Diana Catarino
Manager- Mexico & Central America
IMDEX
/
View from the Top

IMDEX’s Solutions Aim to Set New Standard for Data Management

By Paloma Duran | Fri, 03/25/2022 - 16:31

Q: How has mining’s demand for data technology changed in recent years and what are the main challenges that the industry is looking to address with these tools?

A: Demand has increased significantly. Given the difficulties in traveling to mine sites, companies are looking for technology that can help them function remotely, meaning operations require fewer people on-site. This was particularly true during the pandemic to avoid COVID-19 infections.

This has opened doors for us nationally and globally and we have experienced higher demand for secure remote exploration and production data management solutions. Our success lies in being able to provide solutions that allow our customers to program everything from their home or office, without having to go to the site.

Three years ago, we sought to bring data availability and real-time decision-making to Mexico. Today, I am pleased to announce that we have achieved this goal. Our customers are switching from the usual controllers for downhole navigation tools to a tablet that can be connected to our IMDEXHUB-IQ software, which is a cloud where data management is optimized.

Q: How does IMDEXHUB-IQ enable miners to make better decisions and what are the main areas it optimizes?

A: The IMDEXHUB-IQ is a secure cloud-based portal that validates field data, which is transmitted from the driller. IMDEX’s data eliminates the risk of human error, saves information forever and enables customers to make immediate decisions. This saves them time and money. In addition, our software is the only solution with an ISO27001 certification. However, the real distinctiveness of this technology comes through our association with other leading software companies in the industry, such as Seequent, ioGAS, acQuire, Micromine and aiSIRIS. Through this cooperation, the software allows customers to collect, process, analyze and model data.

We set a goal to inform the industry about the importance of this type of data and through this approach, we were able to expand our client base from purely contractors to include resource companies. In the past, contractors believed that the core was the only important part of the drilling, when in fact what really matters to the mining company is the data they can retrieve from such core, which is equally crucial. We now work to get companies more involved in digitalization so that they can better manage data and optimize processes.

Q: What part of the mining process does IMDEX BHS target and when will this solution be introduced in Mexico?

A: IMDEX BHS is a multifunctional product for air drilling applications including drill and blast, making it more of a production solution than exploration-focused. We are planning to bring it to the Mexican mining market very soon. IMDEX is researching who in the industry needs this product and will soon begin testing with customers to understand how they feel about the product and to make the necessary improvements.

Q: Why should miners care more about mud and drilling fluids and which of the company’s solutions optimize the performance of drilling fluid systems?

A: It is always crucial to have the highest quality drilling fluids, which is what IMDEX offers. The amount of attention and intervention required depends on the conditions of the soil. However, the system must be monitored constantly, as everything can change from one meter to another. Therefore, our job is to know when customers require on-site support. We do a preliminary investigation to understand the soil conditions of the location and carry out small-scale tests to show clients what could happen. There are many factors that we need to explain to customers, for example to prevent collapsing and filtration. At IMDEX, we provide different solutions depending on the conditions of the project terrain, which allow the client to work with AMC drilling fluids safely and efficiently.

Q: How can IMDEX BLAST DOG benefit Mexican miners?

A: IMDEX BLAST DOG is an autonomous, multi-parameter blasthole measurement system that enables an automated management of material characteristics. This solution provides higher resolution data for more consistent fragmentation, reduces dust and vibration and improves safety. All of this results in massive improvements regarding productivity, mill efficiency and waste management.

IMDEX BLAST DOG is currently in development, and we will be doing a market study to see how viable this solution will be in Mexico. It has potential because it is doing well while trialing in other parts of the world and has even been awarded for its innovative approach. Therefore, we expect that once IMDEX BHS is launched in the Mexican mining market, IMDEX BLAST DOG will follow.

Q: What will be the main strategic and technological trends for 2022?

A: We believe data software will continue to be the most in-demand technology in 2022, especially because miners need accessibility and reach to continue operating. The key is the ability to remotely supervise most processes, gather feedback and make decisions in real time. Therefore, I believe the industry’s biggest efforts will be focused on implementing remote exploration and production data management solutions. We have been a part of this trend for years, as we always try to be one step ahead of developments. When customers need us, we are ready.

Q: How much do you think the Mexican mining sector will advance technologically in 2022?

A: We are all transitioning toward a higher level of digitalization and have already made significant progress. Still, a great deal of work remains to be done, especially because some technology does not work optimally. Consequently, we now help customers update their tools. We want clients to immediately consider connectivity and request it in their contracts. Often, miners cannot be a part of the immediate change if it is not written down and formalized. Therefore, I think the sector will continue the trend of cultural change. Many companies are already looking ahead because no one likes to be left behind. Therefore, with our continuous efforts of raising awareness about the benefits of remote and connectivity solutions, more companies will join us. However, it is not about how many companies are connected but how many know how to take advantage of the technology. The key is to make digitalization the new standard.

IMDEX is a leading global mining-tech company that enables successful and cost-effective operations, from exploration to production. IMDEX develops cloud-connected devices and drilling optimization products to improve the process of identifying and extracting mineral resources for drilling contractors and resource companies.

Paloma Duran Paloma Duran Journalist and Industry Analyst