Seventy percent of senior mining executives view energy efficiency as a “big” or “very big” factor in equipment investment decisions, according to a recent survey conducted by Mining Journal’s Digging for Climate Change on behalf of industrial engineering giant ThyssenKrupp.

The survey polled 50 vice presidents, C-level executives and directors from mining companies with more than 5,000 employees on their approaches to improving the energy efficiency of conveyors and other equipment. Two-thirds of the respondents were from North America, with the remainder coming from South America and Australia as well as one respondent from Russia.

Forty-six percent of the respondents reported having an average of five to 25 kilometres of conveyors with 1,000 tonne-per-hour or higher capacity between pit and port at each mine operation. A further 42% of respondents reported having an average of 25-100km of conveyors per operation, 8% reported having more than 100km of conveyors per operation, and 4% reported having less than 5km of conveyors per operation.

When asked to describe their  current approach to reducing energy consumption, 66% of respondents said their companies preferred to modernise or upgrade existing equipment and the remaining 34% expressed a preference for investment in new technologies and equipment.

A majority (58%) of respondents said they were very open to sharing data with OEMs or suppliers for the purpose of achieving energy efficiency. A further 28% said that their data was already publicly available, while 14% said they would be open to sharing data on a “case-by-case basis.”

“The survey results are absolutely staggering if you look into the sheer amount of conveyors mixed together with the willingness to share data,” said Stefan Ebert, Head of Product Line Revamps, Mining Technologies for ThyssenKrupp.

“This openness to share data with OEMs such as ourselves has an added benefit in that it allows us to utilise digital twin technologies to further improve the energy efficiency of conveyors.

“The survey also recognised that there is broad acceptance of our rail running conveyor upgrades, and we are really looking forward to adding this massive value from energy savings to miners all over the world.

Click here to view the results