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Top 10 Mining Trends

Using industry insights, Mining Global finds ten ways the global mining industry is evolving as it adapts to a digital future

|Oct 16|magazine4 min read

The mining sector has made significant strides to steer through disruption and volatility in recent years. However, companies in the industry continue to grapple with a host of external challenges, ranging from uncertain geopolitical landscapes, to coping with a global pandemic, and most importantly, keeping up with the ongoing technology revolution.

The use of technology in industrial mining has been developing since its inception. From the time dynamite was first used to clear tunnels and reach greater depths, the industry has undergone its own industrial revolution, which has encompassed everything from the mechanisation of equipment, through to the use of robotics and automation to replace manual labour and improve efficiencies.

However, with the fourth age of the industrial revolution now upon us, the mining sector now needs to understand how digitalisation can provide the next steps for advancement. The deployment of advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence, the use of 3D modelling techniques, wearables, drones and automated equipment, and increased connectivity through the Internet of things, are all drivers of this digital revolution.

While digitisation may have come a little later to mining than other industries, it is quickly catching up. The global smart mining market in 2019 was valued at £5.27 billion, and is expected to reach £15.72 billion by 2025, a Baker McKenzie report from earlier this year says. This trend is likely to continue despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which in many ways will reinforce the need for the sector to continue to automate and digitise, rather than rely on manual processes.

This will have a host of knock-on effects that will impact a wide range of sectors within the mining industry. Processes and methodologies will change, not just on site, but in the boardroom as well.

Therefore, here are 10 ways the mining industry will change in the future, according to Baker Mckenzie research: