The future is now for miners building new projects and even extending current ones, with available technology able to massively cut energy and water use, and deliver better economic outcomes, an FT Mining Summit 2023 panel of industry leaders told the audience.
“You can envisage a mine of the future that has Infinity Trains and novel [mineral] liberation technologies and all sorts of exciting new technologies,” Weir CEO Jon Stanton said.
“I think if we wait for that, as an industry, it's going to be way too late.
“It’s just a burning platform, where we need to produce multiple times the copper, lithium, other battery metals, that we’re producing today. And we need to do it in a much more sustainable way using less energy and less water.
“It’s a huge, worldwide problem that we’re trying to fix. It’s been very evident over the last few days [at the summit], everybody gets it.
“We’ve got to be really smart about how we approach that [and] look for the opportunities all the way across the mine, because there are many. The way mines run today, the opportunity to drive automation, AI, machine learning, make the machines smarter, make the processes more efficient, is huge.”
Michael Reichle, CEO of new Siemens business, Innomotics, said: “From my perspective it’s two trends. The one thing is energy efficiency, that is going to shape the mine of the future, and then digitalisation.