Technology and mine closure

Management of copper mine closures in Panama faces traditional challenges characterized by its long duration, high costs, and harmful environmental effects. However, an innovative perspective highlights the potential of disruptive technologies to transform these processes, seeking to reduce costs, timelines and environmental impact.

In this context, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will play a key role in improving closure planning. These technologies will allow analysis of large amounts of data, from geographic information to environmental and engineering data, to anticipate challenges and improve resource allocation. Automating tasks with ML algorithms will not only streamline data collection and analysis, but also free up human resources for strategic decision-making, while AI-powered sensors will monitor air, water and air quality in real time.

In the field of robotics and automation, a safe and efficient approach to infrastructure removal will be proposed, with robots capable of extracting buildings and machinery, reducing human risks. Likewise, the strategic use of drones and autonomous underwater vehicles for landscaping, vegetation and water treatment can improve efficiency and safety in hazardous environments.

The implementation of blockchain and digital twins is critical in the responsible management of waste and materials, providing transparency and traceability throughout the closure process. Community participation and social responsibility are enhanced through virtual and augmented reality simulations where communities can visit and actively participate in closure projects. Additionally, AI-powered upskilling programs will facilitate the transition of some employees to other industries after the lockdown.

Adoption of these disruptive technologies will make mine closure more efficient, economical and environmentally friendly, leaving a positive legacy for communities, ecosystems and consequently the country.

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* Digital Transformation Consultant.

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