Top 10 Green Initiatives in Mining
The world of mining is changing. The traditional landscape of operations is transforming as emerging green technologies and equipment will soon make mining more efficient, cleaner and safer.
A 2013 report addressed market volatility, rising costs, falling commodity prices, decreasing productivity, policy changes and social justice scrutiny among the drivers of important new green innovation in mining technology.
“Mining companies have been criticized for poor environmental practices, but few people realize there’s a large and growing set of companies around the world developing new technologies to help make mining more efficient, better for the planet and safer for workers and local communities,” said Kachan Associate Kathy Chen, primary author of the report. “Innovative technology companies are finding market opportunities in addressing the common criticisms of mining.”
The mining sector, which is recognized as one of the top pollutant industries in the world, is evolving into a greener industry. The following 10 green initiatives are expected to be common practice in the next few years within the sector.
10. Surface miner 2200
The future of surface mining will no longer consist of drilling and blasting, which can often lead to fires in mines. Instead, it will go through eco-friendly mining technology like the surface miner 2200 SM. It will not only improve the cost effectiveness and quality of mining, but provide a more environmentally gentle mining method by reducing heavy vibrations and pollution by noise and dust created by conventional methods.
9. Renewable energy
Utilizing renewable energy sources has been a primary focus for the mining industry. One company putting it to use is Barrick Gold. The miner has 140 energy efficiency projects across its portfolio of operations. The company currently receives 19 percent of its power from renewable sources.
8. Advances in water reclamation
Treating mine site water, both diligently and effectively, is an important quality in maintaining a respectable mining operation. Taking it beyond just regulations is something that will eventually become common practice among the industry, as companies like Ecosphere Technologies has recently introduced Ozonix technology, a chemical-free treatment for bacteria, soluble-organics and hydrocarbons found present in residual wastewater streams produced by the mining industry.
The eMalahleni Local Municipality in South Africa is another example of companies going the extra mile. Undertaken by Anglo American and BHP Billiton, the award-winning project resulted in the implementation of a desalination plant, helping to achieve a near-zero waste facility.
Deloitte predicts industry transformation - Tracking the Trends 2019 report
Deloitte has published the eleventh edition of its annual report on the mining industry. Tracking the Trends identifies the top ten trends transforming the future of mining in 2019
The Deloitte report endeavours to provide the mining industry with insights it can leverage to support its continued quest for productivity, capital discipline, strategic development and sustainable growth.
Philip Hopwood, Deloitte’s Global Leader - Mining & Metals, commented: “It appears that the mining industry is poised for greater growth than it’s seen in a decade, but today’s market realities are very different than those of the past. We’re now dealing with geopolitical tensions in the form of trade wars and tariff concerns, as well as looming asset shortages. Rising commodity prices should fuel expansion, but could also result in a return of inflation and the costs that go with it, eventually eating into margins.
Disruption and volatility has become the new normal and the pace of change is outpacing our ability to adapt. This makes it imperative for mining companies to clarify how they plan to drive value into the future and how they intend to respond when prices inevitably drop again.”
Here are the key messages provided by the 2019 report:
- Disruption and volatilitymake it imperative for mining companies to clarify how they plan to drive value into the future and how they intend to respond when prices inevitably drop again. To thrive into the future, mining companies will need to challenge the status quo by soliciting a diversity of opinions and taking the risk to do things differently.
- Technology and artificial intelligence (AI) will play a key role, not only in helping companies envision future scenarios, but in identifying risks at an enterprise level and transforming the supply chain. Moreover, advances in finance platforms, sensor technology, autonomous vehicles, cloud- based solutions, and analytics are paving the way for the design of a digital mine.
- Understanding the needs and perceptions of people both inside and outside the organization will be critical. Companies must build a more diverse workplace and address succession planning, while fostering loyalty and retention among existing employees. At the same time companies must do more outreach to local communities, governments, and consumers so they can be more transparent and receptive.
Top Ten Trends Transforming the Future of Mining:
- Rethinking mining strategy - Embedding the discipline to deliver measurable value across the cycle
- The frontier of analytics and artifcial intelligence- Moving up the maturity curve
- Managing risk in the digital era - Exploring a new approach to controls and risk management
- Digitizing the supply chain - Why innovation requires integration
- Driving sustainable shared social outcomes - Finding value beyond compliance
- Exploring the water-energy nexus - Making the case for a systematic approach
- Decoding capital projects - Learning from past mistakes
- Reimagining work, workers, and the workplace - A blueprint for the future
- Operationalising diversity and inclusion programs - From theory to practice
- Demanding provenance- EVs and battery minerals provoke the desire for provenance