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The digital future of mining and how it will save lives

It was once feared that technology jobs in the mining sector, but COVID-19 has proven tech and innovation will actually save lives across mining operations.

There is little doubt that COVID-19 has wreaked havoc across the globe, with over 470,000 deaths to date and economic ripples that have turned into a tsunami caused by business shutdowns, restrictions and supply chain disruptions.

Multinational professional services network PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) recently released the Mine 2020 Resilient and Resourceful report which outlines the impact of the global pandemic on the mining sector and what it means for the future.

The global report analyses the performance of the world’s top 40 miners and the 2020 edition is one of the most significant to date, given that it covers the period of time where COVID-19 was born, spread and forced the world into lockdown.

The report found that the industry had come through the pandemic “mostly unscathed” and “certainly better than many other sectors”.

The reason mining and resources operations have found stability amongst the chaos? The ability of the top players to innovate, adapt and respond through technologies and software to weather the storm.

“Miners operating remotely or autonomously have found that technology also helps to manage the risks and impacts of Covid-19. They can better support remote workforces, reduce on-site presence, and monitor and control operations from outside the mine site,” the report reads.

 

What this means for the future of mining and resources

While the findings of this report are positive, the road ahead is uncertain and there are plenty of challenges to come that will disrupt mining operations.

The report showed that Australia was able to keep operations running with controls with nickel, iron ore and coal production but also delivered a warning against complacency. 

It recommends that mining operations take advantage of this period of relative financial stability to revisit strategies and invest in new innovations and technologies to help future proof their operations.

Ionyx has a long-standing relationship with some of the biggest mining operators in the world including Anglo American Australia, Shell QGC and Rio Tinto developing software solutions that help automate processes, improve operations and cost efficiencies and keep the wheels turning in the face of disruption.

Our existing products including remote worker travel and accommodation booking application Fly2Work, journey management travel safety and compliance app JMS and COVID-19 health check and site protection tool SPR

This suite of applications allows mining operations to monitor, manage and protect their travelling workforce in the air, on the ground, between sites and at sites with total visibility.

That means total compliance, immediate emergency response reactions, automated management of all FIFO requirements and protection from COVID-19 and other viruses or outside threats that can infiltrate a site, camp or mining operation.

And our products can be completely customised, white-labelled and tailored to your needs to meet your unique challenges and provide bespoke product just for your operations.

Here is how the Ionyx suite of applications works:

 

 

Managing a FIFO and/or DIDO workforce is challenging, time-consuming and can result in cost blowouts, losses in productivity from workers missing transfers and plenty of headaches for mining operations.

Fly2Work was designed to provide a unified solution that can be accessed by any worker from any internet-connected device (as well as offline functionality on some devices).

They can easily book their flights, bus transfers, accommodation with hotels, motels or company-owned assets and camps, book hire vehicles and access company cars in one simple process.

Managers can monitor the entire workforce through a central dashboard and FIFO management becomes a breeze.

This is a highly successful application that has been deployed by leading mining companies including Shell QGC in Queensland.

 

 

Driving is the riskiest activity any worker will undertake and results in almost a third of all workplace injuries and fatalities.

For mining and resources operations, driving long distances between job sites is essential and there are plenty of risks drivers have to mitigate. There is fatigue, the elements, other drivers, vehicle failure and many other influences that can lead to a worker being hurt or stranded in the middle of the Australian outback.

Many of these areas have limited or no mobile reception as well, which is where JMS comes in. This app is installed on the driver’s smartphone or tablet and monitors a preset journey, with geofenced checkpoints along the way.

If a driver does not reach a checkpoint on time (which includes rest and fatigue management stops) then alerts are sent to management through SMS, push notification and email so that they can investigate and launch a swift emergency response. If the driver is out of range, the GPS functionality of their phone will send the alert and last known location so help can be deployed.

It is the ultimate safety guardian for your travelling workers.

 

 

COVID-19 struck quickly and struck hard for many businesses across all sectors, with restrictions and shutdowns putting the brakes on the global economy.

Ionyx moved swiftly to assist Australian small businesses fighting to stay open in the face of the pandemic with a health check application that protects workers from the threat of COVID-19.

Workers have to fill out a health check before entering job sites and premises and any flags are immediately raised with management so they can be denied entry, quarantined and kept away from other workers.

This also works in reverse, with businesses able to send health checks to people if they are visiting their premises. This allows tradespeople, delivery services and other industries to keep operating.

Best of all, Ionyx has made this application 100 per cent free for small businesses (up to 50 licences) and not-for-profit organisations.

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