Ma’aden looks for digital mining solutions with GE partnership

The Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) and GE have signed a strategic memorandum of understanding that could see digital solutions installed across the mining company’s gold, copper, aluminium, and phosphate operations.

GE, as part of the pact, will provide Ma’aden with digital transformation advisory and applications, as well as leadership and training opportunities for its employees across Saudi Arabia.

Ma’aden has been pursuing a number of partnerships to “capture the opportunities found in digitisation and innovation”, and will invest in the application of pioneering technologies in its operations in Saudi Arabia “in order to remain ahead of the competition and reinforce the company as a global mining leader”, the company said.

GE’s digital mining solutions will look at specific areas of Ma’aden’s operations to improve ore grades, reduce fuel and energy costs and usage, improve equipment reliability and availability, cut maintenance costs, and boost productivity and efficiency across operations.

GE Mining’s Digital Mine is made up of technologies to help improve performance, reliability, and operations while promoting safer mining practices through intelligent, real-time monitoring across the mine.

“Powered by GE’s Predix platform, the only Industrial Internet platform built exclusively for industry, Digital Mine enables operators to make data-driven decisions that improve equipment reliability and optimise mine operations,” GE says.

Darren Davis (picture, left, signing the agreement), Ma’aden Acting President and CEO, said of the GE partnership: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has high aspirations for the deployment of new technology and the digitisation of industrial landscape in the country. Ma’aden is committed to championing the responsible development of the mining sector as a major pillar of the Saudi economy and digitalisation, as part of the fourth industrial revolution, will be key to ensuring we achieve our goal of becoming a ‘sustainable mining champion’.”

Davis added that the initiative with GE will unlock the next wave of significant value creation and increase the company’s competitiveness and sustainability.

Bill Ruh (pictured, right), President and CEO, GE Digital, said: “The scale and impact of organisations such as Ma’aden is enormous, and we know that the optimisation and increases in efficiency will have a major impact on the company and the country.”

Earlier this year, GE and South32 signed a three-year strategic partnership to help develop the mining company’s technology roadmap and digital transformation programme. GE is also working with Rio Tinto to optimise its Pilbara rail operations and Vedanta in South Africa on its Gamsberg digitisation programme.