Technology and innovation are radically shifting performance for South 32, according to Vanessa Torres, Chief Technology Officer of the diversified mining company. Speaking on the final day of the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in Melbourne, Torres said that the young company, spun out of BHP in 2016, had remained firmly committed to its purpose of changing lives through the development of natural resources, for now, and for generations to come.
Technology and innovation are playing a big role in achieving this mission. “South 32 captures its innovation, improvement and technology initiatives in a single system to ensure that we know what we’re working on, to make sure we prioritise the right projects and to make our world safer and more productive,” Torres said.
The company’s technology foundations program was a cornerstone of its performance, Torres said. “We prioritise user experience, productivity and service delivery. And, we are investing in network connectivity and core platforms. Of course, we manage our risks through a comprehensive cyber-security platform.”
This year South 32 successfully implemented its integrated risk and event platform, Global 360. The platform enables the company to have all its operations and locations working in a single integrated risk framework. Torres said the platform gave the company an enterprise-wide view of its risks and commitments.
On top of employing the best of today’s technology, Torres said South 32 was already working towards reinventing the technology of tomorrow. South 32 has partnered with Telstra to design and deliver Australia’s first underground 4G network at the Cannington silver, lead and zinc mine in Queensland. The network will drive improved safety, automation and mechanisation at the site and will connect staff to vehicles and sensors around the mine at all times.
The high throughput and low latency offered by the system means staff will be able to control critical equipment without interruption, and South32’s digitalisation strategy will be achievable throughout the mine.
By adopting 4G LTE underground, the Cannington mine will be able to achieve better operating transparency, condition monitoring and production improvements for staff, machines and other mining systems, according to Torres, driving safety, productivity and efficiency.