Cyborg Miners: A Step towards a Digital Mine


Mr Dylan Bennett, Dr Mohammad Babaei, Mr Peter Cunningham

It's been proposed by many organizations that digitalization has the potential to disrupt the mining industry in the next decade in terms of improving productivity, safety, and environmental footprint, as well as community and customer engagement. However, the industry is still faced with many questions, including how to develop and implement digital technologies that target and lock-in improved operating efficiency, augment and optimize workers, allow for more precise and better integrated planning, increase safety, improve environmental performance, and improve engagement with communities and customers. Augmenting and optimizing workers is considered as one of the key steps towards a digital mine, which can create enormous value for the mining industry. This paper first outlines a framework to assist with augmenting and optimizing workers in open pit operations. Then, four case studies of implementing digital technologies at Teck open pit operations are presented with a view towards augmenting and optimizing workers. These case studies include augmenting drill and blast engineers to optimize blasting; augmenting shovel operators to improve shovel productivity; augmenting field workers to increase efficiency, and finally augmenting reliability engineers to reduce maintenance cost and avoid catastrophic failures in mobile machineries.