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The Role of Automation in Modern Mining Operations

Automation has become an increasingly important aspect of modern mining operations. As the industry strives for greater efficiency, safety, and productivity, the integration of advanced technologies and automated systems has become essential. The implications of automation reach far beyond the mining sites themselves, affecting equipment suppliers, workers, and the industry at large. To better understand the role of automation in modern mining operations, it is important to explore its evolution, benefits, and challenges, as well as its impact on the workforce and equipment suppliers.

Evolution of Automation in Mining

Mining has come a long way since the days of manual labour and pickaxes. Over time, advancements in technology have led to the development of increasingly sophisticated machinery and equipment, paving the way for the rise of automation in the industry. From the early days of remote-controlled equipment to the present-day use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, mining has evolved into a highly automated process.

The adoption of automation in mining has been driven by several factors, including the need to improve safety, reduce environmental impact, and enhance productivity. Additionally, as mining operations delve deeper into the earth and access more remote locations, automation has become crucial in overcoming the challenges of these environments.

Benefits of Automation in Mining Operations

Automation offers numerous benefits to mining operations. One of the most significant advantages is improved safety. By minimizing human involvement in hazardous tasks and working conditions, automated systems can greatly reduce the risk of accidents and injuries. This not only protects workers but also helps companies avoid costly downtime and potential legal issues associated with workplace accidents.

Increased productivity and efficiency are also key benefits of automation. Automated systems can operate around the clock without the need for breaks, allowing for continuous production. Moreover, advanced technologies, such as AI and machine learning, can optimize processes by analyzing data and making adjustments in real-time, leading to more efficient operations and higher output.

Cost savings and optimization are further advantages of automation. Although the initial investment in automated systems can be high, the long-term savings in labor, maintenance, and operational costs can more than offset these expenses. Additionally, automation enables better resource management, as equipment can be monitored and maintained more effectively, extending its lifespan and reducing the need for replacements.

Finally, enhanced data collection and analysis capabilities provided by automated systems can lead to valuable insights that drive better decision-making and inform future improvements in mining processes.

Types of Automation Technologies in Mining

There is a wide range of automation technologies currently employed in mining operations. Autonomous vehicles and equipment, such as trucks and drills, can perform tasks with minimal human intervention, improving efficiency and safety. Remote operation and control systems allow for the management of equipment and processes from a distance, reducing the need for workers to be physically present in hazardous environments.

Robotics and automated machinery can perform tasks that were once carried out by humans, such as drilling, blasting, and material handling, with greater precision and consistency. Artificial intelligence and machine learning applications can analyze vast amounts of data from mining operations to optimize processes, predict equipment failures, and inform decision-making.

Impact on Mining Equipment Suppliers

The rise of automation in mining has significant implications for mining equipment suppliers. As the demand for automated equipment grows, manufacturers must shift their focus towards the development and production of these advanced technologies. This presents opportunities for innovation and product differentiation, as suppliers strive to meet the evolving needs of mining companies.

Collaboration with technology providers is also becoming increasingly important for equipment suppliers, as partnerships can facilitate the development of cutting-edge solutions and help them stay competitive in the market. Additionally, adapting to changing customer needs and demands is crucial for suppliers to remain relevant in the industry.

Workforce Implications

Automation in mining has a profound impact on the workforce. As automated systems take over tasks previously performed by humans, the demand for certain skill

Top 10 Essential Mining Equipment for Australian Mines

The mining industry plays a vital role in Australia’s economy, with the country being one of the world’s leading producers of various minerals, including coal, gold, and iron ore. To maximize efficiency and safety in mining operations, it is crucial to understand the essential equipment used in Australian mines. This blog post will provide an overview of various types of mining equipment and their applications, highlighting the top 10 pieces of machinery that are indispensable in both surface and underground mining operations.

Surface Mining Equipment

Surface mining, also known as open-pit mining, involves the extraction of minerals and resources from the earth’s surface. This method is often employed when mineral deposits are located near the surface or when the overburden, the material covering the deposit, is relatively thin. Some of the most common surface mining equipment includes draglines, excavators, shovels, and wheel loaders.


Draglines are large, crane-like machines equipped with a bucket suspended from a long boom. These powerful machines are used to remove overburden and expose the underlying mineral deposit. The bucket is lowered to the ground, filled with material, and then lifted and swung to the dumping location. Draglines are highly efficient and can move vast amounts of material in a relatively short period, making them indispensable in surface mining operations.


Excavators are versatile machines used for a variety of tasks in mining operations, such as digging, trenching, and material handling. These machines consist of a boom, stick, and bucket mounted on a rotating platform. Excavators come in various sizes, with larger models being suitable for heavy-duty tasks like stripping overburden or loading haul trucks. In addition to their versatility, excavators offer excellent precision and control, making them a popular choice for mining operations.


Shovels, also known as power shovels or hydraulic shovels, are heavy-duty machines used to dig and load material in surface mining operations. These machines are equipped with a large bucket and powerful hydraulics, allowing them to handle heavy loads and break through hard materials. Shovels are typically used in conjunction with haul trucks, loading the trucks with the extracted material for transportation to processing facilities.

Wheel Loaders

Wheel loaders, sometimes referred to as front-end loaders, are versatile machines used for a variety of tasks in surface mining operations, including material handling, digging, and loading. These machines feature a large bucket mounted on the front, which can be used to scoop up loose material and load it into haul trucks or other equipment. Wheel loaders are highly maneuverable and offer excellent visibility, making them a popular choice for mining operations.

Underground Mining Equipment

Underground mining involves the extraction of minerals and resources from deep beneath the earth’s surface. This method is typically employed when mineral deposits are located at significant depths or when the overburden is too thick for surface mining. Some of the most common underground mining equipment includes continuous miners, longwall mining systems, and roof bolters.

Continuous Miners

Continuous miners are specialized machines used to extract coal and other soft minerals from underground mines. These machines are equipped with a large rotating drum fitted with cutting teeth, which is used to break through the coal seam and extract the material. As the name suggests, continuous miners are designed to operate continuously, providing a steady flow of material for processing. Their efficiency and ability to extract large volumes of material make them indispensable in underground mining operations.

