Mining Industry Trends
There have been many new emerging trends in the mining industry. According to Deloitte, an insider insights firm, many issues are arising. Many of the insights from a 2016 report still ring true two years later, including insights from the International Council on Mining and Metal (ICMM). Leading issues include the volatility of the commodities market, labor and employment struggles, lack of financing and labor, and safety challenges. Despite the struggles facing the mining industry in recent years, emerging trends in the mining industry may offer potential solutions or improvement in this sector.
Although underground mining was the most popular and dominating technique for much of the 20th century, mine production is going through a significant shift. Instead of underground mining, many companies are opting to shift to open pit mining. This mining technique involves the extraction of minerals by way of an open pit, which does not require tunnelling like older methods. This provides a solution to the issue of safety with laborers. Today, the majority of operations industry-wide are getting work done using the open pit technique. The ICMM reports that “Technological developments have made it possible to mine ores of declining grades and more complex mineralogy without increasing costs.” There seems to be only an upside to this improved extraction method.
In addition to new mining operations and techniques, extraction activities are becoming more economical and innovative. The ICMM forecasts that manty mining companies will use extraction activities that are later in the chain of production, such as smelting, refining, manufacturing and commodity trading. “This trend is already visible in the number of steel companies seeking to enter mining to secure their supplies of iron ore and coking coal at a reasonable cost.”
Commercial industries are focusing on applying new methods and technologies to reduce energy consumption. Many mining companies are looking at renewable energy sources. This trend is incredibly widespread for a few reasons. Not only does it have an environmental benefit, companies are seeing significant cost savings due to implementing renewable energy. In the Deloitte report, it was noted that “some miners have realized energy savings of 10% to 40% by investing in renewable energy installation, deploying innovative energy technologies and driving towards more automated mine processes to optimize energy consumption.
New technological innovations continue to shine a bright light on mining and other commerical industries. This will create a positive shift in the trajectory of the global mining industry by reducing costs and hazards and ultimately improve efficiency. Some of these technological advances include: Machine learning that will reduce labor costs Genomic Mining Solutions Cloud-based data collection and sharing Hybrid airships that can easily transport equipment to remote and previously unreachable destinations Mining companies are refocusing and developing new strategies to implement this new technology and benefit from innovation. New digital engagement, strengthened asset management, and faster production all seem likely on the horizon.
Mining and Mineral Nationalism
With recent political and global trade developments, there is an emerging trend towards mineral and labor-intensive nationalism and restrictive trade policies. With the U.S. being almost 50% dependent on other countries for mineral commodities, this new pressure will undoubtedly lead to new innovation in the face of commodity shortages.
TPS as your Mining Consultant
As a mining contractor, Turn-Key Processing Solutions has extensive experience in the extraction of valuable minerals and materials from the earth from an orebody. This process creates economic interest to mining companies. Our experience includes recovering minerals from coal, oil shale, limestone, dimension stone, rock salt, potash, gravel and clay. Mining is also required to obtain materials that cannot be grown through agricultural processes or created artificially in a laboratory or factory. TPS has been mining stone and other materials for many years. We are the mining consultants you want to engage for an analysis of the profit potential of a proposed mine, extraction of desired materials and final reclamation of the land after the mine has closed. TPS is the best source of information and a great partner to work with when opening a mine or looking to modify an existing one.