Mining companies in Chile are using new technologies to improve their performance, productivity and safety and local startups are gaining more space within the industry.
Companies such as London-based Anglo American, Antofagasta Minerals, Collahuasi and Compañía Minera del Pacífico have incorporated in their operations Smart Mining Coach, a mining digital assistant developed by local startup Indimin, using Microsoft technology.
“Our assistant brings you to the frontline and gives you smart advice. We take and process the data from control and fleet management systems to offer tips about how to do things better,” Indimin CEO Álvaro Díaz told BNamericas.
Based on artificial intelligence, the Smart Mining Coach also means costs can be cut.
“We can contribute to a mining facility with lower costs of over US$5mn per year because the operational improvement involves less fuel consumption, less waiting time and less equipment deterioration,” Díaz said.
Another local startup betting on reducing equipment deterioration is SmartMining, which is currently in talks with companies to install sensors inside mills and on conveyor belts.
“We plan to install sensorized grinding balls to measure impact, deterioration and speed, in order to have predictive maintenance and increase the processing rate per hour,” SmartMining CEO Jorge Alzamora told BNamericas.
Through predictive maintenance, SmartMining can avoid unscheduled shutdowns, he said.
The startup aims to measure deterioration and temperature in order to avoid fires on conveyor belts.
According to Indimin’s Díaz, the pandemic has contributed to mining companies opening up to digital transformation, but it will not just require new technology.
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