Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Mining companies rediscover innovation.
The prolonged slump in commodity markets has forced mining companies to focus on cost control. Firms responded first by cutting sustainable capital and refocusing production on high-grade areas. Now the industry is turning to lower-quality, shorter-life deposits, requiring innovation and the embrace of radical technological breakthroughs to extract additional profit margin.
- Fleets of autonomous mining trucks will change the design of ramps in open-pit mines, improving economic optimisation and safety.
- Certain bulk commodities are becoming amenable to more environmentally friendly and nimble forms of containerised transport.
- Durable fabric structures for storage, maintenance and employee accommodation will replace brick-and-mortar structures at remote sites.
- The advent of optical ore sorting and other forms of pre-concentration will reduce unnecessary processing of waste material.