INNOVATION in the mining industry continues to accelerate at an unprecedented rate and WA is very much at the centre.

The complexities of this rapid rate of change and the key drivers pushing the WA mining industry will be examined in a brand new mining conference that takes place in Perth on October 15 and 16.

The program will examine innovation across the entire value chain from early stage exploration, to scoping and feasibility, onto design and construction through operation and ultimately rehabilitation.

These in-depth sessions will provide operational and execution strategies of a mine’s life cycle and discuss approaches to improve productivity, lower costs and optimise the end to end process.

The two-day conference will have an impressive line-up of speakers that will feature mining decision makers, technology experts and industry leaders.

On day one, international mining expert and former external affairs manager for BHP Billiton, Dr Osvaldo Urzua, will discuss transiting to safe, smart, inclusive and sustainable mining.

“The world is rapidly heading to the automation era and mining can make automation work for all,” Dr Urzua said.

“The WA Mining Conference gives me a chance to discuss how collective action is required, and technology suppliers must consider social and community impacts.

“This is a new factor to be considered in the assessment of companies bidding processes.

“Australia is an example of how mining has participated in technological revolutions. In the past Australian software has revolutionised mine planning processes. Today’s METS sector is the new champion.”

Swedish academic, technologist and strategic advisor to the Defence SA advisory board, Professor Goran Ross, is also one of the key speakers at WA Mining.

Professor Ross will discuss collaboration strategies for the industry and what Australia can do to accelerate its innovations and capabilities.

WA Mining director Brandon Ward said the conference will provide delegates with a conversational style platform that will address the role technology and people will play in the future of mining in WA.

“The WA Mining conference agenda echoes the importance of collaboration, innovation and technology development in the WA mining sector and attendees will be given the chance to hear from leading experts who will share their insights about what is driving the sector forward while providing a unique opportunity to participate in this open and transparent dialogue,” Mr Ward said.

“WA Mining will be technology-centric but it will examine the vital role people will play with augmented human intelligence, machine learning, predictive analytics and how the industry ensures the human capital is available to take the sector through its next phase.

“No other event in WA offers this level of insight into the key drivers accelerating the WA mining sector to 2030.”

A session will be held to discuss options for hiring or outsourcing equipment and workforce, looking at the drivers that the industry will face as the technological and social landscape changes.

The discussion will examine whether the accelerated rate of innovation could change the economics drivers and models in the Industry.

Interlate strategy director George McCullough will examine the future of remote monitoring in 2030 – remote operation technology and how this will impact the set-up for the future.

Factors include remote monitoring, what we have learned, and where will remote monitoring be in 2030; best case examples on recent changes/challenges in remote monitoring and operations and how technology/engineering helped face them; what can be anticipated with the rise of drones, 3D printing and wearable technologies; and leveraging the mining Internet of Things.

Andrew Scott from the Global Mining Guidelines Group will investigate how blockchain can create new business models, its real benefits to the value chain, and how it can be used in innovative and useful ways.

This session will explore the role of blockchain in the future of mining, reporting and compliance measures considered and how the way data is generated and processed needs to be rethought.

There will also be a panel discussion on walking the climate change tightrope, and balancing long-term goals with future policy.

Panellists will re-evaluate the environmental and climate change process and how the industry can adapt to a low carbon future; look at recent actions such as the Gloucester decision and how this has fueled an innovation of response to the industry; and how climate change policy will continue to transform the industry in the future and what approaches should be looked at.

Alongside the conference will be a targeted supplier showcase where delegates can source the latest products and services as well as a networking event on the first night to catch up with colleagues from across the state.

WA Mining will take place on Tuesday, October 15 and Wednesday, October 16 at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, with doors opening at 9am on both days.

Tickets are now available and they can be purchased by visiting waminingexpo.com.au.