Mining is a capital-intensive activity in a world marked by high volatility of commodity markets. On top of that, it faces the double whammy of demand slowdown and increasing operational costs.
Deloitte, in their report “Tracking the Trends 2014”, have highlighted top 10 issues mining companies will face this year. Among others, lower mining productivity, market imbalances, innovation challenges, resource nationalism, tightening regulatory regimes, safety equation and dearth of skills are set to strongly impact mining companies’ operations.
In such a disruptive setting, risks are magnified. Unanticipated costs can get unleashed by factors beyond the control of management. They can spring from transportation, equipment vendors, fiscal & statutory jurisdiction, accidents, and the unpredictable whims of Mother Nature.
As a result, traditional approaches to mining management are no longer sustainable. So, how can mining companies ensure productivity gains and cost cuts in the face of market volatility and inflationary pressures?
Fortunately, recent breakthroughs in digitized tools to improve mining supply chain and extraction efficiency are now available in the marketplace. Schneider Electric, a global leader in energy management, has announced an Integrated Planning and Optimization Solution (IPOS). This tool helps mining companies collect, integrate and analyze information across their production environments to obtain a comprehensive view of their operations.
At the enterprise-level, processes such as energy procurement & resource allocation can be tracked and dashboards configured in order to facilitate quick & precise investment decisions. At the operations level, production, supply chain, water & energy management processes can be measured and benchmarked for continual improvement. At the control level, SCADA, control and security solutions enable real time monitoring for better execution of processes.
IPOS enables mining companies view their supply chains both as discrete components as well as a single system adhering to unified objectives and metrics. Contextual process data can also be analyzed in order to allow for cost-saving predictive maintenance and reduced production downtime.
For more information on how new mining operations process tools can support cost cutting production initiatives, click on link to download White Paper entitled Impact of Planning Decision Support Tools on Mining Operations Profitability