Mining in the 21st century using information technology

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 92, No. 1032, 1999

J. Peck and J. Gray, AQUILA Mining Systems Ltd., Montreal, Quebec

As the turn of the century approaches, traditional open pit mining methodologies and processes are being modified through the introduction and use of new technologies. As in other industries, the personal computer is dramatically changing the traditionally conservative mining industry by allowing mines of varying size and capacity to increase their productivity and efficiency through the use of easy to use, office software. Computer-based monitoring and control systems are also being used more frequently to measure and optimize, in real-time, the performances of operating equipment. When communicated to an end-user, this information can provide accurate and timely answers to questions of how much, where, when, and by whom. This capability forms the foundation of a more comprehensive, proactive management and planning facility where, ultimately, information acquired from the producing equipment will be used to optimize and control machine and human activities. As these technologies mature and become essential tools in a mine, they will eventually serve as the basis for more robotic and autonomous