Inmarsat: The Rise of IoT in Mining

By Daniel Brightmore
New research from Inmarsat, a world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, finds investment in the Internet of Things is set to rise 7.6...

The latest research from Inmarsat, the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, has found that mining businesses expect to invest a considerable portion of their IT budgets into the Internet of Things (IoT) over the next three years, while the sector’s leading investors are already seeing tangible benefits, such as improved health and safety and staff productivity. This level of planned spend on IoT marks it out as a critical next generation technology as mining companies continue to navigate the Covid-19 pandemic, giving them the tools to become more resilient, more flexible and quicker to adapt and react to change.

IoT

These findings are taken from the latest edition of Inmarsat’s research programme into IoT trends, The Rise of IoT in Mining. Focusing on investment levels across Industry 4.0 technologies, the research found that, over the past three years, cloud computing, cybersecurity and IoT have seen the highest percentage of budgetary investment, totalling 5.7%, 4.2% and 3.9% respectively. These three technologies are set to retain the highest percentage of investment in the next three years rising to 9.8%, 8.4% and 7.6% respectively. This reflects the wider increases across the other technologies surveyed, including machine learning, artificial intelligence and robotics.

Encouragingly, mining companies also reported that their IoT deployments are continuing to make a positive impact on their bottom line. Currently, cost savings amounting to an average of 5.1% are being reported. Hopes of a future impact on cost savings are more pronounced, rising steadily from 7.7% in 12 months, 13.8% in three years’ and a significant 18.9% in five years’ time. This is a signficiant increase on previous research, where in 2018 mining organisations reported average current cost savings of an average of 1.76%, expected to rise to 16.02% by 2023. This not only illustrates the immediate return on investment (ROI) that IoT has brought to the sector over the past few years, but also the continued confidence the sector has in IoT to bring long-term cost savings.

undefined

COVID-19

Commenting on the findings, Nicholas Prevost, Director of Mining, Inmarsat, said: “Mining companies are starting to place more faith in IoT technologies, and with increased adoption they are starting to see an increase in cost savings amongst other tangible benefits. In the next five years this return on investment is set to grow further, ensuring that those companies investing in IoT are those that will lead the pack. From an investor community perspective, investment in IoT is a good indicator of a mining organisation’s resilience, efficiency and commitment to safety and sustainability. These are the sorts of markers that will ensure mining companies can thrive in the present and in the future, particularly in light of the challenges that Covid-19 has thrown at the industry.”

Prevost further stated: “However, accessing the benefits of IoT is dependent on a number of factors that contribute to successful deployments: the right skills and leadership, a commitment to cyber-security, the right use of data and perhaps most importantly the right connectivity. IoT relies on a number of interconnected connectivity technologies to work optimally. Inmarsat’s L-band satellite connectivity is particularly ideal for deployments in remote areas, where the bulk of mining happens, because of its superior reliability and coverage. Inmarsat is proud to be working with our mining partners to ensure their deployments are successful and they can achieve ROI wherever they are.”

Share

Featured Articles

China increases copper import pace, following price plummet

In August, China reached a 26% rise - representing a 100,000+ tonne increase - in copper imports year-on-year, largely driven by product price drops

Ford criticises “inefficient” government mining permissions

In a letter to the US Department of the Interior, the car giant Ford has asked the American government to speed up its current mining permission process

Aggreko and Labyrinth Resources’ sustainable power project

Labyrinth Resources has been working with Aggreko to complete a virtual pipeline power project, which is designed to aid the sustainable energy transition

Despite regional ban, crypto miner Canaan doubles profits

Digital Mining

The future of all-electric sustainable mining technologies

Sustainability

Anglo American first half earnings decline 28 percent

Supply Chain & Operations