Mining has since gone past simply exploring the earth for minerals. Now for a mining company to be successful, then there has to be a future for innovation. This means that mining companies must develop new internal processes to maximize resources. They should be looking at ways to go about having a more sustainable path forward. This could include acquiring resources from outside the mining industry. Mining industries are transforming at an exponential rate. This is why we will clearly explain the future of mining and what to expect from this growing industry. See the benefits of investing in mines and mining companies.
For thousands of years now, mining has provided humans with the raw materials needed to build communities and develop the economy. Miners have had to travel deep into the earth in dangerous conditions in order to bring these natural elements to us. Currently, as a result of scarcity projects in some countries, areas that have been earlier considered marginal or too risky are not being explored. As a result of this, more mining companies are exploring investments in these emerging markets. To do this, there is a need to improve performance and operational efficiency and comply with regulatory updates.
Trends in the Mining Industry
It is certain that demand for minerals will grow in the coming years. However there are different trends that will determine which aspects of mining will remain in the future.
Mining companies will need to venture into frontier areas where extractions have not been economically viable. Companies will have to master new technologies for extraction and processing. Automated processes and digitalization will provide more targeted and efficient mining processes. This could be further enhanced through breakthroughs in technological areas like the in-situ leaching, block caving or bio mining.
Model financing and production models will become common as mining companies endeavor to limit risks. In order to spread the risk of new capital-intensive projects, these new financing solutions will continue to develop. Mining companies may also consider developing joint ventures which are similar to those observed in the oil and gas sector. Companies may also consider service agreements.
Low Carbon Economy
Countries must start working towards decarbonising their energy system by the middle of this century. Failure to do this will cause temperature to rise to the point of causing catastrophic damage to the planet. Since transportation systems and low emission energy are more mineral-intensive, this will provide a great opportunity for the mining sector. Consequently, the mining sector will also have to reduce its own emissions. Therefore companies that use renewable energy to power their operations will be best to sell low carbon minerals.
Mining and Data
As mining companies embrace digitalization and automation in their processes, there will be a need for collections and processing massive databases. A major area of debate will be what data should be shared, processed or made transparent. This way, investors will use the proliferation of the non financial data to access the risks of their mining portfolios. Consumers will also seek to improve on value chain transparency. It will be expedient for companies to work together with other stakeholders. This will help give a clear understanding on the type of data that should be made available. Companies will also be able to understand the right format for disclosing data as this will ensure standardization, usefulness and impact of the data.
There is a growing resistance to globalization and free trade. This resistance is directly affecting the mining sector and also altering politics. Policy makers are trying to enact local content rules and regulations which require minerals to first be processed before exportation. Trade wars are likely to disrupt the value chain of mining companies and also likely to dampen global commodity demand. Geopolitical maneuvering will create opportunities for domestic projects that are not economically viable without intervention of the government. However, it could also create challenges for companies that have been prospering under a system of relatively free trade.
The Near Future of Mining
In concluding this topic, we leave you with a list of global predictions by BDO GLOBAL.
- The arms race around rare earths will be quickened, as growing geopolitical tensions affect global trade and countries battle to lead manufacturing and technology innovation.
- Secondary raising will be a concept of the past. The rise of alternative financing solutions, that is responsible for reducing the burden on mining companies’ balance sheets, will grow in popularity and this will hit stock exchanges hard.
- Miners will become an open book because of the pressure from investors to demonstrate their social license to operate. Miners will have to make use of blockchain technology to validate their operations.
- Artificial intelligence will be commonplace in mining activities, as miners use it to interpret data from smart sensors and machine interconnection, and to improve operational safety and efficiency through unmanned, AI-enabled technologies. As a result of this, mining will be transformed into one of the safest occupations of its kind.