The Future of Computers in the Mining and Metallurgical Industries

CIM Bulletin, 1970

A. L. MULAR, Associate Professor, Dept. of Metallurgical Engineering, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario

This paper summarizes the present-day usage of computers in the mining-metallurgical industry. The industry appears to be following a path taken by other industries in improving the operation of processing plants, production schedules, grade control and haulage performance. A reduction in the cost of computers and computing has been a significant factor. An attempt is made to forecast the future of computers in our industry. Such developments as time-sharing, minicomputers, and easy-to-understand process-oriented languages will lead to wider usage. Considerable strides have been made in the use of computers for laboratory data acquisition. In general, the implementation of new methods, new techniques and new equipment will require plant personnel to develop new skills. The universities are meeting this challenge by re-structuring curricula and offering special courses. Most vendors of computers already offer special courses within their own facilities at a customer's plant.
Keywords: Computer, Computers, Control, Controls, Data, direct digital control, Kingston, Ontario, process control, Queen's University, time-sharing, Engineers, mining, Plants