Longway Mining Systems

Longwall mining systems are advanced pieces of equipment used to extract coal and other minerals from underground mines efficiently. These systems consist of a series of large hydraulic shields, which support the mine roof, and a shearer

How to Optimise Energy Efficiency in Conveyor Operations?

In the current fast-paced atmosphere of business, manufacturers are turning to new, innovative technologies to automate crucial production and material handling processes since organisations will constantly seek new methods to reduce corporate expenses and boost their bottom lines. This is why it isn’t surprising that many manufacturers are turning to conveyor belts in their production process. By automating manual production processes, conveyor belt systems help factories save time, effort, and resources. However, there are several techniques to reduce conveyors’ energy use and waste production.

In this article, we will be going over how you can be able to optimise the energy efficiency of your conveyor systems to be able to save time, energy and resources. 

How to reduce energy use of conveyor systems?

Here we have listed down the proper methods and precautions you should keep in mind if you wish to increase the efficiency of your conveyor system:

  • Observe proper maintenance

This is a crucial point that is often overlooked. Conveyor systems are frequently not maintained adequately because they are expected to operate indefinitely with no issues. As long as everything runs well, nobody gives them a second thought. However, it has been possible to keep a conveyor functioning at peak efficiency for many years. Yes, energy-efficient motors and driving units are essential. However, if the conveyor chain or belt is not correctly maintained, you may waste energy due to increased friction in the system.

Numerous conveyors use pneumatically-operated stop gates, positioning units, and other product-control accessories, so inefficiencies might result if the pneumatic system is not adequately maintained. As do the majority of conveyor manufacturers, we advise a yearly or biannual inspection or tune-up. A rapid, expert examination of the system under operating conditions can reveal worn parts that require replacement, chances for process optimisation, and other possible dangers, such as system overloading.

  • Selecting the most productive type of conveyor system

When choosing the optimal conveyor type to integrate into a production process, efficiency is the most critical element. Ultimately, better efficiency will increase production, productivity, and profitability while reducing time, energy, and material waste. Choosing the optimal conveyor for batch or continuous processing applications is not as straightforward as it may appear. It demands a variety of rigorous considerations, including its rate, layout, safety requirements, material characteristics, installation speed or transportability needs, and hygienic or sanitary conditions. Each of these characteristics aids in identifying the most efficient piece of equipment for a specific application and avoiding circumstances where an excessive amount of linked horsepower is unnecessary.

  • Choosing a conveyor that doesn’t need dust collectors

Eliminating the need for an additional dust collecting system is a further indirect energy saving that results from selecting the proper conveying system. Dust collecting systems frequently employ expensive blowers or compressed air to filter and remove particulate matter from the air and industrial environment. By choosing a fully enclosed mechanical conveyor as opposed to a pneumatic system, many external dust collector systems can be completely eliminated, saving a significant amount of energy, reducing maintenance, and removing some of the safety concerns typically associated with combustible dust bags used in dust collection systems.

  • Monitor your conveyor and check if any component is wasting energy

In the majority of power-and-free conveyors, the belt or chain is continually powered. Nonetheless, this feature of pallet-based conveyor systems enables the delivery of work, i.e., pallets with mounted products, to workstations on demand. As long as the individual work processes at each station are adjusted, this yields the best possible cycle time for product assembly. Choose conveyors with low-friction curves or drives that allow you to utilise fewer of them for a given length of loaded conveyor to optimise energy consumption.

However, optimising product throughput per hour is the most crucial component in avoiding wasted energy and resources. In other words, you will waste energy if your assembly employees hang around waiting for parts to arrive or if your automated stations require extensive maintenance downtime. Therefore, optimising each assembly process by time and motion studies can substantially affect energy consumption.

Regarding conveyor system components, pneumatic systems are frequently the most wasteful in terms of energy. As is the case with manufacturing facilities in general, pneumatic systems within conveyor assemblies can be inefficient or leaky, resulting in avoidable annual energy costs of thousands of dollars. A comprehensive assessment of pneumatic components and systems can result in substantial cost reductions and help keep your conveyer energy efficient.

  • Avoid overloading your conveyor system

If you overload a component of the conveyor or the entire system, you will be wasting more energy than you need. You will also increase the wear on the moving parts, such as the belts or chains, pallet wear strips, gearbox and drive unit pulleys or sprockets. Therefore, overloading a conveyor is never a good idea, even if energy consumption is unimportant. Examine the load by compiling a list of all the items that will be placed on the conveyor belt system and taking into account their shape and form, dimensions, orientation, and position on the conveyor. All of these factors must be taken into account beforehand to ensure smooth, uninterrupted operations.

  • Consider the installation of a variable frequency drive

Running a motor with advanced equipment controls, which receive and interpret information from the motors and allow the controls to regulate the motors based on real-time production requirements, is another method for conserving energy and resources. Many conventional conveyor systems only offer two modes: on and off. When the conveyor is powered on, it will operate at maximum speed regardless of the production condition. This is remedied by a variable frequency drive (VFD), which regulates the conveyor’s speed and changes it to match production needs in real-time.

Internally varying the voltage and frequency of the alternating current driving their motors, variable frequency drives conserve energy over time.VFDs can significantly lower the energy consumption of a motor system by allowing dynamic adaptation of motor speed to fluctuating load needs. In addition to improving a system’s power factor (PF), VFDs offer additional advantages, such as soft-starting and overclocking capability. VFDs permit electric motors to work at lower speeds, so conserving energy. This can increase the motor’s overall lifespan and provide a more substantial long-term investment return, justifying the higher up-front costs.

Bottom line

Every business model requires the incorporation of new technologies and enhancements into the manufacturing process on a consistent basis. Increased efficiency of a manufacturer’s conveying process, which historically accounts for a significant portion of a production floor’s energy expenditures, will affect a company’s total bottom line and ability to compete in the ever-expanding marketplace, which is essential to its continued success. We hope that the suggestions and recommendations we have given you above will be able to assist you in saving resources and energy when using your conveyor systems.

