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Treading lightly on the landscape

Happy new year guys!

I’m super excited to be opening 2021 with an article on the topic of precision mining. It’s a subject I’ve been sitting on for nearly a year following a chance meeting on Linkedin. And it’s one that makes complete sense given, not only the need for more conscious and responsible mining practices, but also – I think – the need to reimagine the way we mine.

That meeting was with Dustin Angelo, CEO of Novamera. His company has developed a suite of drilling and visualisation technologies that allow the surgical extraction of ore from the ground, leaving the surrounding areas untouched and unaffected. Dustin’s interview will go live on the blog next week and it’s worth a read.

Of course, precision mining techniques won’t be applicable at every operation, but the ‘take only what you need, leave no trace’ philosophy can be applied in many other ways too. For instance, improving operational energy efficiency, working towards zero waste and minimising the impact of waste that we must produce, progressively rehabilitating sites, using small-scale, mobile equipment and processes… You get the gist.  

That's why I have themed January around how to tread lightly on the landscape. This isn’t a one solution for all our problems kinda situation. 

If this has sparked your interest and you want some further reading, check out Newcrest’s selective approach to mining and processing; they’re doing some pretty cool stuff, as are BHP and Mining3.

And hit me up with your own recommendations. I’m always looking to learn something new.

Here’s to another year of interesting and educational reading all round


Reading list
Eight of the most interesting articles I've read this month
MINE: Miners need to transform, but will complacency and short termism win out? 
Peter Bryant of the Development Partner Institute weighs up the need for innovation in mining against high commodity and share prices 
E&MJ: Predicting the way to better workplaces
How predictive biometrics could revolutionise mine workforce safety and productivity
Avalon Advanced Materials: COVID-19 pandemic and critical minerals
An interesting read on the criticality of rare earth elements in the fight against COVID. Just one more reason that mining is an essential industry
Sandvik: Women on the rise
Why does having more women working in the engineering and mining industry create a business advantage? An excellent question and one that is addressed in this interview
Behind the scenes with Bryan: An interview with tailings expert Chris Hatton
One to listen to... Not the liveliest of interviews but some really good points raised about the engineer of record role 
E&MJ: Autonomy reloaded
Because you all seem to enjoy an autonomy based article as much as I do. Here's an explanation of where autonomous mining technologies are headed next
Deloitte: The future of work in mining
The Deloitte team explore what future jobs will be like in intelligent, integrated and post-COVID mining operations
Covergalls: "You can't be what you can't see"
Joanne Pearce explains the importance of representation in STEM careers on the Covergalls blog. Some interesting stats here
Last month on The Intelligent Miner...
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