Mining is a lucrative business as it contributes to our metal and mineral resources. This industry has been operating for decades helping to build our economy. Mining continues to extract natural occurring mineral substance. These minerals after being processed contribute to our day to day life. For example minerals in the rock are converted to copper elements that are made into copper wire used for electricity.
Here are some recent developments taking place in the mining industry.
1. Advanced Technologies
Advanced and innovative technologies have reshaped all mining operations. They are instrumental in enhancing the approach of mining organizations in exploration, extraction and remediation. These advancements have provided a higher confidence in the resource base. It has increased resource identification that can now reach greater depths. It has resulted in cost reduction and energy savings. Furthermore, these advancements have reduced work related injuries and environmental disturbances. These changes encourage teamwork, high productivity, better work life balance for mining employees, and continuous improvement. The list goes on.
With the new underground mining technology, mining exploration can go deeper in its extraction efforts and detect deep mineral deposits. Advancements in robotics and artificial intelligence offer real-time data. Simulations in design and extraction allow for selecting the most productive and safe approach. The advancements today even allow mining activities to continue during harsh weather conditions without adverse impacts to the mining workers or the environment.
2. Research and Development Enhancement
These technologies have contributed significantly to research and development of mining activities. Geologic mapping and radar imaging helps to determine the rock types. Geological surveys assist in studying the composition and interrelations of rock units. Radar sensing technology can determine the depths of minerals and its structure. Research and development activities are extended to efficiently process minerals and manage mine waste.
Innovative underground mining technology have resulted in increased productivity and reduced costs making mining companies globally competitive.
3. Safer Working Conditions and Environmentally Friendly
Today mines invest in their employees and place a great deal of importance on their safety. Hazard management is implemented to prevent employees’ exposure to hazards which in turn reduces lost – time, work related injuries and occupational disasters. Mining companies have enhanced underground communications and implemented a thorough emergency response plan in times of a crisis. The mining industry ensures to protect their community and environment as well.
4. Efficiencies and Smarter Productivity
In earlier times, mining was carried out manually with tools, then came the people operated machines for underground exploration. Today however, workers do not have to physically run these machines. In fact they can run machines through remote controls from the surface.
The rapidly evolving technologies generate valuable and real-time data that helps to make smarter and faster decisions. This results in quick deployment of resources. Efficiencies are achieved during all stages of the mining process from exploration to extraction and then closing the mines.
5. Sustainable Practices
A few years ago, mining activities were known to negatively impact the environment and cause heath related problems for mine workers, including inhabitants close to the mining area. These concerns are now reducing with technology and sustainable mining practices. In fact mines today can solely focus on increasing productivity, while reducing their footprint. They can achieve this with the latest innovative technologies.
Mining causes various environmental impacts such as airborne and water contamination, noise, deterioration of natural resources and damage to biodiversity. Sustainable developments ensure companies are socially and environmentally friendly. Most companies apply a holistic management model that looks at the broader picture and focuses on economic, environment and community outcomes. Sustainable practices have become mandatory today for the mining industry. Environmental goals are now being integrated into production goals.