“If you’re not growing, you’re dying” says Aaron Wylie, Superintendent, Transformational Technology at Teck’s Highland Valley Copper Operations (HVC) near Kamloops, B.C. An avid snowboarder and mountaineer, Aaron is always looking to push the limits and he brings that same attitude to work in pushing the boundaries of technology at Teck.
After graduating from the University of British Columbia as a Mining Engineer, Aaron has held many roles in his 13 years at Teck from mine operations, mine engineering to health and safety, all of which have involved significant shifts in culture and change in practices.
With this experience, Aaron was tasked with leading the implementation of groundbreaking new technologies at the mine to improve safety performance, increase productivity, enhance sustainability, and ultimately extend the life of the operation. And it’s a task he has embraced enthusiastically.
“It’s not just an evolution; it’s a revolution. Implementing these kind of new technologies at HVC has major potential to extend the life of the mine, sustain existing jobs, improve environmental performance and, most importantly, improve safety,” said Aaron.
Operationalizing these technologies, such as Smart Shovels and blast movement monitoring, does present challenges though. “When implementing new technology, there are three elements for successful organizational transformation: people, process and technology. Technology can be installed, process can be created, but people need to understand the benefits and be equipped with the skills in order to support change. That’s why focusing on people is the first and most important priority as we transform mining today and in the future,” said Aaron.
“Together we can maximize the value of the resources we extract and improve sustainability by using technology,” said Aaron. “We have an obligation to our employees, communities and shareholders to be as innovative and competitive as possible.”