If you are in search of a trustworthy mining equipment supplier, then we highly recommend getting intouch with Oreflow! Overflow is gaining a solid reputation for our conveyor, belt, and apron feeder ideas and manufacturing, some of which are included into our own plant designs. Our conveyors and belt feeders utilise in-house belt scrapers, ploughs, impact beds, and various varieties of idler frames and rollers. This saves customers the trouble of acquiring spares from several suppliers and allows them to deal directly with the OEM. As our business expands, we will continue to provide the same level of service and dedication to our clients!


What are the Preventive Maintenance Check Points of Conveyors?

For a majority of manufacturers, conveyors are an integral aspect of their entire operation. They play a crucial part in the production process and material handling. Working with a practical conveyor system increases efficiency and promotes a safer workplace. When this system fails to function, production and business operations cease. The best way to avoid this is to keep up with your maintenance duties. Preventive maintenance will save you money on repairs and replacement components while minimising downtime. Therefore, your conveyor system must undergo routine monthly maintenance and inspection to detect any faults or miscalibrations. 

In this article, we will be going over the preventive maintenance checkpoints of conveyors so you may adequately maintain them to avoid wasted production time and resources.

What is the importance of consistent conveyor maintenance?

The significance of conveyors in the manufacturing process is incontestable. Nevertheless, we frequently operate as if the proper operation of conveyors is a given. We only perform maintenance work when there is an issue. Conveyor systems are designed to work around the clock and include many moving parts dispersed over a vast area, which is the primary cause of the lack of maintenance. For extensive maintenance, the entire conveyor system must be shut down.

Often, this necessitates the suspension of some or all production operations. Unfortunately, this maintenance delay frequently causes problems in the future. Minor issues accumulate and lead to catastrophic, costly failures that could have been avoided. Regular conveyor maintenance should, therefore, never be neglected. It must be planned and scheduled as part of routine plant operations. It is the only approach to minimise planned downtime for maintenance activities and lessen the likelihood of extended downtime due to a breakdown.

Basics of conveyor maintenance

Understanding the equipment used in your conveyor system is the first step in ensuring conveyor safety. Answering the following questions will allow you to anticipate the required maintenance chores associated with your prefered cleanroom conveyor system.

  • How often will system maintenance and repairs be required?
  • How detailed are inspections and repairs?
  • What components or tools are necessary for conveyor maintenance and cleaning?

Consider every conveyor component, including the high-performance chain, belt, and track. Are replacement parts for each component easily accessible? Consider that decreased availability of replacement components could result in production halts or delays for your company. As you progress through this article, bear in mind that routine maintenance can help prevent the following major conveyor issues:

  • Belt Mistracking: This issue happens when a mining conveyor belt pulls to one side and deviates from its intended path. Conveyor belts must follow a predetermined route. Most of the time, the track is a straight path. Any misalignment of conveyor belts might result in side-to-side movement of the belts. This will cause the conveyor belt to deteriorate. This severe issue can cause damage to other components, belt damage, and material spilling.
  • Belt Slippage: Materials being carried on a conveyor system may accidentally fall off or spill into the mechanism of the conveyor. Material spillage frequently happens at the intersections of conveyor belts. Mining conveyor belts require exact tension to prevent slipping. The conveyor belt will slip off the pulleys if overloaded or underloaded. Belt slippage can cause motor or belt failure. According to the manufacturer’s requirements, tighten your belts. Some factories take additional design precautions to prevent this substance from escaping. If the spillage is recurrent, you must evaluate the conveyor system for anomalies or flaws that could be causing it. 
  • Debris: Various materials are transported by conveyor systems almost each and every day. The materials being handled and moved around may leave debris of all sizes behind. The surroundings of the conveyor system also add to the accumulation of trash, which can eventually make its way to the conveyor mechanism. This can result in damaging clogs, impeding the functionality of conveyor systems. Regular cleanups are required to avoid such an anticipated issue. Debris accumulation should be inspected as part of your usual maintenance procedures.

Different conveyor components you should adjust or replace

Replace worn-out or malfunctioning components equipment as needed to prevent further damage. The items listed below are the components you should be observing.

  • Scrapers: High-performance scrapers will endure significantly longer than those of inferior quality. As necessary, replace scrapers that are faulty or worn.
  • Idlers: Examine your idlers and replace them if necessary.
  • Belt repairs: Repair any rips in the belt in accordance with the handbook. Please do not attempt to close tears with mechanical fasteners since they are only a temporary solution.
  • Rollers and idlers: During your monthly or weekly inspections, repair or replace any broken or damaged idlers or rollers.
  • Dust containment system: During your monthly or weekly inspections, repair or replace any faulty components of the dust containment system.
  • Replace lagging: Pulley lagging is the layer of material adhered to the shell of a conveyor pulley. Its purpose is to safeguard the cover, increase friction with the conveyor belt, and expel water from the pulley. Replace this part approximately every three to five years, unless ceramic

Checklist for the proper maintenance of a conveyor

Adhering to a consistent maintenance routine can reduce unplanned downtime. A conveyor manufacturer’s maintenance checklist details all conveyor components that require periodic examination.

  • Weekly maintenance

The motor, belt lacing, and drive chain are included in the conveyor’s weekly inspections. Using a laser temperature gun, the motor’s operating temperature is measured. The motor’s condition can be determined by comparing the operating temperature to a baseline. The maintenance checklist also visually examines the conveyor belt’s lacings and chain. Both should be tensioned and tracked accurately. Utilise a high-quality mineral or synthetic oil to lubricate the chain.

  • Monthly maintenance

The monthly conveyor inspection checklist is the most exhaustive. The drive motor, motor mounting bolts, gearbox, bearings, and v-belts are among the components that must be visually inspected for evidence of abnormal operation. Any abnormal vibration or sound must be addressed immediately to prevent a future breakdown. Adjust the tracking of the drive chain and conveyor belt. Make any required modifications to both.

