Tech revolution leading to mining culture change

ROBOTS will very likely be running most successful mines in the future, a New York mining conference heard this week, but getting there will require both significant efforts to identify the most beneficial uses for artificial intelligence and other technologies, and careful management of operational changes that lift displaced workers up the skills curve.

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Gold producer Newmont Mining is investing big in automation and data

The need to embark on wrenching cultural change was a key takeaway from a panel of mining innovation executives and those working for technology companies trying to help the industry catch up with advances already commonplace in manufacturing and other industries.

"You can lean on the right technology but it's all about change management, about getting people engaged - they see it, they use it, they touch it, it works," said Michael Wunderberg, who manages operational technology and innovation at Newmont Mining, which is testing technology that analyses its truck drivers facial expressions to monitor if they are drowsy or distracted.

The Colorado-based gold producer last year conducted two assessments of the value and viability of various technology applications to id...