Projet CNRT Nickel - Mine du Futur : automatisation de la mine et mutualisation des moyens
Project CNRT Nickel - Mine of the Future: automation of the mine and pooling of means 
The global demand for raw materials is growing due to the increase in the world’s population and the industrial development of many countries. It is also diversifying, due to the development of new technologies, material consumers until recently hardly considered, but essential for example in the current digital revolutions and energy transitions. In the face of these increasing requirements, the mining industry faces many technical, environmental and societal challenges, but also economic challenges in a progressively competitive market. 
With increasingly complex nickel deposits in production, and an ever-growing social demand for the preservation of biodiversity and economic benefits, New Caledonia is not immune to these challenges. 
To meet these challenges, the mining industry must therefore be innovative. The implementation of new digital geolocation and automation technologies is a means of improving operational and financial performance, but also staff health and safety, and environmental performance. 
International experience, in particular that acquired by large mining groups in Australia, shows that developing a capacity for innovation implies that this be positioned at the centre of the organisation of the company. Innovation in the mining sector must be in three categories: configuration, performance and experience. Each of these categories is associated with specific types of innovation pursuing specific goals. The choice of innovations to be implemented by a mining company also depends on its ability to assess, and assume the risks incurred, in the three innovation spheres: fundamental innovation, local innovation and breakthrough innovation. 
By drawing on the experience of leading Australian companies, the mining industry in New Caledonia could consolidate its current innovation capacity and advance further in its digital transformation, and in the appropriation of new skills, essential to ensuring long-term prosperity of its mining sector. 
This project therefore aims to explore possible ways of automating by integrating innovative technologies in all phases of the mining process, and to study the possibilities of pooling means between mining companies operating in New Caledonia. As a first step, the project will take stock of the current situation in the local mining sector and identify priority sectors for development in the socio-economic and environmental context of the country. The second step will involve the creation and coordination of a work group, bringing together the various local mining companies, and the establishment of a prospective technological watch, useful for making strategic decisions. 
This project is led by a Consortium made up of researchers from the Founding Schools of the Network of Excellence "Mine & Society" and the Mineral Industry and Territories Chair - Armines-Mines ParisTech, GéoRessources- University of Lorraine, Armines-IMT Mines Alès - as well as from the University of Québec in Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT), and from the Caledonian society ORE. The project started in September 2019 for a period of 15 months. 

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