Virtual ExperienceSeptember 9, 2021

Electrification of Mining: merging technologies create new possibilities

Electricity breeds invention. The light bulb. Alternating current (AC), Electric motors. Transistors.…
Avatar Jeff Hamilton

Electricity breeds invention. The light bulb. Alternating current (AC), Electric motors. Transistors. GPS. The Internet. Because of its unique power to spur innovation, electrification is enabling the two biggest shifts transforming the mining industry today — clean energy and digitization.

Electrification leads to new equipment design and design methods. Electricity conveys information and data for reporting, control, simulation, and automation, a capability that gets miners out of reacting and into anticipating next moves. With the power to predict, novel business models evolve.

As companies electrify more operations with renewable technologies, the capital costs of entry falls. Renewable energy kilowatt-per-hour costs have plunged over the past 15 years from about $75 to around $0.05, Michelle Ash, CEO of Dassault Systèmes GEOVIA said during a recent panel discussion on mining electrification.

“This dramatic drop in renewable technology costs is now putting some of these technologies right in the reach of cost-effectiveness,” Ash said. “That also has prompted companies to reconsider the risks of ´standard´ technologies going forward”.

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