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IMDEX minerals and resources sector – Mining trends in a COVID-19 world

IMDEX's technologies
IMDEX's technologies

IMDEX is work with some of the global mineral industry’s leading organisations. IMDEX’s technologies helps clients by enabling their successful operations – from cost-effective exploration through to production. It’s all about ensuring drill faster and smarter.

Technology – the Cloud

The global minerals industry has turned to technology to improve safety, enhance efficiencies and reduce the cost of exploration and extraction.

When people think about innovation, most minds turn to autonomous haulage or remote operations. But there’s an enabler to this innovation. The Cloud. And it’s occupying considerable thought.

Companies, not least of which are those in mining services and the resources sector, are utilising cloud platforms to store data remotely and retrieve it via the internet.

IMDEX General Manager, Product Development, Dr Michelle Carey, said clients were increasingly wanting to use the Cloud because it enabled them to get data faster and in real-time. “We refer to it as the single source of truth,” Dr Carey said. “Accurate, reliable data delivered in real time that can be seen simultaneously by many people, which then enables real-time decision making. “It also means there are no issues about the chain of custody. Using the Cloud gives clients the confidence that no-one has tampered with the data so they can make decisions based on data they trust.”

IMDEX has been in the Cloud for over 10 years and is renowned for its real-time, subsurface intelligence solutions with numerous sensors on the drill site, at the core farm and increasingly on the bench collecting high quality data.

These technologies can be connected to IMDEXHUB-IQTM – an award-winning cloud-based web portal that collects, stores and provides critical operational data. This data is protected through a validated chain of custody and a secure database, accessible from any internet connection to smart phone, tablet or PC.

Social licence to operate

Most are familiar with the notion of ‘social licence to operate’. It’s a key theme for the global minerals industry. But the notion of licence to operate is evolving.

Society is expecting more from organisations.

IMDEX will include additional economic, environmental and social impacts of its activities in its 2020 annual report, with the aim of preparing a sustainability report in accordance with Global Reporting Initiative standards within three years.

Dr Carey said IMDEX already had a suite of products and services that supported the sustainable operation of mining industry stakeholders. “IMDEX’s technologies improve productivity by providing information that affects decisions throughout the life of the mine, but they also have sustainability and environmental benefits,”

Dr Carey said. “IMDEX’s technologies enable clients to understand material properties accurately at a finer scale and in real-time enabling them to mine with less waste and process ore more effectively.

“Improved precision in exploration, drilling programs and mining means a reduction in waste. Things like our Solids Removal Units and BOS tool means reducing the use of water during the drilling and the size of the footprint disturbed during drilling.”

Sustainability and emissions reduction

Notwithstanding COVID-19, climate change and the imperative to reduce carbon emissions remains the most considerable challenge of our time.

The global mineral industry, as much as any other industry, has led the way in accepting the scientific evidence linking the release of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, with global warming.

Mining companies need to take the lead. As Deloitte outline in their February 2020 Insights, that means carbon reduction targets, along with more specific targets addressing particular industries, to meet emissions reduction goals. In fact, some organisations are setting more audacious goals, to be entirely carbon neutral.

In outlining the ‘Top 10 business risks and opportunities – 2020,’ EY suggests, the transition to clean energy will be mineral intensive with increased demand anticipated for lithium, cobalt, copper, nickel and many other minerals.

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