Shaping The Future Of Mining With Five Trends

People are faced with this technology and worry it will displace them, so we've got to train people about the advantages of these technologies and what role they have to play in the conversion to adopting these new technologies.

FREMONT, CA: The mining industry's operation has developed significantly in recent years, and further improvements are afoot as technology advances and are adopted globally.

Here are future and ongoing trends that shape the industry's future.

Sustainability and waste prevention

Sustainability is a major issue for the industry.

Mines are increasingly asking manufacturers and suppliers how equipment can reduce waste and use energy more efficiently.

Normet supports tunneling and mining projects to ensure that products are being used optimally. For example, additives used for tunnel boring machine projects can drastically reduce water consumption when used correctly.

Technology, for example, Normet's SmartScan for sprayed concrete, guarantees that shotcrete is used efficiently to reinforce tunnels and underground mines.

Additionally, new mine development often takes place in a fragile or ecologically challenging environment; hence minimizing the impact on the environment and communities surrounding the mine is of utmost importance.

Big data and digitalization

Digitalization and data are also one that is headline issues, and we've seen across the mining industry that they're using data to turn more efficient. Data in itself won't give us the advancements and impact we're all looking for; it's about learning what data to use and how to use it.

IoT networks in mines are constantly collecting data, so operators are more enlightened on how every part of a mining operation is running. From predictive maintenance to making more advised decisions about production process improvement, utilizing big data means that mines run more efficiently and productively than ever before.

Battery-electric vehicles

Battery-electric vehicles are prone to higher technology interfaces, which are useful in collision avoidance safety. Moreover, diesel emissions are harmful, and electric vehicles reduce the ventilation required, which is typically a huge cost to underground mines and consumers of power.

Normet's SmartDrive electric vehicles (BEV) incorporate Li-ion battery technology and high-torque electric motors. Industrial grade components and excess design mean that these vehicles are extremely reliable, and fully reversible four-wheel-drive guarantee safe movement in hard underground conditions.

Remotely operated equipment

Something that's developing is that we are all learning how to work more remotely, and a portion of that has been due to the Covid pandemic. But when you consider the spot of some rising mining projects, you consider some of the modifications in the political landscape around the world. So we're educating to adapt and equip ourselves and discover how we can be safe, efficient, and productive in various ways than we have in the past.

Mine excavating is progressively going deeper, which means more hazardous environments. Firstly, the safety of mine workers is a main priority, so machinery that can be worked remotely is a major trend that will remain to shape the way mines operate.

Reskilling the workforce

Automation and distantly operated equipment doesn't mean that the job of a miner is redundant, but rather the way they work is changing. For example, Normet's SmartScan and SmartDrive technology is making their jobs easier and safer. However, hands-on workers are still needed for maintenance to ensure this new technology continues to work efficiently.

What we possibly haven't done well as an industry is support our people in understanding what automation means since there is a human element along with the changes in technology. There are positions and operations where they've had an enormous hunger and appetite for these technology shifts, and they embrace it at all operational levels. Still, there are other instances where we've observed machines that have gone underground only to finish sabotaged.

People are faced with this technology and worry it will displace them, so we've got to educate people about the benefits of these technologies and what role they have to play in the transition to adopting these new technologies.