Hexagon’s Technological Innovations Revolutionize the Mining Industry

Hexagon’s mining division has been making significant strides in the industry, grabbing headlines with its acquisition of Canadian automation technology company Hard-Line, recognition at the 2023 Australian Mining Prospect Awards, and a partnership with Saudi Arabian mining company Ma’aden to launch the Middle East’s first digital mine.

Hexagon's Technological Innovations

Hexagon’s mining division has been making significant strides in the industry, grabbing headlines with its acquisition of Canadian automation technology company Hard-Line, recognition at the 2023 Australian Mining Prospect Awards, and a partnership with Saudi Arabian mining company Ma’aden to launch the Middle East’s first digital mine. These advancements highlight Hexagon’s commitment to enhancing efficiency, productivity, and safety in mining operations through cutting-edge technology.

Hexagon’s Legacy and Innovations

Dave Goddard, Hexagon’s Chief Product Officer, emphasizes the historical legacy of Hexagon’s solutions in the mining industry. “Hexagon MinePlan began as MineSight, the first product in the early 1970s that used a computer to analyze a mine plan. It was founded by Dr. Fred Banfield, widely considered the godfather of mine planning,” Goddard noted. Hexagon’s innovative journey continued with the development of the industry’s first fleet management system in 1981, laying the groundwork for the advanced solutions the company offers today.

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Comprehensive Mining Solutions

Hexagon’s suite of mining technologies is designed to optimize scheduling, sequencing, and daily activities in mines, ensuring that potential value is captured as actual value. These solutions help mining companies maximize lifetime asset value and streamline subprocesses across the mining value chain. Goddard explains, “Hexagon has an extensive set of solutions that can optimize these subprocesses, and we are now looking at how we can orchestrate across these subprocesses to maximize value and lower energy consumption.”

The Power of Optimization

One of the key areas where Hexagon’s technologies make a significant impact is in optimizing blasting operations. “Optimizing a blast affects how easy it is to dig, the energy required to dig, the ease of hauling the material, and the energy needed to crush it. Getting the blast right can unlock tremendous value in downstream processes,” Goddard said. Accurate measurement of blast movement allows for the optimization of dig blocks, minimizing dilution and maximizing ore recovery.

Addressing Declining Ore Grades

The modern world relies on the commodities extracted by the mining industry, but declining ore grades and aging mines make extraction increasingly challenging. “The higher quality, easily accessible deposits have been largely depleted. Now, the question is how do we get more efficient so that less attractive deposits become economically viable,” Goddard pointed out. Hexagon’s comprehensive offerings enable customers to optimize operations across the entire value chain, reducing costs and improving safety.

The Power of One

Hexagon’s approach, termed “The Power of One,” integrates powerful analytics tools to optimize operations across the mining value chain. This strategy enables the mining industry to deliver essential raw materials while reducing costs and enhancing safety. Goddard highlights the importance of this holistic approach, stating, “Hexagon’s breadth of offerings helps our customers tie all those things together, enabling them to deliver the raw materials the world needs while improving efficiency and safety.”

Enhancing Safety with Technology

Hexagon’s commitment to safety is exemplified by its operator alertness system (OAS), which won twice at the 2023 Australian Mining Prospect Awards. The OAS improves mine safety by preventing vehicle accidents related to operator fatigue and distraction. “It’s common for operators to experience fatigue, leading to microsleeps and potential accidents. Our systems detect eye closures and fatigue levels, providing warnings and vibrating the seat to wake the operator,” Goddard explained.

Additionally, Hexagon’s Collision Avoidance System (CAS) enhances safety by preventing collisions. The CAS can drive a Vehicle Intervention System (VIS), which takes control of the machine and applies the brakes automatically if the operator does not take appropriate action to avoid an accident. This system can also be deployed on remote-controlled and teleoperated equipment, ensuring safety even when operators are working at a distance.

Hexagon’s technological innovations are revolutionizing the mining industry, enhancing efficiency, productivity, and safety. From optimizing blasting operations to improving operator alertness and collision avoidance, Hexagon’s solutions are designed to meet the challenges of modern mining. As the industry faces declining ore grades and increasing demand for critical minerals, Hexagon’s comprehensive offerings enable mining companies to deliver the raw materials needed for the energy transition while reducing costs and improving safety. With a legacy of groundbreaking innovations and a commitment to continuous improvement, Hexagon is leading the way in transforming the future of mining.

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