Need for Technological Advancements in Mining Industry

Like any other industry, mining businesses are also in dire need of incorporating IT and web-based tools in their operations.

Need for Technological Advancements in Mining Industry

The reasons are diverse; the mining industry is also exposed to unusual threats and perils which need to be taken care of. Winding and supervisory operations, gas emissions and water outbreak are some of the many hazards mining employees are exposed to.

This industry needs to go smart, as geographical and regional hurdles can be wisely forecasted and detected only through intelligent use of new technology.

Toxic and unbreathable air along with dust is another peril that manual workers in mines are exposed to and according to recent statistics, even in 2023, 11.7% workers are affected in some way or the other through working in mines, only in countries where Web based forecasting and proper precautionary tools are in use during mining operations.

In countries where this industry is still reluctant to incorporate technology, 37% deaths are attributed to mining businesses and operations.

Some challenges that can be overcome by use of apt technologies in the mining industry are:

Talent Shortage

According to surveys, owing to respiratory and cranial ailments, many employees are reluctant to continue jobs in the mining industry. This is because mines in the underdeveloped countries are still explored and operated through human efforts, instead of using technological tools and instruments for better estimation and performance.

Mining explosions are not detected on time, and so many workers lose lives through the tough procedures of mining invasion and supervision. Mining geologists, engineers and project managers are likely to switch jobs most frequently, as per statistics, owing to the risky and perilous nature of the job.

The aged employees who have adequate working experience are prone to resigning early from jobs due to tough working conditions, leading to workforce shortage.

Environmental Hazards

Today many mining businesses globally are on the verge of shutdown because of irresponsible attitudes towards preservation of the environment. Without the usage of technology, mine wastages and gas emissions have led to severe depletion in ozone layers and outbreak of newer diseases.

Mines in underdeveloped economies go unchecked, and due to the prevalent trend of bribery and lawlessness, coal and granite mines are creating havoc for the overall global atmosphere through emitting Coal Mine Methane or CMM gas, which itself is the leading cause of lung cancer and pulmonary embolism.

Ventilation systems are installed for easy working provision to labour, but these systems exhaust gases into the open air without proper technology integration.

Maturity of Mines

Discovering of new mines is a painstaking process, which is why many businesses globally are busy in extracting ores from mines discovered many decades ago. The result is availability of substandard ores, leading to high refining costs and less profit margins.

If newer technologies of better ore deposits detection and finding new resources are not employed, chances are that global deposits will deplete quickly and a huge shortage of non-renewable resources would emerge.

Advantages of Technology Incorporation

Enhanced Safety

The foremost benefit that technology has to offer to this industry is obviously the safety of the workforce employed. Recently, IT tools and AI techniques have devised respiratory sensors, which make sure the oxygen levels of workers underneath are normal.

In case of any casualty these sensors beep and the worker can be immediately rescued unlike before, when workers remained ignorant of their health conditions. Similarly smart mining enables operation managers to detect drillable surfaces beforehand instead of wasting time and energy of miners busy in digging from multiple surfaces.

Similarly, AI based drifters help mining engineers in completing high risk tasks, which were not possible before such integration. Remote monitoring and automation have defied the need for human presence within deep mines. Automated ventilation systems maintain oxygen levels and breathable environments for workers which are not controllable otherwise.

Employment Opportunities 

While mining businesses are facing skill shortages, at the same time, applicants who have apt technological knowledge and qualifications in digital and IT based mining can now access great employment opportunities in this sector.

Similarly, technology assessed training and mentorship can assist new and fresh workforce with the latest skills, which would benefit them in this industry in the long run. MIS officers, data mining professionals and analytical experts would have better platforms for exhibiting their skills.

Inventory checks & disposing off Risky Equipment

Due to rough usage of equipment and machinery, the assets of mining businesses are short lived and need much more repair and maintenance than assets in other businesses. To keep track of inventory is a tedious task in the mining industry, and so asset management software shall be integrated wherever needed.

The usage, depreciation, management and disposal of machinery is critical in this business as any redundant or overused equipment can lead to accidents and losses. This software is now outsourced by many mining businesses worldwide, for efficient asset management.

Boost in Productivity

Sensor usage is now a common technology in the mining industry. Economies who have instilled AI in their mining operations have optimised their management through using sensors, which sense new and better ore resources.

These sensors are not only used for detecting new locations for ores, but also provide accurate insights about existing mines e.g. emission details and dangers of explosions etc. Similarly, transportation of ores is another problem covered through technology.

Before 2015, ores were transported through cargo trains and trucks, carrying a colossal risk of explosion and carbon intensive emissions. Today, in majority mining areas of the world, ores are transported through automated trains with no human interference decreasing overall costs and minimising perils.

Though technology assimilation takes time and resources, if done with precision, the mining industry can excel far ahead and still produce profitable results for mankind in spite of speedy exhaustion of non-renewable resources.

Mining industry in the developing economies still has a long way to go and the future will only be optimistic if technology is included sensibly.