  • Quarterly maintenance

An overall structural security inspection and lube are part of the quarterly checklist. Examine the entire length of the conveyor structure for signs of damage or loose hardware. Specific areas to inspect include the bearings and bearing mounting bolts. Inspect the head and tail pulley set screws and mounting hardware. Replace missing hardware and repair damage before resuming conveyor operation. Lubricate the bearings along the entire length of the conveyor with grease or oil—depending on the type of bearings and the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Bottom line

Consistent proper maintenance on a conveyor can significantly increase its productivity and lifespan, but not all models are constructed from high-quality materials. The guide we have provided above will enable you to undertake routine maintenance on your conveyor system. Consider that the material transported by your conveyor may impact the suggested maintenance plan. A malfunctioning conveyor can frequently halt all operations until repairs are made—a malfunctioning conveyor results in enormous costs. Adhering to a thorough maintenance routine can reduce unplanned downtime and wasted resources.

If you are in search of a trustworthy mining equipment supplier, then Oreflow is the team that you need to get in touch with as soon as possible! We strive to design, build, and distribute high-quality mining and mineral processing equipment and have a strong track record of meeting or exceeding customer expectations. Our broad list of clients demonstrates that Overflow works with most of the largest consulting and mining firms for capital and consumables. We have gained a solid reputation for its conveyor, belt, and apron feeder ideas and manufacturing, some of which are included into our own plant designs. Our conveyors and belt feeders utilise in-house belt scrapers, ploughs, impact beds, and various varieties of idler frames and rollers. Thus sparing customers the trouble of sourcing spares from several providers and allowing them to deal directly with the original equipment manufacturer.


Value of Dependable and Efficient Equipment in Mining

The mining sector is one of the country’s most difficult job industries. Mining activities are always concerned with cost control and profit margins. Mining becomes simpler, secure, and more productive when the equipment is reliable. The appropriate equipment can also increase mine site productivity while lowering costs.

What Is the Importance of Reliability in the Mining Industry?

Dependable equipment provides you and your operation with the peace of mind that your pieces of machinery will perform as expected whenever you need them and will not create hazardous work conditions. It is a critical component of your mining activities.

  • It safeguards you’

Recent occupational mining fatality rate was significantly lower than in previous decades. This is mainly due to advancements and capabilities of sophisticated mining equipment designed with the safety of your employees in mind.

  • It makes you marketable.

Consistent equipment allows you to take on mining projects while operating at the lowest cost per ton, giving you a competitive advantage. It increases employee confidence: One of the best ways to improve staff morale is to give them the equipment and materials they need to do their job well.

  • It increases site efficiency.

Reliable equipment means less costly downtime and higher productivity across the mining site, with minor equipment repair and maintenance and parts replacement required.

The Significance of High-Quality Mining Equipment

When your mining machines are efficient, every piece of your fleet is functioning correctly. Mining equipment that is well-maintained and up to date is critical for your employees’ safety and keeping project costs minimal. It also saves you time, stress, and the risks of faulty equipment.

The significance of dependable mining equipment is that it provides:

  • Safety

Mining equipment was the second most common cause of mining fatalities in 2019. Efficient equipment reduces the hazards of stalls, dull brakes, fires, rollovers, electrocution, and other mining site hazards.

  • Efficiency

Efficiency brakes, wheels, tracks, and other well-maintained components can help your team complete the job more quickly and without interruption.

  • Savings

Efficient machines can also help you minimize your cost per ton and accomplish your daily ore goals with minimal material waste and expensive delays.

Maintain accurate logs of processing times, maintenance, dangerous occurrences, injuries, part replacements, and fuel prices to assess the efficiency of your equipment. Then, keep track of trends, patterns, and changes over time.

Three Ways to Increase Mining Productivity

In the mining industry, productivity means you:

  • Maintain a consistent or increasing productivity for materials mined and moved.
  • Are capable of successfully managing the crew’s, equipment, and surrounding environment’s safety.
  • Protect the bottom line by looking for ways to cut costs and waste.
  • Undertake various job tasks precisely while looking for new ways to enhance efficiency.

These three tips will teach you how to increase mining productivity.

  1. Keep a Strong Team

You already understand the importance of dependable and efficient mining equipment, but the people who operate them are even more important than the machines. Your team primarily determines your mine’s productivity.

Create a strong team by:

Implementing training opportunities: Invest in high-quality training programs for new and current employees. This involves continuous training classes all year round and as needed for adjustments in industry benchmarks, staff restructuring, new equipment, improved safety procedures, and before beginning any new work undertaking or site. 

Collecting employee feedback: Gather employee feedback regularly through questionnaires, one-on-one conversations, and open meetings to learn what changes and improvements they require to do their jobs well. Making these changes fosters a more healthy work environment while providing your team with the tools they need to succeed.

Employee cross-training: Cross-train your best workers in other industries, mining components, job tasks, and special equipment. This lowers the cost of hiring more help while boosting long-term career progression for your current employees.

Preparing the team: Before beginning work on a project, provide your team with as much information about it. This includes site issues and prerequisites, long-term and short-term targets, and specific site guidelines for fast and safe equipment operation. If necessary, provide site-specific training.

Emphasizing safety and health: Nothing is more essential than the well-being of your employees. To avoid difficult and destructive life-threatening situations, prioritize health and safety in procurement and assignment decisions. Hazardous working conditions are dangerous, but they can also be costly. Mining injuries cause expensive downtime and may destroy equipment or resources.

  1. Make the most of your time and resources.

Leveraging your time and materials allows your team to work more effectively, helps protect profits, and gives your company a competitive advantage. Management of waste and automated systems are two ways to improve your toolkits, fleet, and practices significantly:

Waste management: By 2022, global mining waste is expected to total 87 million tons. Minimizing site and material waste is critical to remaining fruitful and protecting the environment, especially in nonrenewable resource sectors. You could also use your knowledge about green practices to adapt to new jobs with stricter mining regulations, reducing the need for extra training and giving you an edge over rivals who do not already have waste management training.

Some waste management practices include lowering your electricity usage for machinery and on-site structures and adhering to local environmental regulations. Some sites may also be suitable for treating and repurposing project wastewater. Some places provide incentives and grants in exchange for environmentally friendly practices.

Digitalized processes: Use techniques and materials equipment upgrades to automate as many routine processes as possible, such as supply inventory management to avoid costly oversupply, monitoring and filling purchase requisitions for additional materials, and automatically scheduling fleet preventive maintenance. 

