Whitepapers, 2020/06/25

How Mining Professionals Can Successfully Navigate Remote Collaboration

Strategic investment in technology supports collaborative and efficient remote work.
We Are All Immersed In Profound Changes

Current global circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have had an enormous impact on life as we know it, including populations, economies, and primary industries. Right now, the most often heard words in the world are uncertainty and volatility, a symptom of fears shared both at the level of people’s daily lives, and by companies of all sizes, regardless of industry or market. We are all immersed in profound changes and trying to learn ways to better manage these unprecedented times.

As individuals, we are all adopting new routines and activities with our children, families, and society in general. In a similar way, businesses are reassessing processes and systems to face this complex new reality. A reality with ripple effects that most likely will be felt for years to come.

For mining companies, this means working to maintain healthy cash flows even as they strain to meet their production goals and cost controls, all while managing the main challenge of keeping their teams safe and healthy.

Challenges In Working Remotely

In all this context, many of the professionals, who in the past were involved daily in mining operations now must fulfill their responsibilities off-site, using different technologies available in their company to remotely access operational data and support their colleagues in the production cycle. And so, systems that currently store and manage data in easily accessible databases are turning out to be particularly advantageous — this is the case for most financial and administrative information systems, which can be accessed just by having an internet connection.

But what about access to mining data that is created and managed by commonly-used end-user applications? What options are available for mining professionals to access their reserve and planning block models, their topographic surfaces, or updated photos for each planning period? How are they developing the mining plans that require collaborative work? How are they updating and reconciling their reserves with the information generated with the new blasts?

Surely many of them must keep a copy of their work data on their own laptops, unaware of the work their colleagues do over a common dataset. It is likely that many have encountered serious problems trying to replicate work procedures they commonly used in their operation. And although supervisors want to maintain the efficiency they had in the past, and their companies want to support them in meeting their goals, it all can be an arduous exercise without the right tools.

The possibility for commonly used mining data to be accessed remotely and simultaneously by all users, the potential for collaborative work, the ability to easily replicate workflows – that is, auditable and online approved workflows – are not only lofty aspirations but necessary functionalities in order to succeed in the current remote working environment and to meet the operational objectives.

Strategic Investment In The Right Technology

From a technological point of view, strategic investment on all those technologies that support collaborative and efficient remote work is essential to succeed in a post-COVID world. Consider autonomous fleets, remote operations centers, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence among some of the technologies that will become ubiquitous in a business environment.

COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of new technology in our everyday lives to an amazing rate. But the window of opportunity for organizations to prepare themselves for the adoption of what cannot longer be called future technology is closing. And mining organizations, with their infinite amounts of data, will need a modern and intuitive open data platform that facilitates greater connectivity, systems integration, collaborative remote work in real-time, and the adoption of these modern technologies.

Eclipse’s SourceOne platform is the one mining-specific data platform built free of technology barriers to provide the flexibility needed to adapt to operational changes and solve the aforementioned challenges.

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