Use of technology in management of mineral resources

12.06.2014 Nicky Herak

Information and technology has become the backbone of the world’s future. Without the use of information and technology the management of refinery and manufacturing processes were more difficult; it has become a necessity in order to bridge the gap between innovation and practicality.

The same can be said in the use of information technology in mineral resources management and more specifically in metallurgy. There is a lot that is involved during the process of extracting metal ores and the subsequent processes that follows. Different modules have been designed to cater for this industry; the modules begin their application in the sampling of the mineral content.

This is where computerised systems are used to examine the content of a particular metal ore while preparing it for the right processes thereafter. The same systems are used to handle the whole process of the metal ore from the field and through the various processes. The IT systems are also responsible for ensuring that the pre planned process coincides with the actual process of production of the metal ore.

In the open pit or in the underground mining process, there are computerised systems that output non-graphical data and also in collecting data for graphical representation. Other systems are used to analyse and examine sample date collected in the fields and all through the extraction process.

Computerised systems can display a layout of a mine and can also notify when there are any depletion of renewable and non renewable resources. There has also been creation of IT systems that are being used as geostatistical tools for spatial analysis, interpolation and extrapolation of sample data values.

Then there is the possibility of using a modeller, which is responsible for creating 3D representation of the processes in the different phases of production. The overall benefits of utilizing IT in the metallurgy processes is that there is better management of the resources and regardless of the business model being used. There is creation of a viable working environment that substitutes the overemphasis of at times irrelevant human capital.

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