Mining 2.0: when the mining sector gets digitalised

7th August 2017

Olivier Aeschlimann, Senior Financial Analyst and Fund Manager

Barrick Gold, the world largest gold group, announced in 2016 a partnership with Cisco, aiming to digitally reinvent the mining sector. The project is ambitious: the aim is to integrate the new technologies in all dimensions of the mining operations. Add sensors to all corners of the mine, get the data real time to the surface, centralise and analyse the information in a command room which has nothing to envy to the situation room of the White House. All this should be worthwhile. It should allow the use of automated vehicles and joystick controlled robots. It should reduce the high aeration costs as well as accidents, but also optimise flux and stocks. In short, increase productivity.

Technically, although complex, the project is feasible. The most difficult in this transition will however be the management of corporate culture: miners will have to accept to exchange their pick and shovels against numerical tablets!