Despite the 148 billion Australian dollars the mining industry added to the country's economic growth in 2018, there is no denying the fact that the sector has been struggling with several issues. From a threatening skills gap and reliance on electricity from the national grid to expensive mining sites reclamation, the mining industry has its work cut out for it. However, this has not stopped mining engineers from coming up with ingenious strategies to curb these challenges. This article highlights vital strategies that mining engineers are implementing to ensure mining remains environmentally friendly and profitable.
Using Ore Moisture for Processing — For the most part, people equate mining to water pollution, and there is some truth to this. However, isolated mining companies are to blame for the scourge, and this is especially the case during ore processing. That said, mining engineers could not afford to sit by and be content with the wasteful strategies that exist presently. Through new mining technology, mining companies today use the natural moisture contained in the ore for processing. This expertise promises to reduce water consumption in the mining industry significantly, thereby saving the already diminishing underground water levels.
Digitalised Value Mining Chain — Just like any other industry, the mining industry has its value chain, which determines the company's most valuable activities. For a long time, analysing the value chain was challenging, and this made planning, control and decision-making difficult. However, this has changed over the last couple of years, with mining engineers putting in place data-driven analytic policies to help in analysing the value chain. Through digitalisation and the use of data-technology, mining companies can move short-term production, planning and control to an off-site operations centre. Engineers can then use a supply chain visualisation tools to view the ore's supply chain from the pit (mine) to the port for real-time operational metrics. The ability to visualise a mineral ore total supply chain from a screen makes it easy for mining companies to make valuable business decisions.
Eliminating Transportation Trucks — While mining engineers are tasked with developing new technologies to improve the mining activities, they can only do so much. Therefore, rather than rely on trucks to transport ore from the pit to the plant, mining engineers propose the use of mobile excavators and crushers to speed up ore processing. The reduced number of machines in the mining site promises to reduce fuel consumption, hence also reducing the site's operational costs. Additionally, this strategy helps mining engineers to reduce waste from tires, oil filters and lubricants associated with managing a large fleet of trucks.
To learn more about mining engineering strategies, contact mining engineers in your area.