Environmental Data Management Workflow for Mining Companies

Mining Workflow


The digital agenda for resource companies is in full swing. Investment into automation, robotics and technology innovation has been the realm of the major mining companies for several years but it has become an imperative for resource companies of all sizes to take advantage of digitalization with the aim of introducing efficiencies, improving productivity and reducing costs. Harnessing the power of digitalization and workflow automation has become simpler, more accessible and cost effective with the recent advances in technology.

Mining companies have recognized that data-driven planning, workflow control and decision making is critical to their sustainability and will deliver real value. Leveraging the best digital technologies including cloud-enabled mobility, big data-powered analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) means that mining companies are connecting the entire mining value chain from sensor to boardroom.

Getting control over your environmental data and related workflows is an important step toward achieving a breakthrough to becoming a digital mine and recognizing the desired productivity gains. Developing environmental data management workflows that enforce reliable and quality data collection are vital. By automating the entire environmental data management workflow, operations can remove the manual interfaces commonly seen in these environmental data management workflows. A well-designed management strategy and workflow for the collection, validation, storage, protection and processing of your environmental data can result in clear, specific information that leads to better decisions, greater efficiencies, and valuable insights.

Automation of the environmental data management workflows from sample planning to sample collection, transmission of electronic chains of custody (COC) from the field to the laboratories and then the laboratories to a central data repository can be achieved through an effectively designed end-to-end solution. Workflows can be developed for all environmental data streams including air, water quality, water quantity, soil, biodiversity, land rehabilitation, noise, waste, tailings, vibration, and greenhouse gas emissions.



Regulatory Licenses & Sample Planning

Mine sites are subject to regulatory licenses which mitigate the adverse environmental effects of day-to-day operations. These licenses enforce quality standards for water, soil, air, biodiversity, land rehabilitation, waste, discharge, tailings, and other environmental media at risk of degradation. Each license program requires completion of specific tasks and sampling activities to ensure representative datasets are captured and reported. Sample and task plans are complex and managing them manually is an arduous process which can compromise data quality. By leveraging digital workflows, mine sites around the world have put their sample/task planning on autopilot and recognize huge gains in productivity, shortened report delivery schedules, and mitigation of risk to their regulatory commitments. Digital sample tracking workflows provide maximum visibility into monitoring programs, automatic progress notifications, exceedance and non-compliance notifications, and ensure complete, representative datasets are delivered with each reporting commitment. Hardcopy and electronic regulatory deliverables in open formats are generated with a single click and delivered to your regulators, satisfying your license reporting requirements.


Air Monitoring Point 1



Field Data Collection

Field data collection efficiencies have dramatically advanced with a comprehensive collection of integrated environmental field data applications and devices, ensuring accurate and complete data collection using cloud-enabled mobile computing technologies. IoT-enabled field devices with integrated GPS can automate the data transfers to the laboratories or central system where reports can be automated and sent to data analysts and managers for visualization and analysis, allowing them more time to focus on the decision-making process. Mining organizations have a gambit of field data collection requirements, from site inspections to water quality parameters, to instrument integration and in-field institutional controls. A centralized, digitized field data collection workflow ensures quality and completeness of day-to-day field activities. Seamless integration with a centralized database provides real-time updates of monitoring progress, safety meetings, core sample analyses, and more.




Data Verification & Quality Assurance

Many companies implement heavily customized procedures and workflows. They are rarely audited to identify any poor practices or assess ongoing data accuracy. This leads to poor data quality, inaccuracies, missing information, and ultimately unreliable decisions. Data quality is universal and ensures completeness, conformance to business logic, database rules, data transfer formats, and site-specific trigger values. By implementing an automated data quality workflow, you can generate reliable information to base crucial decisions. Inaccurate data can lead to poor decisions, costing time, lost revenues, and putting your site at risk of an operational shutdown. Automated data quality verification and validation improves the usability and value of your environmental data and ensures the end-user has access to reliable datasets of known integrity.



Data Audits

Data audits are becoming more common as environmental liabilities increase with scaling mining operations. Now more than ever, it is critical to maintain the legal defensibility of our environmental data as production operations depend on it. Regulators require transparency into report calculations, audit trails of data changes, defensible records of field data collection procedures, and evidence of compliance with all regulatory licenses. Centralizing the management of environmental data helps global mining organizations maintain data defensibility and quickly respond to these regulatory queries. Failed audits can result in operational shutdowns costing organizations millions of dollars in lost revenues. Through informed planning, standardization of data management workflows, and implementation of digital field solutions, our clients stay compliant with their regulatory commitments and keep production moving.

Reporting & Visualization

The core function of a data management system is providing the end users with consistent data sets of known quality. The ultimate value of data are their use in addition to storage and retention. After all field data have been collected, time-series data telemetered to a central system, and all lab data acquired from the lab information management system (LIMS), then project teams require quick access to actionable information to make informed decisions. Report formats are standardized at an organization level, auto-generated, and distributed to the appropriate team members. Digital workflow solutions remove the need for manual report assembly in Excel or Access and ultimately improve the quality of final deliverables. Quickly access visualization dashboards that provide actionable intelligence to on- and off-site stakeholders. Contour water levels and contaminants, view data in built-in or external GIS, realize relationships between surface and sub-surface environmental data. These insights are key to making high-grade, cold-eye, management decisions and mitigating environmental risk at sites.



EQuIS™ is the world’s most widely used environmental data management workflow and efficiently manages the environmental sample data for thousands of organizations. Learn more about our newest field data application, EQuIS Collect, here. EQuIS Collect allows staff to collect any data easily in the field on phones, tablets, or PCs with a simple, user-friendly application that works on and offline.

Want to learn more about EQuIS?

Request a Demo today!