Saskatchewan's Digital Mining Transformation Initiative

2019

Al Shpyth, IMII

The digital transformation of Saskatchewan’s minerals industry has been identified as a priority for International Minerals Innovation Institute’s mineral company, government and academic members. Like others in the global mining industry, lower commodity prices have prompted Saskatchewan’s leading mineral companies (and IMII members) to focus on improving productivity. And, like others, they have come to realize that achieving breakthroughs on productivity performance may be coming within industry’s reach through digital and technology innovations that could transform key aspects of mining. The IMII has been charged by its members with developing and delivering on a special project to not only help digitally transform their Saskatchewan mineral operations – many of which have been in operation for decades, but also to facilitate the development of a vision for digital mining in the province. An expected key deliverable would be a “framework” through which key partners – such as government departments and agencies, post-secondary education institutions, applied research institutions, and supply chain companies, could establish platforms/mechanisms for collaborating with minerals companies to realize the industry’s digital innovation needs (e.g., help researchers and supply chain companies understand and prepare for the emerging technical landscape, help PSE institutions develop and offer new educational resources in response to digital employment profiles). This framework will need to support the digital transformation of existing operations, and the needs of the next generation mines and mills that will be built. The Digital Mining Transformation Initiative kicked off in November 2018 and will conclude in June 2019. This presentation will provide an interim report on the progress the initiative has made in establishing a framework and developing priority implementation plans and may be of interest to others as it is a unique sector-wide effort engaging the entirety of Saskatchewan’s minerals industry innovation ecosystem.
Keywords: digital mining, digital mining transformation, productivity, innovation
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