A key component of the mining value chain is the management of the stock from extraction to transportation. Worldwide, up to 15% of all minerals extracted is lost due to theft and mismanagement. Even if the stockyard is well guarded, there are other key points in the supply chain process for the mineral that can be used for pilferage. In mineral rich countries of Africa, where there are conflicts, another key issue is the certification of the minerals being “non-conflict”.
Stockyard management & certification of origin of production are both done manually in most countries and this opens them up to the possibility of mismanagement and theft. While this has been strictly enforced in most countries, there are still gaps with the manual system, for example, Coal India, one of the largest coal producers in the world had a pilferage rate of 25% during transit. Or the Democratic Republic of Congo has problems with the management manual certification of its Colton & cobalt production both used in smartphones and batteries is of keen interest to companies, especially carmakers like Tesla, General Motors and Ford as regulators on both sides of the Atlantic put pressure on end-users to prove their supply chains are clean.
The efficiency in the transport of mineral ore from pit to port is a critical determinant of commercial impact and growth of the mining sector. Key parameters influencing efficiencies of mining value chain include production throughput, speed of mineral evacuation and minimization of pilferages in the supply chain.
While ICT based innovations such as Mines & Minerals Management System (link here) have proved useful in introducing transparency and accountability in the value chain. However, factoring the congestion in mining areas, there is a significant scope to improve upon the speed of mineral evacuation.
The system uses a complex integration of RFID Readers, boom barriers, traffic lights and CCTV Cameras for improved facility control, enhanced security & effective management of inbound and outbound traffic, Weighbridge digitizers for real-time weight capture, an inbuilt ERP for billing & inventory control and uses the Mineral Management System for e-transit pass generation.
The system can be managed by a dashboard that acts as a decision support system for administrators, enabling dynamic management of mineral movement and traffic flow across the value chain. Periodic reporting on production/sales figures enable the management to take a strategic decision on resource allocation to reach production benchmarks.
The use of this system negates the issues of pilferage and mixing of stocks from different mines and as well as flagging route deviations, stoppages and weight fluctuations.
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