December, 2019 – Small productivity improvements, some at less than two percent recovery, arising from near real-time data monitoring and high-speed analytics has the potential to unlock millions in annualised free cash flow for Australia’s mining companies.
Brisbane-based technology company Interlate is using remote optimisation, machine learning and big data analytics to find micro-improvements, which in the aggregate, can improve mining and mineral processing by up to 15 percent without additional capital investment.
The company’s Sentinel™ Productivity-as-a-Service solution mines big data in real-time which is analysed and interpreted using a combination of specialist human expertise and machine learning technologies.
This technology delivers significant financial benefits to Interlate’s customers who typically realise significant cash flow gains within the first three months.
Interlate’s Director of Operations Matthew Magee said even very small productivity improvements of 0.2 or 0.3 percent in aggregate can add up very quickly.
“It’s the quantum of the improvements plus speed at which we can continuously deliver these that is the key,” he said.
“Using Interlate’s approach, we can identify value improvements almost immediately and capture and deliver that value within weeks.
“If a mining company tries to do it themselves it can take two to four years.
“We can do it all in near real-time remotely from our Operations Intelligence Centre in Brisbane, comprising two state-of-the-art C.A.V.E.s (Collaborative Audio-Visual Environments), whether the mine is the East Pilbara or in Papua New Guinea.
“We can isolate improvements, lock them in and aggregate them up to a 95 percent level of confidence.
“Industry can usually only achieve around 50 percent confidence that any productivity improvement they identify will have an impact on the bottom line.
“The kind of cash flow improvements we are talking about can deliver anywhere from $50 million to $100 million in net present value (NPV) in a year for each plant,” Mr Magee said.
He said Sentinel™ has human engagement at its core, working as an extension of operating mine site teams.
“To ensure the best customer service, Interlate takes collaboration at its core and exceeds customer expectations with the quality and speed of its service.
“We use a combination of art, behavioural science and mathematics to visually communicate with site teams, presenting data in a way that can be easily understood, Interlate establishes trust and forms a seamless connection with its customers’ operations.
“Interlate is there to help mining operators. Their success is our success; we want talk about what our customers can achieve,” Mr Magee said.
Interlate will apply its SentinelTM expert decision support and near real-time productivity improvement system to Newcrest’s operations in Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Craig Jetson, Newcrest Executive General Manager Lihir and Cadia said partnering with Interlate partnership would deliver near real-time monitoring solutions for Newcrest operations.
“Remote support that leverages advanced data analytics is a key part of our operational improvement strategy,” he said
“Interlate’s SentinelTM service is the solution we were looking for, enabling those improvements to be sustained in the future.
“The ability to rapidly identify significant value-adding initiatives made the decision to partner with Interlate easy.
“Given their experience in remote monitoring, their solution provides us a ‘safe on-ramp’ into this space, without closing the door on developing our own capabilities in this area internally in the future.” Mr Jetson said.