Mining Truck - Australia's Fly-In, Fly-Out Mining Workforce Sustainable

  1. Keep Track of Your Equipment

Manage your products and machinery to keep them in good working order and avoid costly repairs, replacements, and unplanned downtime. The best way to accomplish this is to create an equipment management plan that considers each machine’s requirements, such as periodic inspection, maintenance work, diagnostics, and fuel consumption.

Incorporate the following into your equipment management strategy:

Inspections: Your team should inspect equipment before and after each use and whenever any problems arise. Examine the machine’s interior and exterior. Establish a clear procedure for workers to follow if they discover anything suspicious during routine inspections.

Preventive service refers to regularly scheduled checkups by an equipment expert who inspects critical areas for performance and damage and then makes needed modifications to maintain the machine’s integrity. Preventive services assist you in detecting and correcting potentially hazardous malfunctions before they pose a safety risk or cause downtime.

Upkeep and repairs: When it comes to heavy machinery, you must never dismiss potential machine failure warning signs. Stop using the equipment and contact a specialist. When possible, use parts and connections from your machine’s brand to replace components as needed.

Energy conservation: Use data on energy consumption to identify patterns in your equipment’s fuel and energy usage, and then take action to minimize it. For example, if your typical worksite does not require a heavier-duty machine, you could shift to a more fuel-efficient system model. Repair leakage and other energy wasters as soon as possible. Monitoring your energy usage can also assist you in identifying and correcting usage spikes.

Upgrades and enhancements: Even the most dependable equipment can regularly benefit from upgrades and improvements. Machines become more intelligent as technology advances. Innovative technology in today’s mining equipment allows freedom of your fleet and ensures a safe, more productive workplace.

Top 4 Mining Equipment Concerns You Must Be Aware Of

There are numerous issues surrounding the long-term viability of mining equipment, despite the fact that mining remains one of the world’s most significant industrial sectors. It is simultaneously a risky, unpredictable, complex, and unfamiliar work environment with intensive and intricate processes that are dependent on uncontrollable elements such as the weather. Mining and natural resources producers want only the most dependable equipment when it comes to vehicles, storage, and on-site services. In this article, we are here to inform you about the top 4 mining equipment concerns you must be aware of.

  • The current supply chain

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the industry to reevaluate its strengths and weaknesses in order to prepare for the possibility of ramifications. The failure to satisfy production and capital project objectives can substantially affect shareholder value. It can cause firms to lose the trust of essential partners, suppliers, and other crucial stakeholders in the near term. Long-term failure to reach production and capital targets might undermine a mining company’s viability. 

To put the magnitude of supply chain disruptions into perspective, the World Economic Forum reported that week-over-week trade in China, the United States, and Europe was cut in half due to the crisis. As the globe struggled to contain this pandemic, borders were blocked, businesses were shuttered, and a shifting global marketplace disrupted supply networks that incorporated foreign manufacturers. In this world of constant change, mining businesses must identify and minimise supply chain risks. This will help ensure supply security and strengthen the operation’s resilience. Investing in technology that provides visibility throughout the incoming and outgoing supply chains is an additional crucial factor for miners attempting to predict and prevent interruptions.

  • Proper maintenance of your equipment 

To keep heavy machinery, especially mining equipment, in operating order, continual maintenance is required. In contrast, poorly maintained heavy machinery operates inefficiently. The cost of breakdowns is high, and safety is also a significant factor. Maintenance of mining equipment is so essential that a single mining operation may spend more than fifty per cent of its yearly operating budget on equipment maintenance and repair alone. This equipment includes augers, drills, excavators, loaders, and more. 

Multiple individuals on-site operate many forms of heavy machinery. The correct operation of the equipment should be one of the ongoing assessments that you should prioritise. Large machinery should be inspected by employees and on-site supervisors as soon as it is purchased. Operator training is complete at this stage, but it must be maintained throughout the whole operation. Employees come and go, skills grow rusty, and inefficient processes result in breakdowns. 

Although most mining operations should have a preventative maintenance plan in place, the fact is that these machines are subjected to such a high level of stress and strain that they frequently fail. Unfortunately, when such breakdowns occur, mining businesses will lose hours of operational time and a multitude of resources until repairs are done.

The good news is that the mining sector is flexible and highly adaptable, and it is constantly exploring new technologies to reduce the frequency of equipment failure. For instance, internet-based sensors help monitor the condition of mining equipment by collecting data that can provide alerts for potential problems. Such technology surpasses the conventional schedule-based approach and can significantly cut maintenance expenses in half.

  • Safety of your employees and equipment

The mining sector places a premium on worker safety, as working in mines involves inherent dangers. While worker safety has improved significantly over the years, safeguarding the security of workers concerning equipment must remain a top priority. Maintaining and enhancing mine safety has become a non-negotiable attribute of responsible and ethical mining firms in Australia and the larger Asia Pacific region during the past two decades. Mines and miners must quickly access updated mining safety information to mitigate mining risks and control mining hazards. 

Providing frequent training and retraining for machine operators and repairers is one of the essential strategies to assure safety. This aids in preventing complacency and maintaining awareness of the device being operated. When operating huge and complex machines, such as mining equipment, all the people working them must be educated to recognise warning indications, such as unexpected noises, vibration, and heat. In addition, all the personnel interacting with machinery should be outfitted with intelligent mining safety wear.

Case studies, technical reports, and news must contain pertinent information for mining decision-makers and staff to implement applicable safety procedures from a corporate and site-level viewpoint. In addition, they must locate reputable mining equipment items and services expeditiously in order to fulfil their hazard control measures. By purchasing equipment from trustworthy manufacturers, mining companies can also contribute to the safety of their employees. This guarantees that the equipment is durable and able to handle the normal wear and tear that mining equipment endures.

  • Financing and quality control

The dwindling availability of high-quality ore deposits is one of the significant difficulties facing today’s mining industry. This decreases the quality of the mineral, causing miners to dig further below the surface. With all the global advancements in operational efficiency and production, the globe will eventually run out of mineral wealth. Mining businesses must cope with decreased productivity, commodity prices, and profitability and diminish ore quality while paying hefty taxes and licences.

