Newcrest Mining has deployed Microsoft cloud, AI and IoT technologies at Australia's largest underground, block cave mine to monitor and manage crushed ore bin levels. The soft sensor delivered a return in investment within the first three months of operation. The technology, developed by Newcrest in association with Microsoft and its partner Insight Enterprises, has been rolled out at Newcrest's Cadia Valley gold mine in NSW. The challenge facing Newcrest at Cadia was managing the levels in the underground crushed ore bins. If the bins overfill, they have to be manually emptied introducing lengthy and expensive production delays.
Newcrest Mining has rolled out Microsoft cloud, artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies at its Cadia Valley gold mine in New South Wales to monitor and manage crushed ore bin levels. The technology was developed by Newcrest with Microsoft and its partner, Insight Enterprises, as its previously used hard sensor was unreliable. Using Microsoft Azure, Newcrest, Microsoft and Insight created an Intelligent Edge solution, which pulls data from other upstream sensors such as tonnes tipped, apron feeder speeds and weightometers. The model then analyses the data to predict the level of crushed ore in the bins and uses the information to control the flow of ore to the crusher, keeping it moving at the best level for productivity, preventing the bins from being over or underfilled. "Having continuous, accurate information about the amount of ore in the crushed ore bin is a critical component of our operation," Newcrest digital and data science architect Gary Slater said.
Recently we attended the Unearthed Data Science event in Melbourne. A gold mining company -- Newcrest Mining -- provided operating data for a number of its plants, with the aim that some of the teams attending could provide useful solutions grounded in Data Science. One particular system caught our eye -- the autoclaves. This ore is rich is sulphide minerals (sulfide if you're American) such as iron pyrite (FeS2) (aka "Fool's Gold"). Sulphides inhibit the processing techniques used to extract gold from ores, so it's ideal if you can get rid of them.
Microsoft's new Azure edge computing offerings are helping customers extend the reach of its cloud-based machine learning services, according to Clayton Fernandez, the company's global director, Internet of Things. In June this year, Azure IoT Edge hit general availability, offering customers of Microsoft's cloud service new capabilities including support for the Moby container management system at the edge, the Azure IoT Edge security manager, an Automatic Device Management (ADM) service, and a range of tools for developers. Coinciding with the announcement that it had been GAed, Microsoft open sourced the IoT Edge code and posted it on GitHub. "We started with putting a PC on everyone's desk," Fernandez told Computerworld. "Next came everyone having smartphones in their pockets -- but now things are going to start getting really interesting with this whole universe of interconnected devices that are coming together in the intelligent cloud.