Autonomous Mining Answers the Call for Major Changes in Innovation and Productivity

Related topics: Mining
ASI explores how automation plays into Deloitte's 2015 mining report."If mining companies hope to emerge from the downward cycle in a stronger position from which they entered it, they need to... adopt innovative technologies used in other industries in a measured and risk-intelligent way..." Glenn Ives, American Mining Leader, Deloitte Canada.

In one of the world's most challenged industries, the outlook remains uncertain for mining in 2015 as it faces increasingly strict government regulations, financial turmoil, and reduced access to resources. However, in their Tracking the Trends 2015 report, Deloitte identifies ten trends that will shape the industry's challenges and provides insight on how miners can leverage these trends to come out on top. This article will explore the two trends that are directly affected by autonomous mining technologies.

Trend: Back to the Basics - the pursuit of operational excellence

After experiencing years of plenty, the mining industry experienced productivity declines "due to structural labor market forces, elevated input costs, critical shortages in energy and water, declining ore quality, and a legacy of inefficient capital allocation," explained Deloitte.

Among the suggested solutions, Deloitte identified insourcing vehicle maintenance to reduce expenses lost to outside contractors and suppliers. Eighty percent of Australian mining companies surveyed are looking to bring maintenance in-house.

Access the full Deloitte Tracking the Trends 2015 mining report.


Automation reduces maintenance costs by enabling operators to control vehicles within the OEM recommended spec, something not always possible with human drivers. Eliminating variability that exceeds OEM thresholds can stop maintenance issues before they start.