In light of the current adverse business climate, mining businesses must employ creative budgeting strategies to maintain production. Examining how other industries, such as manufacturing, have adopted an ethos of process automation without losing quality and safety and then attempting to emulate that in the mining workplace is one approach. In addition, mining enterprises can investigate other avenues to reduce operational inefficiencies, such as personnel management, energy use, and the reuse of mining products and resources. If you are looking for a proper insurance policy for your equipment, feel free to visit Oreflow for all your mining equipment needs! 

The Beneficial Effects of Mining on the Australian Economy

Australia’s abundant natural resources have contributed to the country’s high standard of living by expanding the mining and resources industries. Without a doubt, mining has had a significant and enduring positive impact on the economy. Australia is the most significant lithium producer globally and is among the top five producers of lead, iron ore, gold, nickel, and zinc. Additionally, it boasts the world’s most outstanding uranium reserves and the fourth-largest black coal reserves on the planet. 

Other positive aspects of mining’s economic influence include the technological and productivity advances that benefit the mining industry while also revolutionising other sectors. This article will go over the beneficial effects mining has had on the Australian economy for the past few decades.

The benefits of mining on the Australian economy

Mining has always been a pillar of the Australian economy. The 1850s gold rushes were essential in the country’s early development. Did you know that Australia has one of the world’s largest undeveloped resource markets, with about 80% of the land remaining unexplored? Western Australia, South Australia, and Queensland have uncovered world-class mineral reserves. As a world-class sector continues to expand, Australia’s opportunity to become a more prominent role in the global arena begins with mineral exploration. 

Today, it is one of the most established and profitable sectors in the country. It is a critical component of national GDP, accounting for approximately 10% of total GDP in 2020. The sector is heavily export-oriented, with very little processing taking place onshore. Australia’s mineral export prospects continue to improve as the global economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact. As the global economy improves, record iron ore prices have increased export earnings. 

Export earnings are expected to reach $230 billion in 2020–21, nearly 7% more than the record achieved in 2019–20. Mining is critical to the economy because it underpins the gradual increase in income, living standards, and prosperity through time. Australia also has a lot of intelligent mining equipment, technology, and services (METS) sectors, including industry-leading innovations.

The effects of mining on local communities

Mining generates billions of dollars in taxes and royalties for the federal and state governments each year. This money benefits all industries in Australia, allowing for the construction of new schools, infrastructure, roads, and hospitals, among other things. Major resource businesses contribute to community activities and scholarships across the country. 

Over 350 active mine sites around the country, approximately one-third of which are located in Western Australia, one-fifth in New South Wales, and one-quarter in Queensland, the three core mining states. 

Furthermore, Australia’s two largest mining commodities by volume are iron ore, 97% of which is mined in Western Australia, and coal, which is primarily mined on the east coast, in the states of Queensland and NSW. Compared to the bulk of global output, most black coal produced in Australia comes from open-cut mines. This 3:1 ratio of open-cut or surface to underground miners holds for the broader local mining sector.

Is mining socially beneficial?

Mining’s beneficial effects on the economy extend to social matters. The mining and resources sectors are critical to many communities’ economic and social growth, particularly in rural and isolated areas. Local companies can flourish and thrive due to increased employment and revenue in a town, and mining company funding of community organisations is also ideal. 

Moreover, mining-related business and job growth contribute to community development and the development of local skills, knowledge, innovations, and opportunities. Mining firms, as responsible corporations, recognise the importance of sustaining regional communities through community partnerships and engagement.

What opportunities does mining create in Australia?

Due to Australia’s high labour cost, there is considerable interest in automation technologies such as driverless vehicles, drills, and excavating equipment. This interest is powerful in the iron ore sector, where the scale of mine operations supports automation investment. The Australian mining sector is a pioneer in several areas, including mobile and wearable technologies. Additionally, efforts are underway to transition specific types of heavy moving equipment, such as underground loaders, to non-diesel power for environmental and occupational health and safety reasons.

The mining industry was a pioneer in the creation of blue hydrogen. In March 2020, four mining behemoths, BHP, Fortescue, Anglo American, and Hatch, established the Green Hydrogen Consortium, aiming to increase the production of hydrogen driven by renewable energy and its application in the resources sector and other heavy sectors. According to Dr Daniel Roberts, Director of the CSIRO’s Hydrogen Energy Future Science Platform, “hydrogen has many applications in the mining sector.”

Furthermore, the Australian Department of Industry and Science established the Critical Minerals Facilitation office to develop Australia’s critical minerals sector and identify opportunities to attract foreign direct investment from countries such as the United States.

The future of mining in Australia

As the business grows, more positions will become available to a broader range of industry specialists. As the sector dives deeper into digitisation and new technology, the existing workers will upskill and find new opportunities. Industries that deal closely with the industry will also gain from technological advancements, as there will be a further need for mining equipment, technology services, and partners. 

This job growth will continue to strengthen communities in rural and regional areas of the country. Exploration will continue to play a significant role in Australia’s future. With increasing global demand for Australian resources, we have a vast majority of untapped potential. Australia is a worldwide export leader, and as Asia’s economy continues to expand at a breakneck pace, so will its demand for Australian minerals. Australia will set the standard for mining in the future.

Is Australia’s Fly-In, Fly-Out Mining Workforce Sustainable?

The pandemic has made border patrol extraordinarily tight worldwide, and the travelling requirements have made it difficult for fly-in fly-out mining workers in Australia. Companies have been encouraged to adapt and hire people from the locality to compensate for the lack of a workforce.

Being a fly-in, fly-out worker has always been a tough job, and the current state of the pandemic has added even more pressure on these workers. This will discuss whether or not  Australia’s fly-in, fly-out mining workforce is sustainable in the future.

A Brief Overview

Australia’s fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers have been the life force keeping the mining industry stable during the majority of the pandemic. 

After a year, however, FIFO workers have struggled to deal with travel bans, border patrol, and very tight restrictions that have hindered them from working and making ends meet.

Due to the constant shifts of quarantine requirements, the government exerted all its efforts to reduce the number of cases, meaning that FIFO workers needed to withstand long periods away from their friends, family, and home to work.  

