Technology is changing the face of the mining industry. Things are getting very interesting as new technologies are being developed, and old methods are being left behind. Read on to find out more about which technologies could be responsible for shaping the future of the industry.
Making mining more efficient is one of the central aims of many mining companies. One of the ways this might be achieved is by using advanced robotics. Machines that are automated and fitted with sensors and dexterity will increasingly be used in the mining industry. This will make the whole process of mineral extraction far more efficient and effective. In the long-term artificial intelligence could even be harnessed by mining companies. This also reduces the risk to human lives if robots can do all the dangerous work.
3D printing has the potential to cut delays and make mining much less time-consuming. The big way in which 3D printing would be used in the mining industry is to make new parts. This will remove the need for companies to order parts and get them delivered to their side. Instead, they could simply print the part they need and use it instantly. This is already being done by many large mining companies. It has the potential to completely changed the manufacturing of new parts and cut back on costly on-site delays.
Improved Extraction Processes
The process of extracting oil, gas and minerals from the ground is improving all the time. Whenever these processes improve, the extraction of resources becomes more economical. This means the amount of waste is minimised, and companies get more for the money they invest in the extraction process. Mining supplies are ever more precise and technology is only going to get better in the future. The more precise the tools are, the more natural resources will be extracted from each exploration. This means bigger profits, and that appeals to every mining company out there.
In the mining industry, environmental concerns are paramount. And electricity usage is very high because of all the equipment that needs to be powered. But some of this electricity can now be generated from renewable sources, such as wind and solar. As these renewable energy generation methods improve, the mining industry will not need to use unclean energy as much. Any method that can be used to reduce CO2 emissions in the mining industry should be welcomed. And it should save mining companies some money.
The Internet of Things
The internet of things refers to the possible capability of technologies to share data independently. This means that all the different pieces of technology will be able to share information to improve productivity. This should make the whole process a lot smoother and much more efficient. It could also help safety because any problems will be immediately highlighted and shared. The possibility of using a fully realised internet of things is coming closer all the time, so this could have a big impact.