Hexagon Mining, has a very clear strategic plan — to be the
preferred solution provider in mining, with a complete in-house
portfolio of products for the core business. Guilherme Bastos,
President, Hexagon Mining, charts out the course for the newly
Geospatial technology has been part of the mining industry
for some time. What made Hexagon focus on this niche
Geospatial technology is gaining more importance in our
society. In a mobile world, where everybody has a GPS, smartphone
or tablet, you expect to know where things are — whether it is a place
or a person. The services that will transform all available GIS data
are just beginning and will really transform our lives. Ten years ago,
seeing a new restaurant while walking or driving prompted your decision
on whether to try it. Today, it simply depends how well that
restaurant appears in the GIS you are using.
In mining, geographically speaking, information has no meaning
if you do not know precisely where it is. Assay results are used to
mark out areas of ore and waste rock, which are mined separately. Any
position error can affect the mine plan or even the feasibility study for
that reserve. The Hexagon focus is all about accurate and precise information.
Mining is a market in which we think Hexagon can really offer a
unique portfolio of products and solutions.
Hexagon recently has made a few quick, but important,
acquisitions in the mining area. How would you describe
that as a larger corporate strategy?
Hexagon Mining has a very clear strategic plan — to
be the preferred solution provider in mining, with a
complete in-house portfolio of products for the mining
core business. These acquisitions brought to Hexagon
Mining the missing pieces in our portfolio for underground,
safety and planning. In addition, we strongly
believe it will greatly improve our capacity to support
our customers. Today, we have more than 740 employees
around the globe working exclusively in mining.
It is by far the largest skilled team in a technology
company available in the market today.
How do you, as the President of Hexagon Mining,
intend to synergise the skills and resources the company
has acquired through these acquisitions?
We acquired successful companies with talented people running
each business. The most important asset of any tech company
is people, and we are working to preserve the culture and productive
environment of these new companies and bring them
together with our tried-and-true offerings to form a united group
that will explore new possibilities in mining. United, we can
provide better support, integrating our products to offer better
solutions to our customers and drive excitement about the great
and unique opportunity we have in Hexagon Mining.
Hexagon Mining is an independent division, envisioned
by Hexagon President and CEO Ola Rollén to maximise
proximity with our mining customers. However, we will
also work very closely with other Hexagon businesses
like Hexagon Solutions, Leica Geosystems, Intergraph and
others, putting together products and solutions from other
divisions according miners’ needs.
Before Hexagon Mining, Hexagon’s offerings in mining
were through Intergraph PP&M. How do you plan
to synergise with other such divisions in the larger
We have great mining products from different divisions
including Intergraph PP&M, Intergraph SG&I, Hexagon
Solutions and Leica Geosystems. However, as Ola has
said, Hexagon continues to move from a product-centric
organisation toward a solution-centric provider of
business-oriented applications. That is exactly the DNA of
Hexagon Mining, putting all these products together to offer
complete solutions to our customers. Other divisions will
continue to keep their own channel to the mining market.
Hexagon Mining exists to leverage the benefits of connecting
products and solutions to address specific needs.
|From UAVs, hardware like total stations and scanners for data gathering, software for data processing to total automation, Hexagon has a complete array of mining products in its stable. Hexagon Mining is putting all these products together to offer complete solutions to customers|
How does Hexagon intend to proceed, keeping the latest
technology trends in the mining domain and how is
geospatial playing an enabling role?
We see the latest geospatial technologies as an opportunity
to address old problems in a better way, improving
results for our customers. We have many opportunities in
the mining field for technologies such as wireless, cloud,
LiDAR and many others. Through a strong R&D team and
acquisitions, we plan to select appropriated technology for
What would you say a mining company is missing if it is
not using geospatial and, specifically, Hexagon Mining
solutions to the maximum extent possible?
Mining is a business with a lot of uncertainties. It means
managers should be ready to receive new information all
the time to make better decisions. Our mining solutions
are crucial because they are all about revealing the right
information, including geospatial information, to the right
person. It can be geospatial information, a managerial KPI or
process variables. Without this knowledge, mining company
is missing out on cost savings.
What are the latest technology trends in the mining
domain and how is geospatial playing an enabling role?
We can say that the ‘Internet of Things’ is already a trend. In
the near future, we are going to have IP and instrumentation
in all mobile and remote assets in the pit, as well as on all
people. The solution is more complex compared to ‘Internet
of Things’ technology used by end consumers, but the
concept is the same — interacting remotely at any time with
all assets and people in the mine.
The GIS space for mining is becoming more dynamic.
Objects in the geospatial database are always in
transformation. The surrounding world changes all the time
— the GIS objective is to make interaction with this world
possible and easier.
What are the typical benefits of using geospatial
data solutions — better ROI, reduced expenses and
manpower, recovery and safety improvements?
It varies a lot depending on the commodity, tonnes per year
and more; but in general, by applying our technologies,
mining companies can measure savings higher than 10%.
Costs are very high in mining and there is still much space
for optimisations, so the potential for savings is great.
How are new trends such as off-site mine management
and working from remote locations catching up in the
mining sector and how is geospatial enabling this?
The challenge for remote mines is the economy of scale.
The technology is available, but the challenges lie in the
necessary maintenance, support, evolution and scalability.
Remote mines can be operated in real time from offices in
the company headquarters. However, it will happen gradually
when these technologies start to be part of the lives
of all mines. We will see ‘remote’ operation or autonomous
operations at the same time for very remote mines in Africa,
as well as for mines 20 km away from Johannesburg,
South Africa, or Belo Horizonte in Brazil. These realities
are in the near future.
Where do you see your success stories coming from?
I do not think there is a specific point, but I do believe in
putting all solutions together, eliminating gaps and duplicated
information and offering reliable information and better
results. Hexagon Mining is the best provider for companies
that understand the value of having a strong supplier with a
great portfolio. Large companies cannot succeed trying to
integrate different solutions from small suppliers, each one
with a different and independent roadmap for their products.
This ad hoc use of technology consumes a lot of money and
time. Hexagon Mining is an alternative option for those who
want to have a solid plan for the future.