This issue of Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal is a good reflection of the massive changes that are beginning to impact the mining industry. Our lead story on the Musselwhite Operations Centre in Thunder Bay is an especially potent example of the digital revolution that is underway.
Who would have thought years ago that miners sitting in an air conditioned office in Thunder Bay would be operating loaders and rock breakers 500 kilometres away? It’s truly mind blowing what mine general manager Peter Gula and his team at this remote Goldcorp mine are accomplishing with the assistance I might add of Hard-Line Solutions, the Sudbury-based company that supplies Musselwhite with its teleremote technology.
Next in line is a story about Jannatec’s new digital communications platform with central processing unit, an Android operating system, a camera, a microphone, a speaker, a USB port, GPS, Bluetooth, LTE, WiFi and a battery all built into the brim of a hard hat. In addition to integrating most of the features of a smartphone, the Jannatec hard hat features high visibility LED lights around the brim, an RFID tag for tracking, and integrates with Jannatec’s Advanced Warning collision avoidance technology.
This issue also features a story about the launch of cutting-edge software designed to optimize fragmentation.
Moving right along, there’s Maestro Digital Mine’s introduction of FanMon, which allows technicians in Toronto or anywhere else in the world to remotely dial into a ventilation fan to monitor its performance and diagnose problems.
If your head isn’t spinning yet, we also put the spotlight on Disrupt Mining winner Acoustic Zoom, which uses high-frequency seismic imaging to help pinpoint mineralization, a new blockchain app – VaultChain – that will revolutionize gold trading, and Shyft Inc., a Bestech spinoff with a shopping basket of innovative technology.
For something a little different – more mundane perhaps – we highlight the amazing work of Vale’s Glen Watson and his team, who have come up with a recipe for transforming barren tailings into lush pastures using municipal biosolids – partially treated sewage – from southern Ontario.
Finishing off this overview of our September issue, meet Ricus Grinbeek, Vale’s new Sudbury-based COO, who refreshingly defies the stereotype of mining executives being resistant to change and technological innovation.
Companies resistant to change “won’t be able to survive” in another five or 10 years, he told us, adding, “Sudbury should become the digital innovation centre for underground mining in the world…” Based on this issue of SMSJ, it looks like we’re well on our way to doing just that. Enjoy the read.