The collaboration aims to digitally connect and coordinate Granny Smith mine’s operators, workforce, equipment and mining activities in real-time


Officials from ETP, ABB, and Gold Fields at the ERDi i4.0 Testlab. (Credit: ABB)

ABB has joined forces with the University of Western Australia (UWA) and the Enterprise Transformation Partners (ETP) to digitalise Gold Fields Australia’s Granny Smith mine located 740km northeast of Perth, Western Australia.

The collaboration aims to allow Gold Fields to digitally connect and coordinate Granny Smith mine operators, workforce, equipment and mining activities in real time while helping in advancing Industry 4.0 open process automation standards for the mining industry.

Under the partnership, ABB is working with ETP on an integrated systems project at the Granny Smith mine, which is claimed to be one of the largest and highest producing gold mine in the country.

Integrated systems project at Granny Smith mine launched in 2019

Gold Fields launched the integrated systems project last year to increase the gold mine’s production throughput.

Gold Fields Australia technical service manager Michael Place said that the firm is working with ABB and ETP to build an integrated business process and system architecture, to subsequently achieve a fully connected mine

Place said: “The system architecture has been designed to allow deployment across various operations both open pit and underground.

“This deployment will be the major phase of the technology strategy for the Granny Smith mine and will be a pilot for integrated platforms across Gold Fields Australia, which aims to create one of the most innovative, digitally connected mines in the world. This project and agreement will be key to achieving this.”

ABB has also teamed up with UWA’s new Energy and Resources Digital Interoperability Industry 4.0 (ERDi i4.0) TestLab to advance open process automation standards to digitalise mines in Australia.

The initiative is expected to allow offsite test laboratory to assess the efficacy of interoperability of technology without affecting ongoing mining activities.

ABB Australia industrial automation process industries head Stuart Cowie said: “Industry 4.0 and digital transformation are huge opportunities for the Australian mining industry with automation, analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI) generating insights and accelerating greater productivity and efficiency.”

Last year, Gold Fields selected Aggreko to build and operate the 8MW solar project along with the battery system at Granny Smith mine.