Optimize Diesel and Tire Usage with Data Analytics for Reduced Emissions and Efficiency

March 19, 2024

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With Mexico’s updated bidding process for mining concessions as of May 2023, companies are now required to submit all environmental permits prior to being granted a concession successfully. While it remains unclear as to what extent existing mining concessions will be affected by these new provisions in Mexico’s Mining Law, these amendments clearly signal a need for mining companies to optimize their operations for energy efficiency.   

Diesel and tire usage is one focus area where operations can be further optimized for reduced emissions through data analytics. By analyzing run scenarios to improve the efficiency of load and haul routes or calculating truck haul and return cycle times, companies can improve compliance with environmental standards and benefit from reduced load and haul unit costs.  

The challenge is that with vast amounts of data being generated by today’s mining equipment through sensors and AI, sifting through it all and leveraging it effectively can be a struggle for companies. Beyond collecting data, the ability to analyze it to guide strategic decision-making will ultimately be what sets mining companies apart from competitors. 

Challenges with Leveraging Data Analytics for Load and Haul Cost-Effectiveness  

While the solution may appear straightforward for mining companies – deploying more sensor-equipped vehicles and machinery and leveraging more AI – in reality, several challenges are commonly faced while seeking to utilize their data.  

Data Aggregation and Reliability for a Bird’s Eye View 

Mining machinery by various brands may have inherent biases in the data recorded or shared. For example, while it is still possible for various tire monitoring systems to exchange data with other brands’ systems, each brand’s system is designed to prioritize its own equipment. This hinders mining operators from getting a full, accurate overview of the performance of machinery across various brands used by a mine.  

Consolidating diesel and tire usage data into a single dashboard for better understanding and interpretation will have cascading benefits on management’s decision-making abilities. A bird’s eye view will enable better understanding of data collected by the variety of fleet machines and tires used by different brands by a mine, allowing improved energy savings efforts to comply with environmental regulations.  

Data Security, Infrastructure and Management 

The security of a mine’s data infrastructure is paramount to smooth mining operations. Security threats such as ransomware and targeted hacking attacks by organized criminals can be extremely costly when they lead to false tire pressure readings, suspended operations and indefinite mine downtime. As such, the focus of mining companies cannot be placed purely on how data is collected, but how it is stored, organized and disseminated for efficient retrieval and analysis.  

Data Interpretation, Analysis and Strategic Decision-Making  

Despite massive amounts of data available by collection through vehicle and tire sensors, making connections between information can still be a challenge. For instance, by running scenario analysis, operators may discover that one load and haul route consumes more diesel or leads to more tire wear over time.  

However, it may take many hours of machinery use before patterns emerge, such as the duration between a tire cut and the failure of a tire or vehicle. Finally, once patterns such as return cycle times, bucket fill factor and diesel usage are detected, thorough analysis still needs to be conducted by mining teams to strategically leverage this information for better mine performance and energy savings.  

Leverage Data More Effectively by Asking the Right Questions  

With increasing pressure by governments to regulate energy consumption and emissions in mining, optimizing diesel and tire usage through data analytics is an opportunity companies can begin to leverage. By asking critical questions on how to enhance a mine’s operational excellence, significant cost savings can be unlocked and compliance with environmental regulations can be achieved to secure mining concessions and renewals.  

  1. Are your data analytics efforts for your mine aligned with your budget?  
  2. Are your employees onboard with new technology and effectively utilizing data?  
  3. Is your data infrastructure secured against cybersecurity threats?  

Unison Mining’s team can work with you to ensure your data analytics and energy savings initiatives are aligned with your budget and achieve full employee buy-in for sustainable change. 

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