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75% of top 100 miners will operate remote, autonomous drill rigs in 2022

Following the easing of border restrictions, the new normal has seen mining operations around the world adapt through digitalisation at a rate not seen since modern mining techniques were first developed more than 100 years ago. IDC predicts by 2022, 75% of the top 100 miners will operate remote and autonomous drill rigs throughout their operations, improving equipment efficiencies. This is one of the predictions IDC unveiled in its recent report IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Mining 2022 Predictions and discussed in the IDC FutureScape Webcast: Worldwide Mining 2022 Predictions .

“In 2022, we expect to see a consolidation of learnings from rapid deployment of remote working technologies which lays down a good foundation to develop talent required for remote-operated and automated machinery. Miners have embraced DX to maintain production in astounding numbers and I expect this positive influence on the industry over the next five years,” says Ben Kirkwood, Senior Research Manager, IDC Energy Insights Worldwide Mining.

These are the top strategic predictions that will shape how mining organizations will operate in a digital-first world within the next 12-36 months:

  • Increased Remote Equipment Adoption – Accelerated because of the pandemic, by 2022, 75% of the top 100 miners will operate remote and autonomous drill rigs throughout their operations, improving equipment efficiencies.
  • Resilient Connectivity – By 2022, 5% of global mining operations will be early adopters of 5G to utilize reliable, low-latent connectivity-reliant technologies, improving safety, sustainability, and operational performances.
  • Sustainably Controlled Operations – By 2023, 80% of mining organisations will use sustainability KPIs as part of their primary operational control parameters to help achieve their organizational environment, social, and governance targets.
  • Digitised Talent – By 2023, 25% of the top 100 mining organisations will utilise augmented reality to perform operational maintenance, reducing on-site labour requirements by 20%.
  • Increased OT Security – OT-specific security departments will be created by 4 of the top 5 mining organisations by 2023 as organisations struggle with secure IoT implementations.
  • Auditable Traceability – Enabling improved sustainability and operational tracking, by 2024, 10% of metals produced will use blockchain to track and monitor the commodities’ value chain from origin to final product.
  • Enhanced Operations – By 2024, 50% of the top mining organisations will utilise cloud based operational planning and simulation tools, providing decision support, greater analytics, and improved optimisation capabilities.
  • Ecosystem-wide Partnerships – By 2025, 80% of organisations will utilise an equipment-as-a-service model in partnership with major vendors to provide support for critical operational equipment and systems.
  • Integrated Processes – By 2025, the top 5 mining organisations will deploy cloud-based platforms to deliver insights across their value chain, supporting self-service for workers and a single source of truth.
  • Satellite Supported Transformation – By 2026, as the cost of deploying satellites drops rapidly, one mining organisation will have its own satellites in orbit to support its digital mining transformation.

This IDC report contains the outlook of the IDC Energy Insights analyst team for the worldwide mining industry for 2022–2027. The outlook is presented through the lens of the 10 predictions that make up the framework for IT and line-of-business (LOB) decision makers’ and influencers’ technology-related initiatives in the year ahead.

CT Bureau

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