Mining in the Cloud: introduction

In this new article series we try to help executives, engineers, and operators ​​​​​​​better understand what the Cloud for mining means and how they might consider it in building their own integrated industrial ecosystems to develop and manage mineral resources more efficiently and with greater transparency​​​​​​​.



Building an integrated industrial ecosystem to develop and manage mineral resources more efficiently and with improved control and transparency.

There can be no discussion about the future of the mining industry – data-driven, decarbonized, electrified, automated, and virtualized – without talking about the Cloud. The Cloud can support all the technologies needed for ambitious digital innovation, across far-flung geographies. It’s also true there may be situations in which Cloud adoption is more challenging than others, or simply not feasible. The point is to understand the choices, including where and when to use it.

The Cloud has become the norm for thousands of data-intensive companies in healthcare, e-commerce, banking, government, even gaming. Industrial Cloud platforms are developing rapidly as well, including mining. But especially for mining, the Cloud is not necessarily an obvious solution for every problem. For mine operations with robust infrastructure and reliable Internet access, it could provide a cost-effective way to access technology that improves the whole business. For mines operating in remote locations with limited communication infrastructure and subject to data sovereignty policies or regulations, the Cloud might be out of reach. It’s up to decision makers to weigh technical constraints, risks and benefits and make the choices.

To choose wisely Cloud adoption across the mining industry should not be viewed as a new mining method or digital technology. Rather, the Cloud requires new approaches to management and operation. This approaches include corporate development, decision‐making, organizational structure, operation management, technical capabilities, and external cooperation.

In our upcoming four-part series on Mining in the Cloud, we try to help executives, engineers, and operators better understand what the Cloud for mining means and how they might consider it in building their own integrated industrial ecosystems to develop and manage mineral resources more efficiently and with greater transparency.

In the first article, we will explore value, including costs and sustainability, and try to untangle some key misconceptions while clarifying definitions, such as the difference between Cloud storage and Cloud computing. Our second article will focus on the all-important subject of cyber security and data safety. The third installment deals with implementation and operational requirements for continuous, reliable connectivity that determine what approach to the Cloud an organization pursues to ensure the right data is pushed to the cloud at the right time. For example, does a company use a private cloud with its own on-site servers, equipment and staff, a full Cloud approach fully managed by an outside provider, or a hybrid version integrating edge computing and mesh network systems? In our final piece, we look to the future and how mining companies might leverage the Cloud for their digital transformation over time.

We hope you find these posts helpful, because we understand that the strategic considerations around this topic can be complex. We also know the world needs mining to transition to an equitable, carbon-free, renewable energy-powered future with clean air, pure water and strong communities built on social justice. There is much to learn. Let’s begin.


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Gustavo PILGER

Gustavo Pilger, head of GEOVIA R&D, Worldwide Strategy and Management, Dassault Systèmes, is a mining engineer and geostatistician with more than 20 years of experience in the global mining industry, with a focus on mineral resource modelling and uncertainty analysis. Mr. Pilger has worked for large mining corporations and consulting organizations and in collaboration with multidisciplinary groups worldwide. Mr. Pilger holds a PhD, a MSc degree in geostatistics and a specialization degree in mining geostatistics from the Paris School of Mines.

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