The world is changing rapidly before our eyes. It seems that, never before, we have been able to follow such great and radical changes in all possible spheres. Not all of them are positive. We can start with climate change, which used to be less intense and present. We now notice them during each season and they begin to affect our lives and past habits in every sense very dramatically. Agriculture and cultivated crops, water supply, architecture, clothing… everything is slowly changing and adapting to new weather conditions. Also, technological advances are unprecedented in human history. Everything that we could only watch in SF movies or read in futuristic books… is realized, fascinates us, but we also quickly get used to all the benefits and as if we can no longer do without them.
There are many indications that indicate future trends, in all areas. Some branches of human activity are advancing irresistibly, such as medicine, robotics, mechanical engineering, recycling… And some, which are closely related to the environment, inevitably have to undergo transformations.
One of the important industries is mining, because it is not possible to live and create without the products of ore mining. So huge innovations are presented to us almost daily.
The position of mining in the modern world
One of the oldest human activities is ore mining. The invention of metals of all kinds has led to tremendous progress and development of the human community. The changes that took place then lasted for centuries, and even today. Also, the mining of coal, copper, iron, precious stones, lithium and much more… has enriched the world on all levels. Even modern times know and keep this type of industrial plant, as precious and irreplaceable.
However, the environmental side of the whole story has its reasons for various initiatives, which would reduce or even ban the mining and production of certain ores. The reasons for this are multiple. The fact that mines affect the environment and produce harmful substances. For these reasons, only the extraction and production of ore have entered a new course of modernization and maximum improvement of their work, which includes the preservation of the environment. (land, groundwater and surface water, air…)
Mining is also significantly affected by all geopolitical events. Certain instabilities, relations crises and wars, contribute to the uncertain status of mines and the transport of what is being mined in them. It is a process that is chain-linked and each event is reflected globally and in a wider area.
Innovations of modern mining:
1. Reduction of CO2 in total world emissions
Due to global warming, climate change of catastrophic proportions, absolutely every branch of the economy had to take its responsibility and make a plan of its own action in the future. So it is with mines. If we act synergistically in the direction of preserving the Planet, the chances are great. Our planet is 1 degree Celsius warmer compared to beginning of 20th century. If that trend continues, tens of millions of people will have to move from coastal towns and world with face another refugee crisis. Mines can be huge pollutants, but luckily people in charge recognized the danger.
2. Using IoT
The Internet of Things is a new concept that is still in its infancy. But every year we notice that IoT is being used more and more, and the mining industry is no different. According to the Newtrax, productivity and safety have been improved with the help of the Internet of Things and this trend will continue. We will agree that productivity and safety are the most important. And how exactly does IoT affect mining so positively? Thanks to the collection of data from different mines all over the world and the ability to monitor operations remotely.
Another important thing is sustainability. Pollution can be reduced and this is absolutely necessary in the years to come.
3. Preservation of ore deposits
Although the “gold mine” is synonymous with great potential in some ways, the fact is that one must also take care of the aspect of preserving the site. Any excessive exhaustion and exploitation to the extreme must be avoided. Depending on the position of the mine, the proximity of the settlement, the reserves of mineral wealth, the plan for excavation and production must be realistic. There is no point in devastating the site, destroying the environment and leaving nothing to future generations. Investors have their own interests, but more and more, mining engineers, ecologists, economists and other experts, as well as politicians, have this aspect in mind and are aware of the need for development in this direction. Arguments concerning this issue have been recognized as important and adopted by mining experts.
4. Contracts with local communities
This item did not exist in the past. It was enough to know where the ore was and in what quantity, for the mine to open in such a place. Now the situation has changed drastically and before any activity, the boards of directors are required to obtain the consent of the government and local communities. Then projects are done, with an environmental impact assessment and further actions and actions are carefully planned. All this contributes to the improvement of mining and a completely new approach to work.
In addition to caring for the human environment, many different innovations and products of the human mind await us in the future. And not far away, but very close. Many researches have already been seriously established, and the final results are already in use or close to us.
Two things are certain. Mining is not losing its importance in the 21st century either, we can even say that it is more important than ever due to the increasing consumption in all fields.
Another thing is that innovation must be constant in order to strike a balance between earnings, productivity, worker health and the general population. We have presented some of the latest innovations, and we are sure that there will be more and more of them in the future.