Jun 04, 2024

Mining 4.0 : Digital technology, an ally to the green revolution

  • Article
  • Mining 4.0
  • Decarbonization
EN Mining 4 0

When it comes to reducing carbon emissions, the mining industry has two roles to play. First, it needs to meet and supply the growing demand for minerals that are essential to decarbonization. Second, it needs to make profound changes to reinvent an industry that’s been established for over 100 years and reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions.

  1. “It’s a major challenge,” says Jean-Francois Beaulieu, Director, Digital Consulting. “Fortunately, digital technologies have become an ally in this green revolution, enabling the mining industry to meet ambitious decarbonization targets.”

    There are three main decarbonization approaches where digital technology plays a key role:

    • Lower energy consumption: Through many smaller initiatives often supported by digital technologies, industrial clients can now significantly improve their energy efficiency. Advanced data analysis and the Internet of Things (IoT) make it easier to monitor in real time and optimize energy use, helping reduce carbon emissions.
    • Replace fossil fuels with cleaner alternatives: While beneficial in terms of decarbonization, transitioning to greener energy sources introduces operational complexities, which requires managing multiple and variable energy sources. Smart grids and AI-driven energy management systems makes it easier to integrate these sources, redefining mining operations.
    • Transform certain carbon-intensive metallurgical processes: Technologies, such as simulation and digital twins, are used to reduce development, implementation and testing times for new processes, such as “green steel.”


    “It's clear that the rapid advancement of digital technologies is having a significant impact on the mining industry's decarbonization efforts,” notes Jean-François. “However, to ensure sustainable results, it's imperative to adopt a people-centered, data-driven strategy with targeted proofs of concept and an iterative approach focused on quick wins, because on this journey toward a net-zero industry, every gain counts,” he adds.

    The path to a sustainable, low-carbon future is being mapped out today, with digital solutions paving the way. The Mining 4.0 era is here, and it's essential to developing a sustainable, innovative industry. It remains to be seen how quickly these technologies evolve and integrate to meet future challenges.

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