Today the perception of the mining industry in terms of the challenges and path to growth is constantly being reshaped by the rapid disruption. Issues like the climate crisis and the growing expectation of the stakeholders are acting as a great force of change. Apart from these two challenges, the mining industry also comes with other challenges such as scarce resources and many more. Mining companies are constantly exploring new ways and implementing new techniques and strategies to overcome the barriers and remain ahead of the competition. However, to understand how the mining industry is transforming, understanding the challenges that it faces is extremely important. Discussed below are some of the biggest challenges that the mining industry is facing currently and how they can deal with them.
Sustainability: The mining industry is one of the main keys to sustaining modern life and meeting the requirements of construction and electronic industries by supplying them with the resources to function. This places the mining industry in a challenging environment to constantly improve its performance. However, in the process of maintaining its position and performance on a global level, sustainability always comes to question. It is the responsibility of the mining industry to balance sustainability and meet its objectives and demands. To do so, the mining industry will have to change the way it operates. The introduction of new technologies, innovations, methods, and strategies, can help the mining industry in sustainability development.
Reluctant to change: Industries that require huge capital and work with a regulated workforce often face difficulties in adopting new technologies. The mining industry is one of the industries that have been slow in adopting new technologies due to the attitude of “if it’s not broke, then don’t fix it”. This is also due to the mining industries that have witnessed the advantages of traditional methods for an elongated period of time. However, things are now changing and so are the attitudes of the customers who are expressing their interest in green technologies. The mining industries can communicate and collaborate with the innovators to understand the implementation of technology better and how to leverage the for the growth and improvement of the industry.
The dangers of deeper excavation: Another major challenge that miners have to face is the dangers of deeper excavation. The mining industry has to meet the needs and demands of the modern lifestyle and thus to facilitate the resources, the mining industry has to delve deeper and deeper. However, this has put the mining industry in a challenge to ensure the safety of the workers. The deeper the mine is, the more adverse the environment inside the mine and will have a higher risk of rock fracturing putting the safety of the workers at stake. Therefore, miners are under huge pressure to find a proper solution to balance the excavation of resources and the safety of the workers.
Technology and innovation: The use of technology and innovation in the mining industry can ease almost all mining activities from the exploration of the deposits to the processing of the minerals. Yet, the mining industry faces challenges in adopting new technologies. It is important for the mining industry to understand the value and benefits that new and advanced technologies can bring to the mining industry. The process of capturing and analysing geological data that was once extremely long and risky can be shortened and safer, all thanks to new technological development. For example, the use of drones in the mining industry and the sensors used in the drones have helped the industry in increasing the volume and quality of the available data. Drones mapping methods as compared to the other traditional mapping methods are more effective and have the capabilities to deliver five times better productivity. 3D modelling software is another example of technological advancement in the mining industry. It allows the future mines to be simulated as digital twins from the geological data that is available. Therefore, miners can now leverage these technologies to improve the productivity and performance of the mining industries.
New technology needs new skills: New technologies are taking over the manual and repetitive work that is done by humans at the workplace. However, workers in the mining industry do not need to worry, they need to upskill their training and learn how to use and control these technologies. With the introduction of automation, robotics, and other innovative technologies, the mining industries must also attract young people that have the right skills and talents to use the technologies in the best way possible. Miners must focus on new training strategies and methods that can utilize the potential of the people to apply technology to its fullest utilization. New skills will help the mining industry to remain competitive and transform the mining industry.