Colorado Public Works Journal, Summer 2023

70┃ Colorado Public Works Journal Greetings, industry professionals. I am broadening the information in this column from the standard Colorado Stone, Sand & Gravel Association’s (CSSGA) update, to include information on where technology is reshaping the landscape of the aggregate mining industry. As we delve into this transformative era, we will explore how cutting-edge technologies are optimizing operations, enhancing safety, and promoting sustainability in the extraction and processing of essential construction materials. Drone Surveying and Mapping In the not-so-distant past, surveying vast mining areas was a timeconsuming and resource-intensive task. Today, the industry has witnessed a paradigm shift with the adoption of drone technology. Drones equipped with high-resolution cameras and LiDAR sensors can efficiently capture detailed topographical data and create 3D maps of mining sites. This data empowers mining companies to make informed decisions about site planning, resource allocation, and environmental impact assessments. Drone surveying not only streamlines operations but also minimizes human risk by reducing the need for personnel to enter hazardous or inaccessible areas. Advanced Data Analytics Data is undoubtedly the backbone of the modern world, and the aggregate mining industry is tapping into its potential through advanced data analytics. By collecting and analyzing a vast array of operational data, mining companies gain valuable insights into production efficiency, equipment health, and resource optimization. Predictive maintenance, for instance, uses data analytics to anticipate machinery failures, allowing for timely maintenance and reducing downtime. In addition to enhancing productivity, data analytics also contributes to sustainable mining practices by optimizing resource utilization and minimizing environmental impact. Environmental Stewardship through Remote Sensing The CSSGA and its members are deeply committed to environmental stewardship. To this end, remote sensing Todd R. Ohlheiser is Executive Director for Colorado Ready Mixed Concrete Assosication and the Colorado Stone, Sand & Gravel Association. He can be reached at CSSGA UPDATE Todd R. Ohlheiser technologies have become invaluable tools for many members in monitoring and mitigating the impact of mining operations on the surrounding ecosystems. From satellite imagery to ground-based sensors, these technologies can help assess vegetation health, air quality, and water resources in and around mining areas. Armed with this knowledge, mining companies can implement targeted measures to protect biodiversity, conserve water resources, and minimize air and noise pollution. Eco-Friendly Processing Techniques Advancements in technology are driving a shift toward more sustainable aggregate processing techniques. Automation and linkage between plant components assists in speeding up or slowing various parts of the plant to increase overall efficiency. Additionally, energy-efficient crushers and screeners are being deployed to minimize power consumption while maximizing material production. By embracing these eco-friendly processing techniques, the aggregate mining industry is taking great strides towards a greener and more responsible future. Conclusion With these advancements of technology in the aggregate mining industry, it is clear that we stand at the cusp of an exciting transformation. The Colorado Stone, Sand & Gravel Association and its members are leading the way by embracing innovations that optimize operations, enhance safety, and promote sustainability. From drone surveying to data analytics and ecofriendly processing, technology’s role in the industry’s future cannot be overstated. As we move forward, let us continue to harness the power of technology while upholding our commitment to environmental stewardship and responsible mining practices. Together, we can build a stronger and more sustainable future for Colorado’s construction materials industry, benefitting both the economy and the environment. CONSTRUCTION OPERATIONS SOFTWARE Crew & Equipment Management Crew Scheduling & Assigning Jobsite Time Tracking & Field Data Construction Reporting & Analytics | @assignar WIN MORE. BUILD WITH