Mining 4.0 in the context of Developing Countries
Mining 4.0 is a general term for the digitalization and the automation of mining operations, both above ground and underground. It is inspired by various factors, such as cost reduction, health and safety, higher availability in day-to-day operations of mining equipment, longer equipment life-time, reduced uncertainty of mining operations, increased productivity, not in the least, real-time data availability and monitoring. In comparison to other industrial sectors and even agriculture, the mining sector lags behind in the implementation of digitalization and automation, but the trend in this direction is now firmly established. Various pilot projects in co-operative efforts between equipment manufacturers and mining companies have been established across the globe, including developing countries. This paper intends to explore the developments of mining 4.0, its main drivers and its main impacts. The focus is on Africa as a continent offering perspectives for mining 4.0. The paper is organized as follows. Section 1 deals with developing countries and mining. Section 2 is devoted to some main back-ground causes for disruptive changes in mining operations. Section 3 deals with Mining 4.0 in the context of developing countries. Section 4 presents a case-study from Mali and Section 5 concludes the paper.