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Improving the environmental sustainability of their operations through the adoption of IIoT technologies is a crucial priority for organisations in the mining sector.

This is according to a new study undertaken on behalf of Inmarsat, the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications.

The research reveals that the two of the largest drivers behind the adoption of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-based solutions across the mining sector are improving resource efficiency (48%) and the monitoring of environmental conditions (such as environmental contamination, water toxicity levels and other pollutants) (46%).

The research also highlighted the good news that many mining organisations are realising their sustainability objectives through the use of IIoT.

Almost two thirds (62%) of respondents with fully deployed or trial-stage IIoT solutions stated they were achieving environmental sustainability improvements.

Access to reliable and resilient connectivity is essential for IIoT technologies to function, enabling the constant transmission of data to optimise operations.

With many mining organisations operating in remote regions and spread across large areas, where terrestrial networks are not available or practical, satellite communications networks are key to achieving this and achieving the benefits that IIoT has to offer.

Reported early successes in achieving sustainability objectives have been seen in the implementation of technologies that enable remote tailings monitoring, detecting dust, noise, pollutants and water quality, and improving operational efficiency.

However, the research also uncovered that those organisations with unreliable connectivity were far less likely to be achieving improved environmental sustainability, reinforcing the importance of connectivity for successful IIoT deployments.

Commenting on the findings, Joe Carr, Director of Mining at Inmarsat Enterprise says:

“The mining sector is faced with a multitude of challenges, tasked with reducing its impact on the environment and adhering to stricter government regulations, while grappling with volatile commodity prices and rising costs of production. Our research shows that mining organisations are adopting IIoT to help them achieve these goals, and that many are succeeding in this aim.“

“However, it is clear that without the right connectivity networks, IIoT deployments won’t succeed in delivering the improvements in sustainability that they are capable of.

“The global nature of the mining sector means that organisations need reliable connectivity to gather mission critical data from every area of their operations and analyse it in real-time, though patchy terrestrial coverage makes this challenging.

“With global and reliable coverage, only satellite communications offers the levels of connectivity organisations need to make IIoT a success.”

Inmarsat is a leading provider of mobile satellite connectivity for Industrial IoT deployments across the global supply chain.

It has a proven and unrivalled track record of operating the world’s most reliable commercial mobile satellite networks, sustaining business critical applications for almost 40 years.

Its award-winning services are enabling end-to-end transparency across the production, extraction, manufacture and multi-modal transportation of goods.

Inmarsat owns and operates the world’s most reliable L-band satellite network offering 99.9% availability suitable for critical IIoT applications, rugged and energy efficient terminals, and low latency data transmission.  

It is the ideal connectivity solution for enabling monitoring and automation applications in remote and hostile environments.