Wednesday, 25 November 2020
Export event Date: 20 Oct 2020, 12:30 PM - 20 Oct 2020, 1:30 PM
Reimagining Digital Mining Webinar Series: Automation in Action
Austmine Limited
/ Categories: Webinars

Reimagining Digital Mining Webinar Series: Automation in Action

The Australian mining industry is seen as a world leader in large-scale automation projects, forged through impressive autonomous haul-truck and rail operations in the Pilbara.

However, the industry has only just scratched the surface on the possibilities of automation. A wide array of opportunity exists for optimisation through autonomous operations, with safety, environmental and economic outcomes all expected to be improved through a move away from manual processes.

This webinar will explore:

  • How automation links with overall mining organisation digital strategy
  • The current landscape of mining automation
  • Future opportunities and key priority areas for autonomous applications
  • Case studies of automation in action 


  • Andrew Wilson, Head of Digital Teams, BHP
  • Curtis Stacy, Phoenix AI Product Manager, Mineware
  • Jochen Franke, CEO, Frontier Automation
  • Brad Phillips, Business Development Manager, Hydrix


Digital Factories at BHP
Andrew Wilson, Head of Digital Teams, BHP 

In his presentation, Andrew Wilson will detail the start-up of Digital Factories at BHP and their application to deliver digital transformation and drive our safety and productivity agenda across our operations. 

Andrew has worked for BHP for almost 14 years across a variety of leadership and transformational roles in iron ore, manganese and coal. His current role enables him to work with talented digital professionals to deliver high value digital products to the coal business. Prior to this, Andrew was the Head of Asset Integration and the Head of the Coal Integrated Remote Operations Centre (IROC). 

Andrew is a graduate from the WA School of Mines with a degree in Mining Engineering and is currently undertaking a Senor Executive MBA through Melbourne Business School. 

Applying Artificial Intelligence to Automated Blast Hole Drills
Curtis Stacy, Phoenix AI Product Manager, Mineware

Automated systems for blast hole drills have been in the marketplace for decades. Unfortunately, the existing systems have not significantly increased hole productivity as they have been designed with relatively simple set point algorithms. 

Applying artificial intelligence (AI) to control an automated blast hole drilling system has demonstrated a significant increase in hole productivity by applying intelligent adjustment to drill controls that provides a cleaner hole that virtually eliminates backfill traditionally caused by rough sides during drill extraction, automatic depth control, and most importantly, rapid drilling with reduced machine stress that exceeds not only human performance capabilities, but those of traditional automated blast hole drill control systems. 

This presentation will illustrate the results of an automated blast hole drill system that uses AI in its control algorithm at a copper mine in USA.

Next Generation Reclaimer Automation – Using Real Time High Resolution 3D LIDAR to Optimize Stockyard Productivity and Ship Loading Efficiency
Jochen Franke, Chief Executive Officer, Frontier Automation

Recent advances in ruggedized industrial server based control system technology and architecture in combination with latest technologies in the fast evolving 3D LIDAR sensor sector becoming available have enabled the implementation of sophisticated automation algorithms for bucket wheel reclaimers used in the coal, iron ore, and other bulk material handling industries for stockyard management and ship loading. This presentation introduces new and previously unavailable functionality including optimised face up and faster slew turn approaches that not only increase stockyard productivity and ship loading efficiency, but through advanced set point management also addresses the risk of overloading and resultant bogging events.

Unlike conventional reclaimer control, the next generation system utilises robust 3D machine vision at high resolution in real time, which is critical to detect and pre-emptively react to disturbances like partial stockpile face collapses in the immediate reclaimer slew path. Jochen and Paul will provide system descriptions including how to successfully and reliably deploy highly suitable but sensitive LIDAR sensors into challenging on-site environmental conditions. This is followed by actual site system operations performance summaries that contrast standard PLC based reclaimer production outcomes with the improvements achieved by the next generation system. Machine vision based automation improvements have demonstrably resulted in significant return of investment and may also debottleneck stockyard operation.

Mining Automation - What can we learn from other industries?

Brad Phillips, Director Business Development, Hydrix

The uptake of automation in the mining sector continues apace, accelerated by recent events. But the mining sector is not the only industry moving to more autonomous operation, which prompts the question what is everyone else doing?

How does the US Food and Drug Administration deal with AI driven diagnostics? What software approaches are being used in Defence for safety critical operation? Is there a difference in hardware design approach between an artificial heart controller and a detonation system and what happens when you call your local telco to order a million SIM cards for your new IOT device?

Drawing from a range of past and present technology commercialisation projects undertaken at Hydrix, this presentation will look at some of the approaches taken, and lessons learnt, from other sectors and how these might be applied to the delivery of safe and robust automation solutions in the mining sector.

About the Speaker

Brad’s career started in the engineering of building automation systems and progressed to the design and deployment of remotely operated equipment in the Antarctic. Work on autonomous uninhabited aircraft, including the first UAV to cross the Atlantic, ultimately led to his current role working with clients to develop and commercialise first-of-type technologies in the mining industry. 


Tuesday 20 October, 12:30 - 1:30pm AEDT/09:30-10:30am AWST

Use the link above to register.

Contact if you need assistance with registration or if you would like to nominate to speak on a this webinar. 


About Austmine’s Reimagining Digital Mining Series

Austmine is looking ahead to what is next for mining’s transformation in our new Reimagining Digital Mining webinar series.

The digital age of mining is here and it is creating unprecedented change in how we operate. It is no longer an ambitious or aspirational goal for the mining industry to consider innovations such as autonomous equipment, data simulation, predictive modelling and hi-tech robotics, but it has become the norm, as operations around the world initiate these levers to drive greater value for their organisations.

Yet while the step change from digital is clear to see, we have not yet grasped its full potential for mining.

This webinar series explores what lies ahead for mining’s digital revolution, providing expert insights about the next wave of emerging technologies, driving value from existing systems and bringing it together for an optimised, connected enterprise.


Austmine’s Reimagining Digital Mining Series Schedule: 

19 August: Visualising Mining Operations

8 September: Integration and Interoperability

20 October: Automation in Action

18 November: What’s Next in our Digital Future?   

9 December: The Age of the Robots 

Export event Date: 20 Oct 2020, 12:30 PM - 20 Oct 2020, 1:30 PM
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