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Multiple role-players needed within intelligent mine

17 August 2018

By: Jessica Oosthuizen
Creamer Media Reporter

Mining companies need to establish ecosystems of suppliers and partners to establish, operate, manage and integrate an intelligent mine, says Internet of Things (IoT) solution developer IoT.nxt mining partnerships director Eric Croeser.

“Mining companies, whether small or global, cannot solve the problems they have on their own. They need to establish ecosystems to harvest innovation from different parties,” reiterates enterprise integration solutions provider MineRP marketing VP Empie Strydom. He emphasises that these ecosystems can solve intricate problems that individual companies “simply cannot”.

When mining companies and, for example, technology companies, come together in an integrated way, complementary solutions are found, adds global professional services firm Deloitte associate director Jan-Adriaan du Plessis.
IoT.nxt, Deloitte and MineRP are in a partnership to follow what they call an ‘ecosystem approach’ to the intelligent mine.

The problems of data in mining are extremely complex, and a mining operation is a dynamic system, says Croeser. “Because of this additional complexity, no mine is the same and, therefore, no solution is the same. That is why an ecosystem is needed, where each partner can leverage the other’s deep technical capability to bring the solution to the client,” he adds.

Further, an ecosystem approach accelerates innovation, as each partner learns from the other, Du Plessis notes. Croeser points out that the value offerings to mining companies are “that much better”, with Du Plessis highlighting that “the ecosystem wins and the clients win”.

He emphasises that clients are also included in the ecosystem: “We are open to learning from clients – we want to make sure that what we are investing in and the way we are collaborating makes sense to them.”

Value Offerings
MineRP has deep knowledge of mining technical systems supporting disciplines, such as geological modelling, mine planning and design, and survey. Its core focus is on a spatial integration platform that extends the expert tools used in these domains into the enterprise, allowing for the seamless integration of the technical mining data that represents a digital twin of the physical mine’s major asset – the orebody.

Strydom explains that MineRP’s value proposition is twofold. While it amalgamates the disparate mining technical systems and all the data from the mining technical disciplines into one spatial platform, it also allows for platform-to-platform communications with other domains, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, real-time IoT platforms and even predictive and cognitive platforms.

MineRP essentially unifies “the mining technical world that we refer to as the science of mining, with the ERP world that we refer to as the business of mining”. He adds that the company then works with its partners, such as Deloitte, to integrate mining transactions with financial transactions.

This ecosystem of partners brings together the real-time, planning, geological and ERP data for the mining enterprise to take a wholistic view of its operation, he notes.

Meanwhile, IoT.nxt’s Raptor Edge Technology has developed a method for clients to connect into legacy systems easily and affordably. This retrofit capability makes the efficiencies, cost savings and increased revenue from IoT a reality for operations. The key to this technology is the ability to offer interoperability between different existing offerings. This enables clients to deploy best-of-breed technologies while achieving interoperability and interconnectivity among all the deployed systems and devices from the edge to the cloud.

Read more: https://bit.ly/2vXKcEZ

Watch the interview: https://youtu.be/Azq65BQNbF0

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