The mining industry has a long and intricate history but has developed significantly over the past few decades. The sector is a significant contributor to the global economy and is responsible for producing ores and minerals, such as diamond and gold, and products, such as coal and iron ore.
Of course, despite all that, the industry has been criticized in the past for its contribution to global warming. Although that was the case, there has been a notable improvement in the industry, with many organizations switching to renewable energy sources. While extracting raw materials has previously caused issues for the environment, improved technology means extraction is often achieved with much less impact.
Today, let’s explore some of the emerging trends to watch out for in the mining industry. Here’s what you need to know:
While the mining industry is considered one of the most environmentally damaging, other industries, such as the meat and dairy industry, are more damaging.
Many mining companies are now looking toward carbon trading schemes to reduce their emissions, while others are switching to renewable energy sources.
Another popular trend in the mining industry is the prevention of waste. Nowadays, many companies are looking to reduce their waste levels by researching and implementing new technology. To prevent waste, most companies are now collecting, separating and recycling the different ores and minerals they extract.
Many companies are also implementing new and sustainable methods of production. The future of mining could be less reliant on extracting raw materials.
Digitalization and Big Data
While the mining industry has traditionally relied on traditional means of production, there has been a notable change in recent years, with many companies investing in digitalization.
The increasing digitalization of the industry means it is now possible to monitor and regulate the performance of mine sites in real-time, allowing companies to make crucial decisions in a timely manner.
The mining industry is taking a big step into the future by introducing battery-electric details. While we have seen the introduction of hybrid trains and excavators, it is only recently that we have seen the introduction of battery-electric details for material transfer vehicles.
The new technology will help cut fossil fuel emissions, making the industry more sustainable.
These days, the mining industry is also looking to go green by replacing its traditional equipment with remotely operated equipment. Rather than relying on humans to operate machinery and equipment, it may soon become possible for machines and equipment to operate on their own.
While this may seem like a distant prospect, the introduction of remote-operated equipment is set to improve safety and efficiency.
Reskilling the Workforce
As the industry moves towards battery-electric details and remote-operated equipment, the mining industry will need to reskill its workforce.
Rather than employing individuals to operate machinery and equipment, many companies are now looking towards individuals who can repair and maintain the equipment rather than operate it. This means that the mining industry will need to train individuals to repair and maintain machinery and equipment that can potentially operate independently.
The Bottom Line
While the mining industry still has a long way to go, the introduction of new trends could revolutionize the industry. Many mining companies are now investing in new technology, renewable energy sources and sustainability initiatives. If mining companies continue to put the environment first, we could see a significant improvement in the mining industry’s impact on the environment.
If you are interested in environmental technologies, we can help you. Group 11 is committed to developing and applying environmentally and socially responsible mineral extraction. Contact us today to learn more and get started!