What’s the impact of technology on the mining sector?

Allen Taylor our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 26 January 2022

From drone applications to automation, technology is impacting the mining industry in incredible and unexpected ways.


Recent times have seen it become commonplace for mining companies to invest heavily in innovative digital tools. The scope and variety of these technologies continue to grow, driving better performance for mining companies—and at lower costs.


The emergence of new technology has created seismic shifts in terms of how businesses across nearly every industry operate—and the mining industry is no exception. Another noticeably changed sector is construction staffing, which is also being drastically reshaped by digital trends.


Below, we explore the impact innovations in technology are having on the mining sector.

Greater productivity

One of the greatest benefits of technological developments in the mining sector is improved efficiency.


According to Global News Wire, the smart mining solutions market is worth a staggering $33.35 billion. This includes growth in autonomous equipment and hyperconnected devices, all of which will have a positive impact on the mining sector.


“How?”, you might ask:


Autonomous technologies can reduce downtime and equipment failures, as well as improve efficiency in remote areas and dangerous working conditions.


One of the most prominent pieces of technology that is used in mining is workforce tracking, otherwise known as wearable technology. Wearable technology provides real-time monitoring, which allows for greater mining productivity, as miners can be managed more effectively and can be alerted about any potential incidents or dangers—which leads us to the next extremely important point:


Improved safety

Whether you’re an old hand in the industry or a total novice, chances are you’ve heard about black lung. Caused by long-term coal dust inhalation, it’s a disease that has plagued the mining industry since it began—but all of that is changing thanks to new technologies.


Just one of the many ways mining safety is being improved by technology, sensors can now be added to miners’ clothes to monitor their health, detect the presence of silicosis particles in the air, and ensure miners are in good, physical condition. 


Rio Tinto, one of the world’s biggest mining companies, has invested heavily in automation and smart mining. The company deploys operated Land Rovers and drones to complete high-risk jobs, such as checking the inside of machinery and high walls in open pits—all of which are designed to keep workers safe.

Sustainability

In an effort to mitigate the industry’s effects on the environment, new mining technologies have been significant in making the sector more eco-friendly.


Many companies are switching to battery-driven mining equipment to reduce emissions and improve the air quality in the mines themselves. Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) are also becoming more prominent in mines, particularly those that are underground.


Diesel accounts for up to half of emissions at a mine site and, according to Mining Technology, the switch results in a massive ventilation reduction of 40 to 50 per cent. Not only does this create substantial savings for mining companies in terms of power, but it also drastically reduces their costs.


Thanks to rapidly advancing mining technology, there are ways that the industry can move toward more sustainable operations. As mine technology continues to grow and develop, miners can look forward to further effective solutions for sustainability.

The rise of new job opportunities

While there’s already a multitude of mining jobs available globally, there’s no doubt that the increased use of technology in the mining sector can pave the way for further job creation. Upon first inspection, it’s reasonable to wonder what all the new automated technology will mean for mining jobs. In reality, the greatest impact will be an increased demand for professionals who are skilled in data processing, analysis, and software design.


Are you looking to progress your career in mining?


At TRS Staffing, we have an excellent team of consultants with a deep knowledge of the sectors they recruit into.


We specialise in mining recruitment, as well as recruitment for the oil and gas and manufacturing sectors. We’re also an engineering staffing agency and construction staffing agency, so we offer a diverse service. Our consultants recruit professionals both on a permanent and contingency basis, and we have an outstanding track record of supplying employers with the best candidates.


If you would like to find out more about our services and how we can assist your mining career, contact us today for more information. Also, keep reading our blog for interesting news and articles.

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