Embracing new technologies like AI and robotics will help mining operations become safer and more efficient.
Mining as an industry dates back roughly 10,000 years, according to some historians. Yet, it is expected to undergo major changes in the coming years, thanks to its digital transformation.
A new report released by idoba and Wikistrat outlines predictions concerning the future of mining and changes coming thanks to increased technology usage. The report notes that with intense pressure to change operations for safety and efficiency, mining may look different in the future.
The two organizations used a unique simulation to stimulate a conversation about the future of the mining industry. The report focused on three areas and their impact on the industry through the year 2030:
- People: The talent and skills required for digital transformation as well as labor force information.
- Technology: Robotics, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality (AR) necessary for digital transformation
- Society: The impact on the local community as well as the environment overall
Digital transformation predictions center around technology adoption
The industry is expected to move towards greater artificial intelligence and robotics adoption. These technologies reduce risks to workers but create gaps in talent acquisition as mining companies rush to recruit talent away from traditional technology sectors.
Integrating these automation solutions and talent searches will require innovative approaches to management—something rare in the current industry makeup. However, companies that embrace technology and work towards digital transformation could find themselves in a better position to survive shifts in energy needs.
Digital transformation will also bring an era of new scrutiny as data becomes more public. The report sees a greater need for mining companies to communicate with local communities and governments, as well as pressure to answer greater public questions.
AI and robots will also play a role in helping make mining less catastrophic on the environment by managing operations using data. Overall, embracing the technologies will provide a pathway to transparency in mining practices.
The unique report demonstrates that mining can benefit from new technologies like AI and robotics, and not only that. It also shows that people expect the industry to embrace these technologies moving into the next decade. Digital transformation is coming, and with it, a safer, more efficient mining industry.