Mining industry seeing the sustainability benefits of satellite-enabled IoT

Source: global mining review

By: Will Owen

Date: December 11, 2023

A study by Viasat, Inc. has revealed that 86% of mining businesses say they have plans to increase the use of IoT technology within the next year to more accurately measure and understand the impact of sustainability initiatives. The same number say the use of satellite-enabled IoT solutions is critical to improving sustainability.

The findings come from a global, independent research report, ‘Accelerating sustainable action through IoT’, commissioned by Viasat. The study explores the views of more than 200 senior technology and ESG decision-makers within mining firms across Europe, North and South America, Africa, and Asia.

The report found 85% of all contributors think their business is more sustainable compared to industry peers. A further 84% admitted peers may be more focused on perception around sustainability rather than tangible metrics and outcomes – due to the lack of visibility of validated data as support.

With mounting concern over green claims across industries, the need for real-time data to cater for regulatory reporting and environmental obligations is vital. More than half of industry leaders surveyed believe their businesses could better measure and understand sustainability performance through better automation and digitalisation of the data capture process to feed into reports.

Today, many mining enterprises see satellite enabled IoT as a reliable and robust alternative or back-up connectivity solution. This provides a major advantage where terrestrial connectivity is limited or non-existent. Promisingly, the study found that many mining businesses have already adopted IoT solutions to enhance operations. Almost half of the respondents (43%) say they have started seeing the benefits of IoT solutions in the form of CO2 emissions reduction and biodiversity improvements.

Nicholas Prevost, Market Development Manager (APAC) and Director of Mining, Viasat, said:

“Amidst growing pressure to enhance operational sustainability and efficiency – combined with rising global inflation – the ability to track tangible ESG outcomes is a major concern for the mining industry right now.

“The good news is that a significant amount of global mining companies surveyed have already seen positive impact from their investments in IoT solutions on commercial results. That is an important contributing factor in unlocking the necessary funding these businesses will need to further boost sustainability efforts and deliver profitable growth.”

The research unearthed many examples of businesses using IoT-based operational data and insights to maximise sustainability initiatives and drive operational efficiency. Many respondents, 30%, said they are using this data to directly engage with local communities on the topic of sustainability. Nearly the same number leverage this data to engage with industry peers, and 31% do so with customers.



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