Impacts On Workers

Miners in Australia are considered essential, so they are allowed to operate, unlike most other businesses affected by the pandemic.

However, due to the rising cases and variants, protocols and quarantine requirements have made it harder for the workers to recuperate and adjust to the current working conditions.

Not only is it affecting their schedules and work hours, but studies suggest that the current working conditions also affect the FIFO worker’s mental health. FIFO employees’ emotional well-being has long been a source of controversy. Some workers are used to it because it has been their way of life for centuries. Others, on the other hand, find it difficult to adjust.

Furthermore, suppose one crew member of a team turns out to be positive. In that case, the entire crew with him will also have to isolate and stop work for some time. This just keeps adding to the difficulties of being a FIFO worker.

Challenges For The Mining Industry

On the contrary, even if the mining sector faces many challenges, it has been doing exceptionally well throughout the pandemic. The high demand for raw metal ores such as gold and iron has added pressure to the mining sector to increase its workforce and productivity in order to capitalize on the high demand for these raw materials. This also led to an increase in quality mining equipment.

Major employers took note of this and opted to give incentives to workers and influence them to move in closer to the worksite with their families. Even though it looks pretty tempting to workers, it still puts workers in a challenging position, especially those with children and spouses who work in different states.

If they would be able to move in for the sake of work, this does not give a lifetime guarantee that their move will be incentivized just because the mining industry is booming during this time. 

What happens when the market runs dry? This question discourages many FIFO workers from pushing through with their employers’ offer of moving to a different state. 

Shortage In Manpower

The workforce shortage in the current mining industry could be directed to many things. The 2012 mining crash, also labelled as the end of the mining resources boom, helped keep the country afloat against the global financial crisis. It could also be directed at the all-time low enrollment of mining engineering and geology courses, which lowers the number of potential high-value workers. 

Not only that, but the nature of the industry itself already means that jobs are not permanent and secure to begin with. Miners are in high demand due to a persistent lack of mining-related abilities.

The Future of FIFO Miners

The pandemic’s destructive effects have been felt worldwide, making many people rethink their current occupation and try to pursue different types of jobs to make ends meet. It is no secret that being a FIFO is a challenging and demanding job, but is this one of the reasons why people turn away from it? 

Not necessarily, but due to the nature of the job and how hard it is to cope with the constant changes in its market, people would prefer to find jobs that best fit their schedules and do not require travel. This will help them avoid protocols that are very difficult to deal with. 

Furthermore, FIFO workers and employees think it is best if the government and the heads of these major mining companies look into whether or not the FIFO System of employment is still a feasible way to attract new workers. 

The main priority they need to focus on is making a business model that isn’t as challenging or difficult to adapt. This way, they can attract fresh talent and new workers into the field from their locality. Moreover, they need to improve their current business structure to make it entice young people to consider industrial mining as a legitimate career path. 

Most importantly, the current state of the mining industry should also cater to balancing the work and life of the people they are hiring. This will help the workers not to consider searching for another career path. If they wish to stay alive, significant changes from within the industry need to be addressed. That is the only hope for the FIFO business model to remain relevant.

Most Recent Mining Sector Developments and Updates in Australia

Development and innovation are a necessary part of any industry. Industrial development can help a corporation expand its production capacity and lower its production costs. 

The mining business, like many others, continues to grow. Despite worldwide concerns, Australia’s mining sector remains a significant contributor to the Australian economy. To keep you informed, we’re going to discuss some of the most significant national happenings in the Australian mining sector in this post.

1. Lithium and battery minerals prices

Australia is the world’s largest manufacturer and exporter of lithium, a critical component of batteries. Lithium is a malleable metal with a silvery-white hue. It is extracted from mineral sources, primarily spodumene and massive brines containing lithium in salt lakes.

Lithium prices are increasing at the quickest rate in years, sparking a rush to secure supply and raising concerns about long-term shortages of a critical component of rechargeable batteries. 

Battery minerals are minerals that are utilised in the production of rechargeable batteries. In addition to lithium, cobalt, graphite, manganese, and vanadium are also found in the composition. Due to the apparent COVID-19 epidemic, there is projected to be an increase in demand for battery materials, which will be aided by green stimulus packages implemented to boost economic activity. Furthermore, as the worldwide clean-energy transition continues, the demand for batteries is predicted to more than tenfold increase by 2030.

  1. Gold production royalty 

Gold royalties are contracts that grant the right to a percentage of gold output or revenue in exchange for an up-front payment to the owner of the property. These contracts are used by gold royalty corporations to provide financing to mining businesses in need of funds. Furthermore, a royalty corporation functions as a specialised financier, assisting cash-strapped mining companies in funding exploration and production operations.

With gold exports, Australia ranks fourth among the world’s largest export commodities. Furthermore, the gold industry has continued to contribute to the prosperity of Australia more than a century after the first rush. Innovation and best practices are all important considerations, from exports to jobs in distant villages.

The Victorian government jolted the state’s expanding gold industry by announcing that it would repeal the exemption for precious metals from royalties. In accordance with current Victorian legislation, gold is the only mineral that is not subject to royalties. Accordingly, Victoria is the only central gold-producing state that does not collect a return on gold production from its citizens. 

  1. Trading partners 

International trade and investment are vital to the Australian economy, as they generate jobs and wealth for the country. Australian customers will profit from this since they will have greater access to a greater variety of better-value goods and services.

The Australian mining industry is currently heavily focused on exports, with little processing taking place on the continent. Australian mineral exports are expected to grow as the world economy recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 epidemic.

The United States is one of the main exporters of mining equipment to Australia, with Japan, China, and Germany also contributing significantly to the country’s supply of imported equipment. One prospective trading partner is Japan, with which Australia currently has a bilateral trade agreement known as the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement.

Alternatively, the Philippines may establish itself as a significant commercial partner. Moreover, the Philippines, which is eager to recover from the Covid-19 outbreak, is expected to require raw minerals from Australia in the foreseeable future.

  1. Coal mining royalty rate

Depending on the circumstances, local, state, and federal governments levy royalty on the number of minerals produced at a mine or the amount of money generated at that mine. In its State budget, the Queensland Government pledged not to raise coal royalty rates for three years if the state’s leading coal mining corporations agree to voluntarily raise funds to contribute to a regional infrastructure fund, which is now being established. The regional infrastructure fund was established with the goal of developing economic and social infrastructure throughout resource-rich areas.

