Codelco strikes deal with Microsoft to increase automation and digitization

May 25, 2021

The world’s largest copper producer and the one of the largest tech companies in the world will join forces to fast-track digitization in the mining industry. Chile’s Codelco announced that it has signed a deal with Microsoft to expand digitization and extend automation and improve analytics at its operations in Chile.

The joint project with Microsoft will beef up the company’s capacity to make its production processes more efficient and promote “sustainability” within its operations, Codelco said in a statement.

Codelco, like many Chilean miners, has fought in recent years to adopt new technologies to boost efficiency and keep down costs at its aging deposits, many of which suffer from declining ore grades, Reuters reported.

“We are promoting profound changes so that different areas operate in a completely remote and automated way, reducing risks, improving productivity, safety and reliability of our operation,” said company executive Alvaro Garcia.

Mining companies worldwide are pushing forward with plans to operate mines remotely, reducing the risk of accidents and boosting efficiency.
The move toward automation however has led to confrontations with unions, who see it as a threat to their livelihoods.

The company said the project with Microsoft will include a training component for the company’s workers.

The state-run miner has recently ramped up its use of technology to ensure its copper is 100 percent traceable, a vital step in reducing its carbon footprint and boosting sustainability within its operations.



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