Automation in the Mining Industry: Review of Technology, Systems, Human Factors, and Political Risk

Rogers, W. P., Kahraman, M. M., Drews, F. A., Powell, K., Haight, J. M., Wang, Y., … & Sobalkar, M. (2019). Automation in the mining industry: Review of technology, systems, human factors, and political risk. Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration36(4), 607-631.

Rogers and co-authors provide a review of the state of automation research is given. The review considers three critical areas: automation technology, system’s engineering and management processes around automation, and the role of human factors engineering in automated and semi-automated systems. The paper includes reviews of MPC in grinding and milling, flotation and other processes. It is section 4 of the paper that is the most interesting, covering human factors. Those of us working in the field would do well to consider this statement in the conclusions of the paper “the human resource left within the system has become a more critical element and absorbed much of the tolerance of system into a single process. … However, people and system engineering will continue to be the key bottleneck for deployment and success of automation projects.”