Overall, infrastructure is critical to economic development since it is the key to obtaining higher and more stable levels of economic growth. Furthermore, social infrastructure is critical to both the economic success of a nation and the improvement of the overall quality of life in a society. Since it provides essential services and infrastructure that allow enterprises to exist and prosper, it contributes to societal well-being while also contributing to economic growth. 

  1. Closing ageing coal-powered electricity plants

Coal-fired power plants, alternatively referred to as coal-fired power stations, are facilities that burn coal to generate steam and electricity. Air pollution from coal-fired power stations has been related to asthma, cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and other severe environmental and public health consequences. Additionally, combustion can result in mercury, heavy metals, and other environmental hazards.

Despite international pressure to commit to net-zero emissions, the government remains unconvinced by other large economies’ commitments. South Australia shut down its final coal-fired power station in 2016, and NSW is scheduled to follow suit with the closure of the Mt Piper facility in 2040. Additionally, Australia has agreed to retire one of its dirtiest brown coal-fired power plants in Victoria, Yallourn.

While there is no widespread acceptance that coal plant closures will become a priority in the resources sector sooner or later, doing so and cutting coal generation can genuinely benefit the country’s carbon footprint.


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Cutting-edge Technology in the Australian Mining Industry

The mining industry in Australia is a prominent contributor to the country’s economy. It has generated gross value additions in the hundreds of billions of Australian dollars over the course of the last decade alone.

Furthermore, Australia is the world’s largest producer of lithium and one of the world’s top five producers of gold, nickel, lead, iron, ore, and zinc. 

Therefore, the appropriate mining equipment must be employed in the country. 

Technology in the mining industry 

Increased technological innovation, including automation, digitisation, and more, is having a significant impact on the mining industry. 

Technology can have a variety of effects on mining operations, including improvements in safety and production and environmental protection and other considerations.

The mining industry can benefit from incorporating technological innovation into its operations, resulting in lower costs, increased production, and improved worker safety. 

Importance of using innovative mining technologies

For Australia to reap the possible economic benefits from its mining industry, it must continue to employ cutting-edge mining technologies.

Innovation increases the likelihood of adapting to changes and identifying new opportunities. This also plays a massive role in the success of an industry. 

Innovation is crucial in the mining industry as a means of enhancing process efficiency and lowering costs, but also to address growing social and environmental concerns. Additionally, new technological and economic advances influence which metals are in most demand, shaping the sector. 

Australia’s advanced mining technology

The mining industry has been significantly growing and continues to thrive through the years. Between 2016 and 2021, the mining industry in Australia has risen by an average of 8.1% every year. Here are some technology trends recently observed in the sector: 


The automation of mining operations is one of the most significant advancements in the industry. In mining automation, Australia is widely regarded as a world leader, having developed technology that allows resource companies to operate more securely and efficiently in remote and hostile environments. Overall, automated mining is the process of removing human labour from the mining process entirely.

The utilisation of automated mining trucks and rigs eliminates the requirement for direct exposure of personnel to minerals. It enables mines to operate around the clock and maximise their input use. 

Automation can take many forms, with possible benefits extending beyond increased productivity and reducing environmental impact. This includes: 

  1. Autonomous trucks
  2. Automated site monitoring
  3. Autonomous long-distance trains
  4. Automated drilling and tunnel-boring systems
  5. Automated ventilation systems at underground mining sites



Renewable energy 

Mining and drilling operations are frequently located in rural places with limited access to electricity due to a lack of existing infrastructure. Fossil fuel developers may find that renewable energy technology might assist them in powering their mining and drilling activities. 

Renewable energy mitigates pollution. It also ensures that new technologies in the mining industry operate responsibly. 

The mining industry’s most popular use of renewable energy include the following:

  1. Wind
  2. Solar
  3. Biodiesel
  4. Hydropower
  5. Fuel cell energy
  6. Hydrogen energy
  7. Geothermal energy


The concept of electrifying mining equipment is not new. The electrification of mining operations is quickly emerging as a critical problem for the resources sector as it continues to grow in importance. The primary goal is to assist in transforming the resource sectors to a future based on electric and renewable energy mining. Large trucks and mining rigs are commonly used in mining operations connected to energy grids, resulting in significant emissions.


Digital technologies have a wide range of applications in the mining industry, and they assist in the delivery of productivity increases and the streamlining of the value chain. It refers to the use of computerised or digital devices or systems and the usage of digitally stored information. Because of this, mining businesses now have access to far more data than they ever have previously because of the usage of digital sensors in their operations.

Examples of innovative mining technologies in Australia 

Here are some of the most recent technological breakthroughs in the mining industry: 

Driverless haul trucks

Trucks that can be operated without a driver are known as driverless trucks, and they are used in specific situations. These vehicles come fitted with a GPS, an obstacle detection system, and vehicle controllers for added convenience. Australia has a technological advantage in this field, operating 400 of the world’s 500 driverless haul trucks in surface mines. Within the next few years, the number of running driverless haul trucks is likely to multiply.

3D laser scanning

This is a technology that allows you to create high-precision 3D representations of real-world items using a laser scanner. It can map the shape, position, and location of objects with exceptional precision. It allows mining corporations to plan and prepare for future exploration and drilling efforts with pinpoint accuracy.

Belt weighers

The mass of material carried on a conveyor belt is determined using a belt weigher. Belt weighers are installed at strategic locations along the conveyor belt system to provide continuous feedback on the mass of moving material. Moreover, conveyor belt scales are used to screen and quantify materials throughout the extraction, relocation, primary and secondary crushing, processing, and storage processes.

Production drills

Production drills are ideal for tunnelling and cavern excavation because they allow rapid and accurate drilling. They can also ensure that holes are large enough to serve as a portal for miners to enter if necessary to work underground. Drilling and blasting are used to create a well-fragmented loose rock that can be excavated more efficiently with excavation machinery. Furthermore, production drills will continue to improve in strength and capability in the underground mining sector.