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Mining industry dragging chain 'significantly' on big data

04 July, 2014

The mining industry is significantly lagging behind other industries in the use of computer technology – especially when it comes to designing new projects and infrastructure, Andrew Wood, Chief Executive of Worley Parsons, told a luncheon in Victoria last week (3 July).

Speaking to the Melbourne Mining Club, Wood said defence, nuclear and aerospace led, followed closely by the automobile manufacturing industry, then oil and gas, and finally mining.

"Such industries (in the lead) have seen improved performance across the whole of asset life cycle, with the extensive application of digital technologies and an increase in the integration of information systems," he said.

Wood said he believed the industry could make better use of data during the design and construction phase, cutting costs and time of new projects dramatically.

Capital cost reduction

He asserted enhanced data integrity could deliver 3 to 5 per cent reduction in capital costs by reducing leakage at interfaces and the removal of rework.

"Add to this another 1 to 2 per cent through early spares inventory optimisation," he said.

"Our minerals and metals customers are telling us we are at the early phase of digital evolution in relation to project deliveries and engineering and, as a key supplier, we would agree.

"We believe that together (with project owners) we can drive lower costs, condensed construction and commissioning sched­ules, and improved reliability and productivity of the asset."