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VR Makes Mining Operations More Efficient, Less Risky

Rodrigo Gonzalez - Minverso


Karin Dilge By Karin Dilge | Journalist and Industry Analyst - Thu, 05/26/2022 - 17:52

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Q: Why did the company choose the mining sector as its focus?

A: Minverso was founded in 2015 in Chile and was consolidated by young Latin American talent. Since then, it has explored diverse industries. More recently, we focused on the mining sector because of the importance of the industry in Chile. Through the metaverse, the industry could be developed further, as well as become more integrated and responsible. Naturally, the metaverse is not a rigid solution, so the company sees the potential to increase productivity and foster safety within the vast mining sector.

Furthermore, the mining sector’s key players are easily identified, allowing Minverso to establish relationships and promote its virtual solution.

Q: Why is Minverso convinced it can enter this market and build a metaverse, even though the sector is not known to be a technological frontrunner? 

A: The mining sector has fostered a different approach to technology adoption after the pandemic changed the global industry. COVID-19 forced us to rethink many conventions, among them face-to-face meetings or, in the case of mining, an on-site presence. This significantly accelerated the adoption of technology.

Taking Building Information Modeling (BIM), photogrammetric surveys and digitalized operations as our foundation, we are able to create the metaverse tailored to the mining sector. The connection between the physical and the virtual world will be the internet. Modeling mining operations in 3D helps operators become more immersed in the digital space, too. For this reason, Minverso has great potential to transition to the metaverse.

Q: What could the metaverse mean for the productivity and effectiveness of training procedures in the industry?

A: Virtual reality (VR) enables wonderful benefits, such as eliminating the necessity to be physically present for training, which in the case of mining has always taken place on site. Today, training can be taken to a virtual level, which solves logistical problems and allows the work to take place in a fully controlled environment. In mining, incorrectly carrying out critical procedures can result in severe accidents. Moving these procedures to a safe environment where people can make decisions and see the consequences of making a mistake without anything happening in real life is a brilliant benefit. It can also help companies to experiment with how to improve production safely. They can learn how to operate using a lower budget and take this experience to the actual mining site. The metaverse allows for remote work too, moving activities that were previously done on site.

Q: How will this technology allow operators to save costs?

A: The metaverse will enable significant savings in costs because it can elevate productivity. Many processes work on paper but fail to yield results when implemented in the operation. The metaverse allows companies to generate virtual constructs and visualize dimensions that traditional forms of planning or permitting processes could not cover. This helps to avoid logistical issues. Furthermore, the metaverse could create a virtual copy of the mining operation, which generates a fourth dimension that helps mining projects to stay on track.

Q: What projects does the company have in store for the Mexican mining market?

A: We launched the mining metaverse in January 2022. At this moment, we are exploring projects with Peñoles. Even though we have not yet closed any business, there is a great deal of interest within the Mexican mining market, mainly thanks to the information we disseminated via platforms such as LinkedIn. This has also awakened interest in the Peru and US markets. The metaverse does not have the geographic restrictions of the physical world. The idea is that this concept turns into a network and that its benefits are available for any Mexican company that wants to experiment with it. This technology will transform the industry. Meta and Facebook are already making this transition from the two-dimensional internet to the metaverse. The industrial sectors could also benefit from its added value.

Q: What strategy has the company implemented to promote this solution and its benefits?

A: Right now, we are at an initial phase and looking for scalable solutions. Minverso has been testing its offer and we have seen tangible, positive results. Our current solutions package includes a virtual inspection and access to BIM. This allows us to carry out inspections from anywhere in the world, breaking geographic barriers.

Q: How could such a solution help mining companies attract more investment to new projects?

A: A truly interesting aspect of the metaverse is how it allows companies to effectively communicate what a project will look like, even enhancing its planning in the process. In the metaverse, companies can generate projects and visualize information that is easier to digest than reading a construction plan. In terms of communication, getting people immersed in a project and seeing the operation itself happen adds a lot of value for investors. This type of visualization is already a part of how startups operate, so we expect it to become a part of major industries like mining, too.

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