Mining trends in 2022: FLSmidth

Cybersecurity will come to the fore in 2022
Mining trends in 2022: FLSmidth Mining trends in 2022: FLSmidth Mining trends in 2022: FLSmidth Mining trends in 2022: FLSmidth Mining trends in 2022: FLSmidth

[stand] The mining industry will be faced with challenges and opportunities in 2022, as rapidly increasing demand for minerals forces it to take giant strides in exploration, production and processing. 

Mining Magazine brought together five leading companies to discuss what could be ahead for the industry in 2022.

In this article, we hear from Sriram Seshadri, Global Head of Smart Products, and Michael Hänschell, Chief Information Security Officer, FLSmidth:

The two main trends we see in 2022 are in cybersecurity and in a shift to a collaborative approach that delivers more holistic value from actionable data points.

Miners are continuously working to increase asset performance and operation, and every company has data and a digital strategy. But the challenges in mining are often too large and complex to be resolved in isolation. It requires digital collaboration between mine operators, operation and service providers and OEMs. 

Building AI and ML to a scalable stage to precisely predict maintenance requires large amounts of relevant data. 

Currently, we have extensive data across many mining sites, but these are scattered, making it difficult to get the full value. We will begin to see a more open and integrated approach with data and digital solutions in 2022, where miners work with technology partners to leverage the power of data. 

Many of the challenges are complex and can't be resolved with individual point solutions or a "DIY" approach. Mining will increasingly take a holistic view to growing them beyond proof-of-concept level to scalable solutions. 

This requires a lifecycle approach with the right partners, establishing joint "collaboration centres" focused on improving my assets' availability, reliability, and performance. 

This brings the digital technology ecosystem together (with data and platform) and, more importantly, it also brings the people together to focus on the core values of improving performance through the digital technologies. 

The second key trend we see in 2022 is more cyber-related incidents, and this means mining must operate with a heightened awareness and resilience. 

The conventional way of looking at OT Security is where networks consist of industrial controls, mining and plant management systems, health, and safety systems, and any networked device that inspects and controls physical equipment. 

As organisations continuously seek to drive for IoT and digital transformations, many OT networks end up connected to an IT network and then to the greater internet - often without the necessary control and insight. 

This increases the risk of malware and viruses that can disrupt the availability and operations of the OT network. 

The vast amounts of vulnerabilities due to legacy equipment, software and lack of patching makes the OT network a catalyst for unwanted intrusions into the IT network. 

But there is growing management-level awareness about IoT and OT risks, and this means there is a trend towards increased security investments. 

As the notion of total isolation is unlikely, there will be an increased need for services and products with tailored, OT security-specific solutions to better understand the nature of the vulnerabilities, the complexity, and the management of the increase in risks.