Global Mine-Site Technology Adoption Survey, 2020

Global Mine-Site Technology Adoption Survey, 2020


GlobalData's Global Mine-Site Technology Adoption Survey, 2020” analyses the results of interviews with key personnel at over 150 operating mines across the globe. The survey examines trends in uptake of 13 technologies at the mine site, spanning mine management software, predictive maintenance, drones, autonomous vehicles, collision avoidance, wearables, remote control vehicles and more. The report also identifies intentions to invest in the next two years, and compares results by region, mine type and company type.

Key Highlights

  • Technology adoption is continuing at a pace in the mining sector, with the COVID-19 pandemic also serving to accelerate investment in certain areas such as communications systems for remote working.
  • Compared with the 2018 study we have seen an increase in the progress of investment in areas such as drones in particular, as well as safety-related technologies such as collision avoidance and fatigue detection, and also in autonomous vehicles.
  • In terms of the degree to which the respondents’ mines had invested in new technologies, the most widely adopted of those investigated were mine planning software, mine management software, mine communication systems and predictive maintenance. This is similar to previous surveys, and there were no significant changes in terms of the rankings of the technologies when it came to the levels of investment.
  • Expectations of investment over the next two years were highest for predictive maintenance for both equipment and plant, mine communication systems and remote control vehicles, as miners increasingly look to manage operations remotely.
  • Contrasting the majors, such as AngloGold Ashanti, Rio Tinto and Newcrest, versus the non-majors, the former were more likely to have invested in these technologies compared to the smaller miners. However, the gap has been narrowing over time and, whilst the majors are still marginally ahead in terms of the degree of investment in most areas, a more significant share of non-majors are planning investments, which will see the gap closed further.
  • Australasian mines had, on average, the highest penetration of technologies, especially drones and mine planning software. Together with the Americas they had the highest expectations overall in terms of investment across all technologies.
  • Surface mines had greater levels of investment in drones, communication systems and software, while underground mines had invested more in remote control vehicles and battery-powered vehicles, which are seeing rising investment as a means to reduce ventilation costs, amongst other benefits, in underground mining.
  • The survey was conducted in November and December 2020, and included only operating mine sites.
  • Respondents included mine managers, general managers and mine-site IT managers, and interviews were conducted via the telephone or via surveys emailed to qualified individuals.
  • A total of 158 responses were received from separate mine sites, giving a confidence interval (margin of error) of 7.7% with a 95% confidence level.
  • Some 47% of responses were from surface-only mines; 27% from underground-only, and 26% from individuals where the mines had both surface and underground operations. Only one response was accepted per mine.
  • The split between majors and mid-tier miners or producing juniors was 62% to 38%, respectively.
Reasons to Buy
  • Assess the current adoption rates for each of 13 key technologies
  • Compare adoption by mine type, region and company type
  • Assess the potential for future investment by technology, both new investment and future investment.
  • Analyse potential investment rates by region, mine type and company type

  • Survey scope & methodology
    • Geographic representation
  • Executive summary
    • To what extent have you invested in the following
    • In which of the following do you expect to invest in/ further in, over the next 2 years?
  • Global Overview
    • Globally, mine planning and management software, mine communication systems and predictive maintenance have been most widely invested in and implemented
    • And there has been an increase in the level of investment across almost most technologies over the last two years
    • A high share of mine sites expect to invest further in predictive maintenance and mine communication systems
    • With this share higher than the expectations in 2018 and 2019
    • Surface mines had greater levels of investment in drones, communication systems and software
    • And surface mines also showed greater expectation for investing in predictive maintenance for plant; drones and fatigue detection
    • Majors had generally invested to a greater extent than non-majors
    • The degree of investment across the technologies has increased significantly for nonmajors
    • A higher share of non-majors were also expecting to invest in most technologies compared with majors, overall
  • Regional Summaries
    • Australasian mines have, on average, the highest penetration of technologies
    • And, together with those in the Americas, Australasian mines have highest expectations overall in terms of investment
    • African technology investment
    • Africa investment expectations
    • Americas technology investment
    • Americas investment expectations
    • Asia technology investment
    • Asia investment expectations
    • Australasia technology investment
    • Australasia investment expectations
    • Europe & Middle East technology investment
    • Europe & Middle East investment expectations
  • Telecoms investment
    • WIFI (WLAN) networks are most popular across mine sites
    • Generally coverage is most likely to be throughout the mine site
    • Almost 1/3 of mine sites plan to invest in improving/extending an existing private network or deploying a private network
  • Technology Summaries
    • Mine Planning Software
    • Mine Communication Systems
    • Mine Management Software
    • Predictive maintenance for mobile equipment
    • Predictive maintenance for plant
    • Collision avoidance
    • Drones
    • Fatigue detection
    • Remote control vehicles
    • Wearable technology
    • Autonomous vehicles
    • 3D Printing
    • Battery-powered mining vehicles

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