donaldson Company, Inc, DGR Global|
|Key Market Opportunities||High Demand In Automotive And Transportation Sector Is Pushing Mining Automation Market|