3 Reasons Why A Mining Forecast Is A No-Brainer

  • Apr 09, 2018

Uncertainty. It’s one of the worst feelings anyone can ever feel. Not knowing is bad enough on a personal level. However, when it comes to business, the stakes can get very high. Uncertainty in budgets, planning, and deals creates a lot of stress and potentially, loss. This is especially true for mining operations.

The mining industry is complicated, multi-faceted, and – unfortunately -has a reputation for being dangerous. Not only do these factors make day-to-day risk management a challenge, but also makes it hard to recruit new workers. Wouldn’t it be great if you could make your mining facility safer?

In order to do that, you can start with a threat that is constant and impacts every part of the business: The weather. Severe weather poses many different challenges to the mining community all over the world. When facilities get a handle on this challenge, they see improvements across the board from safety to worker productivity to operational efficiency. Keep reading to find out the three biggest severe weather threats that make weather forecasts a no brainer for mining operations.

1. Lightning

The first weather-related risk a mining forecast or mining app can help mitigate is lightning. While when most people think of mining as an underground operation, those of you in the field know that operations above-ground are just as important. There are plenty of moving parts up on land that lightning threatens.

For example, lightning can strike personnel involved in heavy equipment operation. It’s also a fire hazard. This is especially true if your operation handles explosives or is undergoing construction activities.

Depending on your location and climate, lightning could be a big risk or a small risk. But did you know that a lightning detection network could also help you out if you’re not in a heavy-lightning area? Most people don’t know this, but there are two different types of lightning. The first is cloud-to-ground lightning, which is the kind most people think of. These strikes hit land or structures on the ground.

Most lightning is actually a different type, called in-cloud. These strikes, which jump from cloud to cloud, are a great indicator of other forms of severe weather. By monitoring a combination of both, referred to as total lightning, the most advanced systems are able to predict severe weather events like tornadoes, hail, and heavy rain. So don’t overlook lightning detection just because you don’t see it too often.

2. Rain & Fog 

The second weather-related risk to mining operations is heavy rain. All you have to do is conduct an online search for “heavy rain and mining” and dozens of news stories about dangerous accidents pop up.

Heavy rain can flood mines, make roads leading to mines impassable, and shut down operations for days. Another big problem with rain is that it can cause deadly landslides that damage equipment and even trap miners underground. These landslide issues are prevalent in mines around the world that do not have advanced weather data. Countries like Peru, Congo, and Myanmar are just a few that have seen these deadly tragedies occur to good, hard-working people.

Another issue with precipitation is low visibility due to fog. Low visibility can be a huge problem for mining operations. Rain and fog can make pit operations extremely dangerous for drivers practically working blind. Knowing when these conditions are going to occur allows mining decision-makers to stop operations before they get dangerous.

If you know when heavy rain is going to hit and just how much you are going to get, you’ll have time to plan effectively to minimize operational downtime and minimize loss.

3. Wind

The last thing a mining weather application or weather visualization tool could help facilities with is the wind. High winds are a big problem for mining facilities doing blasting or using cranes.

Mines can’t blast when winds hit a certain speed because the wind puts surrounding areas at risk. Gusts of wind can carry dust and debris from mines to surrounding towns and create an environmental problem to those areas.

Wind also is a problem when it comes to crane operations. When gusts exceed a certain speed, they can knock over cranes. These accidents are not only dangerous to workers but can damage and destroy expensive crane equipment. Knowing when it will be windy in your area of operations can help you plane crane operations. Let’s say the end of the week is going to see very windy days, even though you have crane operations planned for that day. Knowing this information enables decision-makers to reschedule operations for days with better and safer weather conditions.

Get A Mining Forecast App

In today’s technological day and age, it’s easy for mining operations to mitigate weather-related risks. Advanced weather detection networks that offer total lightning detection, convective radar alternatives for hard-to-reach areas, and hyperlocal weather forecasts are the best fits for the multi-faceted industry that is mining.

Sferic Maps and Sferic Mobile are the industry-leading desktop and mobile applications for mining forecasts. These easy-to-use interfaces offer over 40 layers of weather data, so facilities can monitor the conditions that matter most to them. The interface also allows users to set up alerts, so you never miss a temperature spike or incoming thunderstorm.

Just like the mining industry, Sferic Maps and Sferic Mobile are multi-faceted and customizable. We know every mining operation is different. That’s why Sferic Maps allows you to not only pick the weather layers that are important to you, but to upload your own layers. Now you can see a map of your operations and the weather all on the same map. It’s an easy, one-stop shop that will help you safeguard equipment, lives, and ultimately, save money.

Take Sferic out for a test drive today to see how it can bring value to your mining operation for free.

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