Canadian Mining Journal February/March 2018

Page 48


Left: Rick Howes, CEO of Dundee Precious Metals; middle: Samantha Espley, director of Vale Base Metals’ Technical Excellence Centre, Mining and Mineral Processing. CREDIT: REBECCA BOSE

problem; it must provide a solution.” Espley added that women will be a big part of the change. “We have to improve to sustain the business, but we also see an opportunity to thrive, not just survive.” The future of mining The keynote speaker was Rick Howes, president and CEO of Dundee Precious Metals. “I don’t think anyone can fully predict what the future of mining is going to look like,” he said. “I think there are a few signs and clues, if you stop to think about it, of what’s possible.” He believes it’s up to the leadership within the mining industry to lead the way. “I’m not talking about the operational mining companies,” Howes said. “It’s the entire ecosystem of mining which includes all of our suppliers, universities, governments and all the stakeholders.” Technology, Howes said, is changing all businesses. He thinks the mining industry can use many of these new technologies: big data and advanced analytics, augmented and virtual reality, cloud computing and systems integration, advanced simulation, industrial internet of things, sensors, drones, machine learning and AI, advanced robotics, and chainblock technology. He believes these technologies will make the industry more flexible to market variations. “The threat is that If you don’t move 48 | CANADIAN


46-48_CMJ FebMar2018_Pace conference.indd 48

An audience of 260 attended the one-day conference. CREDIT: REBECCA BOSE

We need to relate data much quicker than we do today and we need a tool to do that. We need the seamless integration of all data. –SAMANTHA ESPLEY, DIRECTOR OF VALE BASE METALS’ TECHNICAL EXCELLENCE CENTRE OF MINING AND MINERAL PROCESSING.

quickly enough to adapt, you risk becoming obsolete,” Howes said. “And the opportunity is that you transform the way you do things for better, safer, more efficient, sustainable mining.

“The new differentiators of mining companies will be in their ability to leverage data and to successfully adopt to technological change. Those who can leverage the data best, those who can adopt to the technological changes the fastest, are going to be the most successful mining companies.” Kevin McAuley, manager of sustainable development and innovation at Glencore and Greg Sandblom, operations and business technology leader, Sudbury Integrated Nickel, Glencore also give a presentation. “If you make it simple, you can get started,” McAuley said. “You can make great progress with very simple changes.” Sandblom said one biggest problems and accomplishments was getting IT and operations to work together. The next PACE conference will be held in early February 2019 and extended to two days. CMJ

2018-02-15 3:08 PM