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Latest news: IoT in mining

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20 December 2023

Orica to buy mining tech provider Terra Insights for $377m

Australian mining and infrastructure solutions provider Orica has signed a $377m deal with Vance Street Capital to acquire 100% of Terra Insights, a technology supplier to the mining industry. Pending regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to close in the first half of 2024.

Terra Insights, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, supplies end-to-end sensors including InSAR technology and GPS/GNSS monitoring, connectivity solutions such as data loggers and gateways. It also provides a software and data delivery technology platform for geotechnical, structural and geospatial monitoring of assets across mining and infrastructure industries in more than 90 countries.

This deal follows Orica’s acquisition of GroundProbe in 2018. Terra Insights is expected to be a complementary addition that will help Orica expand its geographical exposure and diversify its revenue.

The deal is said to offer Orica a “compelling” opportunity for growth, as it can leverage the combined network capabilities of both GroundProbe and Terra Insights. The two companies have already been in a partnership for nearly ten years.

19 December 2023

Three miners to use Atomionics tech that taps minerals with gravity

Singapore-based technology start-up Atomionics has entered agreements with three undisclosed mining companies for the adoption of its Gravio technology, which taps gravity variations to detect minerals, Reuters reported.

Gravio is based on highly sensitive ‘gravimeters’ developed by Atomionics. These sensors are used for detecting the unique gravitational variations caused by different minerals. The sensors, coupled with AI algorithms, help pinpoint tiny variations in gravity and measure the potential mineral resources.

Gravios’s new approach promises advantages over traditional exploration methods such as drilling and seismic surveys. It is quick and low-cost while being environmentally less invasive, according to Artrocker. The AI system is also said to better analyse complex data and help identify targets that were previously considered unviable.

There remain certain impediments for Gravio, such as scaling the technology up for large-scale exploration and ensuring that the AI analyses are accurate.  

There are also challenges around integrating this technology with existing mining workflows and gaining industry-wide acceptance.

The technology was first deployed by New Hope NHC.AX’s subsidiary Bridgeport Energy to find oil in the Australian state of Queensland.

15 November 2023

Orica partners with Caterpillar to optimise mining operations

Mining and infrastructure solutions provider Orica has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Caterpillar to develop integrated workflows across the mining value chain. Through the collaboration, the companies intend to provide intelligence to customers to improve decision-making and optimise their entire mining operations. 

Under the MoU, Orica and Caterpillar will explore opportunities to integrate key elements of their domains. Initially, the partnership will focus on the integration between Orica’s BlastIQ, Rhino, FRAGTrack and Cat MineStar Terrain technologies. 

Orica said that the integrated workflows will provide high-fidelity rock property information. This helps customers make significant improvements to on-bench safety, drilling, and blasting programme accuracy and productivity. The two parties are also considering extending their collaboration to optimise the entire value chain from mine to mill.