The mining industry and the global industry as a whole face several complex difficulties. The deposits are increasingly of lower laws, of more complex contents and are in greater depth, which makes mining more difficult from a technical and costly point of view.
Production costs have skyrocketed. Since 2005 copper production costs have experienced an annual increase of 10% on average. The industry also faces wage inflation, water scarcity, increasingly stringent environmental regulations and rising energy costs associated with the need to transport rocks that contain the ore over longer distances and treat and refine some deposits of more complex content and lower laws.
Keep in mind that here at SAM Technology you will find what you need in order to take operations to a whole new level and increase productivity. A company with an experienced and dedicated engineering team of experts that can offer quick and practical solutions to your problems, tailor-made to cover your requirements and demands.
Innovation is essential
In our effort to achieve greater sustainability and high-performance mining, companies are investing intensively to expand the production capacity of our long-lived mines and find new high-grade deposits. Innovation plays a fundamental role in achieving these objectives. Technological innovation has allowed us in recent decades to increase productivity and reduce the risk of injury, and is currently the key to future profitability.
Businesses’ innovation and technological research policy is designed so that the company can reach innovative solutions to overcome the difficulties that have arisen in our mining activity and for which there are no market solutions. Each year we invest around 100 million US dollars in developing cutting-edge technologies and ensuring that our mining activity is first class. Our goal is to be at the forefront of mining technology. This will allow us to boost productivity, improve worker safety, protect the environment and stay competitive.
Global demand for minerals and metals continues to increase: an annual increase of 2% in demand means that current production has to double every 38 years. To meet that demand, we have to find new and more effective ways to discover and exploit land reserves. As the mines run out, these reserves are increasingly difficult to exploit, adding greater momentum to the innovation imperative that is stimulating the search for technological solutions.
Businesses’ innovation strategy involves the transfer and adaptation of existing technologies and the development of new ones to solve the problems faced by each of its eight extraction and processing divisions.
Smart mining technologies: the way forward
In recent years, companies have focused on developing intelligent mining technologies for use at all stages of the production process, from mining extraction to the production of cathodes used in a wide variety of electrical and electronic products and systems.
These technologies are helping us improve productivity and operational efficiency and achieve significant savings. Thus, for example, telebot mining, that is, the use of remote-controlled robotic machinery to extract minerals, is reducing risks for miners.
The transport trucks we use are also completely autonomous. The new digital technologies are also allowing us to reach higher levels of integration and automation of processing operations and manage them remotely.
Intellectual property is a fundamental pillar of companies’ innovation strategy
In seeking solutions to the new problems of mining and metallurgy, the company has pioneered many new technologies that we protect with patents. Intellectual property is extremely important for companies’ research and development activities.
The company’s intellectual property strategy is applied in three main areas.
First, it plays a role in the development of mining equipment prototypes. We establish agreements with commercial suppliers to create prototypes that, once validated, are incorporated into our production processes. Within the framework of these agreements, we transfer our intellectual property to our business partner to optimize product development.
The company is among the first mining companies in terms of the use of the patent system. Over the years we have significantly improved the performance of the converter and now used by mining companies. We also have patents on many mining processes, such as bioleaching, a procedure in which microorganisms are used to efficiently extract copper at low cost from low grade sulphide ores.
Third, intellectual property plays an important role in the context of the network of alliances that we are creating with different companies, research centres and universities to develop innovative and high-performance solutions in line with our strategic objectives. So far 10 alliances of this type have been established.
Boost knowledge of intellectual property among employees
In collaboration with the National Institute of Intellectual Property (INAPI) and the Institute of Innovation in Mining and Metallurgy (IM2), we are also initiating a plan to boost knowledge of intellectual property throughout the company. The objective is to promote a deeper understanding of the repercussions of intellectual property in our activities and in our balance sheet, and why it is important to protect and effectively manage the intellectual property assets of the company and respect those of third parties. Within the framework of this initiative, we are also establishing a specialized unit on intellectual property in the IM2 office to offer advisory and consultancy services related to intellectual property.
Innovation is a fundamental pillar of mining companies’ future plans. Only by taking advantage of the latest technologies and developing new ones, the company will be able to meet its strategic objectives satisfactorily.
Competitiveness, the karma of local industry, is achieved in the case of mines by technological and topographic factors; that is, the accessible wealth of soil. While the latest official studies on employment productivity dates back two years, these located mining as one of the three most productive sectors.
Remember that here at SAM Technology you will find what you need in order to take operations to a whole new level and increase productivity. A company with an experienced and dedicated engineering team of experts that can offer quick and practical solutions to your problems, tailor-made to cover your requirements and demands.