It was a great experience attending the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration’s MINEXCHANGE in Denver, Colorado this month. True to form, this premiere event allowed for excellent networking with new and familiar faces, continued its strong history of dedication to the advancement of information and provided ample opportunity to gather and share knowledge from industry experts.
The emphasis on a sustainable future was evident from the start, as seen in the keynote session, “Embracing ESG to Build Trust in Mining Investments.” This panel discussion brought together ESG and sustainability experts to dive deep into how mining companies can navigate the needs and requirements of their investors who are pushing past just looking at financials as a guideline for success and focusing on the impacts these operations have and their sustainability. This resonates perfectly with AspenTech’s commitment to helping mining companies realize a sustainable future. Sustainability is not only important for the environment but also for companies with respect to risk management, cost savings and community standing.
The technical sessions included presentations from industry experts and academics covering the latest research and advancements in mining and metallurgy. These leading specialists shared insights on a wide range of topics, but two stood out from the rest – a focus on the sustainable future of the industry and the utilization of advanced technologies such as machine learning and AI. The growing awareness and urgency to address environmental concerns and the increasing pressure from investors, customers, and regulators are pushing the industry to adopt more sustainable practices. To achieve this goal, mining companies need to leverage technological innovations such as AI and machine learning, which can provide valuable insights into their processes, optimize energy and water usage, and minimize waste and emissions. These technologies can be used in predictive maintenance programs, enhance mineral exploration, help identify and mitigate risks, monitor environmental impacts, and improve safety. By adopting a more sustainable approach to mining, companies can reduce their environmental footprint, enhance their social license to operate, and create value for stakeholders over the long term
The adoption of technology utilizing machine learning and AI is changing the way mines operate and bring value to not only their shareholders but to the communities and environment that they are so closely intertwined with. Our industry is making tremendous progress in tackling the dual challenge of an ever-expanding global population and need for additional energy and raw materials while still meeting sustainability imperatives.
During my presentation at the IdeaXchange on the expo floor – an audience focused discussion on hot topics of interest for the industry – I examined the need for the mining industry to embrace machine learning and AI tools to meet the dual challenge and to think outside the box on where these tools can be used. I highlighted the advantages these technologies allow for in areas of health and safety, environmental, and operational efficiencies. I discussed how Aspen Mtell, AspenTech’s prescriptive maintenance solution for the metals and mining industry, can be rapidly configured, deployed, and scaled to help mining companies achieve their challenging operational goals. My talk fit in amongst the others focused on these technologies and their future within the industry, which only reaffirmed what I have seen at other recent conferences, the mining industry is evolving across the entire value chain at a pace not seen before.
If you haven’t attended a MINEXCHANGE I highly suggest you put it on your calendar for next year, it can be an invaluable experience for professionals. I am already looking forward to next year's conference in Phoenix, AZ and what new and cool things will be happening in this swiftly changing industry.