Tech in mining #5
Hope everyone had a good holiday week! This week, we have some quick updates re: impact of automation on mining, hunt for ethical battery metals, reducing diesel in haulage, and automating parts of scaling processing!
🗞 Interesting updates
Canada's Mining Industry HR Council released a report on a two year study regarding the impact of innovation and automation on the Canadian mining workforce. The report has a detailed summary of jobs that may potentially get displaced, and skills that will become increasingly important for the next decade, highlighting the importance of re-skilling the workforce. More here 👩🏭👷♂️
Key ingredients for electric car batteries - copper, cobalt and lithium - are expected to experience scarcity within the next few years. As such, companies like Tesla are looking to invest in their own resources (or invest in companies) which would threaten some mining companies. Funds such as Breakthrough Energy Ventures (backed by Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson), are also looking to invest in ethical sources of cobalt and lithium. More here 🔋
Large trucks regularly consume around 300-400 liters of diesel in half an hour while traveling up a 17 km ramp! In addition to the huge emission, diesel fuel also impacts cycle times - trucks have to stop in order to refuel. Aitik, an ope-pit copper mine in Sweden, is trialling an electric trolley system (where trucks attach to a trolley line on haul roads) and expects to reduce diesel usage by 800k liters! More here 🚎⚡
Scaling (process where loose rock hanging from an underground mine roof is removed in a controlled manner to create a safe working environment) typically involves a worker tapping on the roof and deciding if the process needs to be performed. ScaleSense, a project funded by German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs is trying to develop a sensor-based system (using a combination of Long Wave infrared thermography and acoustic emission tech) to detect loose rock and remove it with a mechanized scalar. A promising development to follow! More here ⛏️
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Have a great weekend!