Harnessing Innovations to Make Mining Safer and More Sustainable

Harnessing Innovations to Make Mining Safer and More Sustainable

About OZ Minerals

At OZ Minerals we strive to be modern. We’re guided by our purpose, “Going beyond what’s possible to make lives better”. We believe that only when we create value for all our stakeholders will we be successful and sustainable.

Our framework of systems and behaviors, we call The OZWay, guides us while giving us the freedom and pathways to achieve our aspirations and purpose. We are passionate about creating an inclusive culture where people challenge, innovate, learn and grow together.

By exploring for and mining copper we contribute to a low carbon future and economic wellbeing which, in turn, helps us achieve our purpose and contribute to a better future.

Approach to Mining Technology

For OZ Minerals, using the latest technology is only one part of the picture. The more significant part is the mindset and culture of innovation of the people behind the business.

Without the right culture, the opportunities of technological innovation can’t fully be exploited. For this reason, we look very closely at the environment of work we are creating, in terms of both a physical and a cultural space, so we can pull the people who are able to think differently, exploit technological opportunities, and are in touch with evolving stakeholder expectations to help us bring our mine ambitions into fruition.

As a modern mining company, we want to harness the innovation mindset of our people and use it with technology so that mining work can be carried out more safely and sustainably. Having a workforce with the right culture and mindset is critical to achieving the changes we want to see. 

We want diversity of thought and have been actively building that capacity in our workforce; we have people from a range of different backgrounds in our team, who don’t always necessarily come from the mining industry.

We also continue to embed our Modern Mining culture which focuses on how we do things not just what we do; seeking to operate safely, ethically, and in an environmentally responsible way towards our strategic objective of creating value for all our five stakeholder groups.

Our focus has always been to ensure our technological and non-technological foundations are in place. We won't install technology for technology's sake; it has to be something that helps us drive being lean, innovative and agile, and work within our devolved way of operating. Often, we will adopt a staged approach to add new value-add functionality to allow ourselves room to maximize optionality.

"As a modern mining company, we want to harness the innovation mindset of our people and use it with technology so that mining work can be carried out more safely and sustainably"

Connecting with Our Ecosystem

We want to attract the best minds from both inside and outside the mining industry and connect dots in new and exciting ways, and our Think & Act Differently ideas incubator provides a unique way for us to do so.

Central to its success is the active participation of a network of people from across multiple industries, organizations, community groups, governments, research organizations, and others who want to play a role in solving complex challenges.

This incubator will provide access to tools, skills, and processes to find new, low-impact ways to mine and process minerals and create valuable opportunities for our society. We’d love to hear from anyone who’s interested.

Mining Technology: Opportunities and Threats

I am excited by the way technology is converging…the way that digital tech is converging with energy tech or biotech to unlock things that previously were not possible. I also am seeing that technology is as much the business model as it is the technology itself. Our scalable and adaptable challenge, which we are running together with our challenge partner, Inspire Resources, was aligned to this.

As part of the challenge, we selected a cohort representing different parts of the mining value chain – a group of innovators who were willing to work together to understand what a flexible, modular, and scalable mine could look like and how all the pieces along the value chain could work together. We are working with the selected cohort to design a simulation to uncover the value of modularity.  We will then use the simulation to test scenarios, where the system needs to adapt to a “shock”.  

Modularity is just one system attribute that contributes to flexibility. We are also looking at, for example, process storage that would allow the system to time-shift its electrical demand to match available renewable energy. 

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